The four hallmarks of the STCL Houston mission are opportunity, diversity, excellence, and service. The mission calls for the law school to provide an exceptional education that prepares graduates “to serve their community and the profession with distinction.”
One important goal of STCL Houston’s exceptional legal education is “preparing graduates to serve their community and the profession with distinction.” Last year, South Texas students, staff, faculty, and alumni worked together to help thousands of people avoid wrongful eviction, defend a neighborhood, expunge records, navigate complex immigration issues, and fight for justice for soldiers wrongly convicted without due process in 1917.
These are just a few of the myriad ways the STCL Houston faculty and students provided legal services to the community, including through a large array of 23 direct service legal clinics and a robust externship program.
The comprehensive and successful clinical education program is a vital component of the law school’s pro bono service emphasis. Housed in the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics at STCL Houston, the clinics deliver civil legal services to the poor, train future lawyers, and incorporate the value and importance of access to justice for all. The law school maintains an entire pro bono law firm — complete with an experienced managing attorney.
The clinics instill in STCL Houston students a commitment to service, and the Greater Houston community and the legal profession have recognized the clinics’ significant accomplishments and impact. As one example, STCL Houston’s Landlord/Tenant practice helped more than 5,000 people facing housing instability through a combination of community outreach and courtroom advocacy. One public service attorney in the clinics personally represented more than 370 households in court.