Leaving an LGBT Law Legacy

Derek Mergele was already out of the closet for 20 years when he moved to Lubbock to study at Texas Tech University School of Law.

The openly gay, married law student’s mission was to knock down LGBT stereotypes in the conservative West Texas community and to be so visible that anyone questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity knew that Mergele was a friend and available to talk.

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Leaving an LGBT Law Legacy _ Texas Lawyer

South Texas College of Law Houston Student, Former Undocumented Immigrant Receives ‘Law Student Pro Bono Award’

It’s typical for a child to be afraid of the dark, monsters under the bed or being alone. When she was a kid, law student Maria Ivañez was afraid of deportation.

Her family moved from Venezuela when Ivañez was a child, and for ten years, she lived as an undocumented immigrant. When it came time to graduate from high school, she needed her legal status to qualify for in-state college tuition at the University of Houston.

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PDF: South Texas College of Law Houston Student Former Undocumented Immigrant Receives Law Student Pro Bono Award _ Texas Lawyer

 

Texas Supreme Court Justice Gap Commission Calls for Better Referral System, Training

The Texas Supreme Court has some new ideas about tackling the justice gap that’s keeping poor and middle-income people from being able to afford lawyers.

Those ideas, identified in a Dec. 6 report by the high court’s Commission to Expand Civil Legal Services, include creating a statewide referral system to send modest-means clients to lawyers whom they can afford, supporting legal incubators to teach law students to make a living representing those clients, and launching an online portal for lawyers to bid on representing clients who post about their legal problems.

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PDF: Texas Supreme Court Justice Gap Commission Calls for Better Referral System Training _ Texas Lawyer

Trump’s The Andrew Jackson of Our Time, Says Historian-Partner

Dallas lawyer Talmage Boston’s first brush with presidential history came from his mom’s gift on his seventh birthday: trading cards with photos of presidents and facts about their time in office.

The Winstead shareholder took a much deeper dive into the world of presidential historians in more recent years with a series of more than 30 public interviews with history authors and former government insiders. He’s included those interviews in the book, “Cross-Examining History: A Lawyer Gets Answers from the Experts About Our Presidents,” which came out in September.

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PDF: Trump s The Andrew Jackson of Our Time Says Historian Partner _ Texas Lawyer

Schulte Roth Founder Played Key Role in Real-Life ‘Loving’ Case

Attorney Bill Zabel said the new movie “Loving” accurately portrays the struggles of a white man and a black woman whose U.S. Supreme Court case overturned laws against interracial marriage.

How would a trusts and estates attorney who has represented some of the nation’s richest people know?

Zabel, founding partner of New York-based Schulte Roth & Zabel, wrote the winning brief for the ACLU in Loving v. Virginia, which was decided in 1967 and is now the basis for a film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.

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PDF: Schulte Roth Founder Played Key Role in Real Life Loving Case _ The American Lawyer

Meet the Woman With the Highest Score on the Texas Bar Exam

Lynne Powers is remarkable in more ways than one. Even though she earned her law degree outside the Lone Star State, she snagged the highest score on the Texas bar exam.

She’s also only the third woman in the last 10 years to earn the top marks on the July exam.

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PDF: Meet the Woman With the Highest Score on the Texas Bar Exam _ Texas Lawyer

‘Mother of Animal Law’ Parlayed Her Passion Into a Profession

One of Joyce Tischler’s earliest memories as a child was bringing home an injured bird to nurse back to health. That passion to help animals propelled her to a career with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which she has led for more than three decades.

“It wasn’t a career path when I started down it—there was no animal law,” said Tischler, 63. “We invented it.”

People who know Tischler use words like “pioneer” and “visionary” to describe her. Tischler said she can’t remember who first called her “the Mother of Animal Law,” but the title stuck. Tischler’s peers say it’s an apt moniker for the lawyer who may have penned the first legal article about animal rights, “Rights for Nonhuman Animals: A Guardianship Model for Dogs and Cats,” while still in law school.

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PDF: ‘Mother of Animal Law_ Parlayed Her Passion Into a Profession _ Law