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Firm Helps JRF Form Groundbreaking Partnership With Texas A&M Law School

April 15, 2024

McGuireWoods assisted the Justice Reform Foundation (JRF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system, in its groundbreaking partnership with Texas A&M Law School to open a criminal defense clinic. The clinic will provide pro bono defense for individuals facing criminal charges.

Through this collaboration, for three years the JRF will fund a staff attorney position — the Justice Reform Foundation practitioner-in-residence — to lead the criminal defense clinic at Texas A&M Law School and oversee students’ legal work. Primarily serving Tarrant County, Texas, the largest county in the United States without a public defenders’ office, the clinic also will assist individuals in neighboring counties that lack affordable legal representation. Through the clinic, law students will receive practical experience handling real-world misdemeanor criminal cases.

Beyond educational contributions, the JRF practitioner-in-residence will lead development of the Justice Reform Foundation Clean Slate Program. Aligned with the Texas Clean Slate Coalition, the program focuses on record sealing and expungement to dismantle barriers to opportunity for those affected by the justice system.

McGuireWoods provided wide-ranging support to JRF in establishing the partnership, including assistance with compliance and organization, insight and advice on opening the clinic, and other operational matters.

Dallas associate Addison Fontein led the firm’s role in this effort.