UT earns spot on community service honor roll

Burhanuddin Calcuttawala

The Corporation for National and Community Service has recognized UT on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for meaningful service programs that benefit students and their community.

UT is one of over 500 institutions named in the general category of the honor roll for effectual community service. Some of the service initiatives mentioned by the school were the law school’s Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program and McCombs’ accounting practicum class, the latter allowing students to help Austin residents file taxes during the tax season. To achieve this honor, the University also allocated the statutory minimum of 7 percent of their Federal Work-Study funds toward community service jobs, according to the Corporation’s website. 

The University’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement cited the Pro Bono Program as one of the initiatives that helped the University earn a spot on the honor roll.

“[The] Pro Bono Program empowers students to address unmet legal needs in the community,” Jessica Sinn, communications coordinator for the Division, wrote in a news release. “Students get the opportunity to explore diverse areas of substantive law and develop practical lawyering skills. The program also introduces students to the legal profession’s tradition and ethical obligation of pro bono service, and helps students incorporate a commitment to service into their professional identities.”

Andrea Marsh, director of the Pro Bono Program, said the students are involved in a variety of clinics and partnerships, including ones that help people with criminal records, transgender men and women, and students with disabilities because of the efforts of student leaders and participants.

“The Pro Bono Scholars Program really is a unique element of Texas Law’s Pro Bono Program,” Marsh said. “We are able to run these large, assisted … pro bono clinics because we have really involved student leaders who take on significant management responsibilities in order to create pro bono opportunities for their fellow students.”