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Full-Court Press

Real clients. Real cases. Real outcomes.

September 26, 2016

UT is home to the longest-running legal clinical program in the nation. Since 1947, the College of Law’s legal clinics have helped clients in need and provided students with faculty-supervised opportunities to learn by doing.

Two of those students recently had the rare opportunity to argue two cases before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Alexandra Wolff and Trey Neal of UT Law’s Appellate Litigation Clinic prepared for nearly a year, supported by Professor Lucy Jewel, Adjunct Professor Wade Davies, and classmates Cameron Kapperman, Patrick Morrison, and Sara Ohlman.

Wolff argued an immigration appeal on behalf of a young Honduran man seeking asylum from deadly gang violence in a country that has been dubbed the murder capital of the world.

“The stress and anxiety of representing a client facing deportation and potentially death . . . was a completely new experience,” Wolff said. “I genuinely believed my client’s story and wanted to do everything I could to ensure his safety.”

Neal argued a very technical habeas corpus case asking whether the client’s post-conviction motion had been properly filed.

Four months later, the court ruled in their clients’ favor in both cases, ordering the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider the asylum request, and reversing and remanding the lower court decision in the habeas corpus case.

“I am so proud of Sara and Trey’s tireless work,” Jewel said. “This is just one example of how the Legal Clinic empowers students to be lawyers, to impact the law, and to produce just outcomes for underserved citizens who would normally not receive quality representation.”

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