Baylor Law School Receives Grant from Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Sept. 25, 2014

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Contact: Eric Eckert, Communications Specialist for Media Communications, (254) 710-1964

WACO, Texas (Sept. 25, 2014) – The Baylor Law School has been awarded a $22,000 grant from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) for the purpose of providing civil legal services to Texas veterans.

Bridget Fuselier, J.D., a professor of law in the Baylor Law School, said this is the third year in a row that the Baylor Law School has been awarded a grant from TAJF.

“We’re very appreciative and honored that the Texas Access to Justice Foundation continues to support our program,” she said. “The fact that they’re renewing their commitment to us is proof that we’re being successful in our efforts with the money.”

Veterans receive free legal aid during monthly clinics at the law school from faculty, students and volunteer local attorneys.

“The veterans are able to at least get some immediate advice, and then sometimes we send their cases to volunteer attorneys in Waco that can do some more work pro bono,” Fuselier said.

The legal services include assistance for civil problems such as denial of benefits or disability, family law matters and/or any other issues that have arisen as a result of a veteran’s deployment.

Richard Tate, chair of the board of directors of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said providing money to helpful organizations is fundamental to improving the quality of veterans’ lives.

“With Texas having the second-highest population of veterans, it is essential that we provide legal services for those who have sacrificed so much for our country,” he said. “Whether it’s through legal clinics, a staff attorney or help from a pro bono lawyer, these organizations will provide the representation they need and deserve.”

In 2013, TAJF grantees gave more than 8,800 veterans access to the justice system. The total amount of money given in grants this year was $426,000, and in more than 30 years of existence, TAJF has awarded more than $410 million in grants.

To qualify for legal assistance, an individual cannot earn more than $14,588 a year. For a family of four, the annual household income cannot exceed $29,813.

Other 2014 TAJF grants were awarded to organizations including San Antonio’s Community Justice Program, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas and Houston’s Bar Foundation.

by Kristen Bennett, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT BAYLOR LAW SCHOOL

Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,000 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked No. 51 in the magazine’s 2015 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law in its top 10 law schools for practical training, and second best value in private legal education in the nation. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Learn more at www.baylor.edu/law.

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