Written by Orlinda Naranjo|April 12, 2017|News
On April 12, 2017 NAWJ Texas Chair Judge Orlinda Naranjo, in partnership with the Travis County Women Lawyers Association (TCWLA), University of Texas School of Law’s Williams Wayne Justice Center for Public Law, sponsoring law firms including Chamberlain McHaney and Law Office of Liliana Fores, PLLC, held the 10th annual educational Color of Justice program for Austin’s youth. Approximately 75 primarily minority students from the following schools, East Austin College Preparatory, Akins Middle School and Martin Middle School attended.
The event also featured two panel discussions with speakers sharing their personal experiences and backgrounds, encouraging the students to pursue a career in law. Panelists discussed the importance of personal commitment and perseverance, and the role and importance of lawyers and judges in our society. The first panel, The Color of Justice: Making a Difference, was led by several judges: Justice Eva Guzman, Texas Supreme Court; Judge Karen Sage, 299th Criminal Travis County District Court; and Associate Juvenile Judge Texanna Davis. The panel was moderated by Judge Orlinda Naranjo, 419th Travis County District Court. The second panel, Law as a Career: Preparing the Way, featured professionals Janice E. Joseph, Assistant District Attorney, Travis County Attorney’s Office, Special Victims Unit; Liliana Fores, solo practitioner; Rudolph Metayer, Chamberlain McHaney; Rick Flores, Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins (criminal); Paige Duggins, third year law student; and moderated by Beeral Gupta, Travis County Women Lawyer’s
As part of the program, University of Texas second year law student, Paige Duggins received a $1,000 NAWJ Equal Access to Justice Scholarship for her demonstrated and passionate commitment to the achievement of equality of opportunity and access in the justice system. She shared her interest in the law and her leadership role in developing a “Race and Ethics” program, which was a recipient of the Pro Bono Beacon Award, and her volunteer work with the Youth Court and the INCLUDE Program.
Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has served as a leading voice for jurists dedicated to promoting the judicial role in protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law; engaging in civic education about the importance of a fair judiciary free from influence of special interest or political influence; providing a voice in significant matters that affect the administration of justice; ensuring equal justice and access to the courts for all, with a focus on women, minorities, and other historically disfavored groups and vulnerable populations; promoting the advancement of women at all levels of the judiciary; and providing judicial education on cutting-edge issues. NAWJ was founded over 38 years ago by two visionaries – Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Justice Vaino Spencer – and 100 brave and intrepid women judges committed to forming an organization dedicated to these ideals.
NAWJ members welcomes women and men, trial and appellate, administrative, tribal and military judges, on federal, state and tribal courts at every level of the judiciary, throughout the country, and international tribunals. Members are judges, commissioners, attorneys, law clerks, law students, professors and legal experts of all kinds committed to our mission.