STCL Houston Receives Texas Bar Foundation Grant to Enhance Legal Assistance to Low-Income Houstonians
HOUSTON (June 9, 2017) – The Texas Bar Foundation recently awarded South Texas College of Law Houston a nearly $6,000 grant to enhance the delivery of legal services to low-income Houstonians.
The grant will fund the purchase of seven iPads for use by staff attorneys, law professors, and students in the school’s Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics. The new technology will support clients in the school’s Civil Practice Clinics, which address various legal specialties involving child welfare, basic and advanced family law, guardianship, probate, veterans and estate planning.
The new iPads also will aid students and attorneys working in the school’s Immigration Initiative in their delivery of pro bono service to clients facing a variety of immigration matters, including adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence and pathways to citizenship.
As offsite client intake is a regular part of clinical operations, the new tablets will directly increase the clinical programs’ effectiveness in outreach activities throughout the Houston region. With the iPads, students and attorneys at external events can explain electronic intake forms to clients, make notes, save relevant information into the case database, collect necessary signatures, and even email forms and other pertinent documents to clients.
The iPads will streamline the client intake process by eliminating paper applications and enabling students and staff to remotely access the Clinics’ new case management software. Additionally, service providers can use the tablets to access relevant case documents or information while in the courthouse, thereby enhancing real-time service delivery to clients.
Finally, the new iPads will greatly improve the Clinics’ ability to quickly serve clients during disaster response efforts, such as those following the recent tax day flood of 2016 and the Memorial Day flood of 2015.
“We are grateful to the Texas Bar Foundation for this grant that will significantly boost our ability to quickly, efficiently, and effectively serve Clinic clients,” said Catherine Greene Burnett, vice president, associate dean, and professor of law at South Texas College of Law Houston. “With the new iPads, our students will be able to hurdle common obstacles faced in client intake and community education and outreach. This added technology is a win-win for our clients and the Clinic representatives who come to their aid.”
Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation.