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Law Fellow (Dedman School of Law)

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

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Faculty Jobs
Professional Fields, Law & Legal Studies
Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. The University’s entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world – and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Department:

The School of Law at SMU was established in February 1925. Highlighting the celebration of its 75th year, SMU School of Law was named Dedman School of Law in 2001 in honor of Dallas benefactors Nancy and Robert H. Dedman, Sr., and their family. With more than 15,000 graduates, SMU Dedman School of Law has a national and international reputation of training prominent lawyers in both law and business. As the first law school in Dallas, we are fortunate to be in a city with a thriving economy, many corporate headquarters, and an outstanding legal community. SMU Dedman School of Law continues to strive to develop the next century of leaders.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Fellow will report to and collaborate with the Director of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic to serve the legal needs of youth as they age out or have aged out of the child welfare system. ("Youth").  The Fellow will conduct "Know Your Rights" sessions with the Youth, develop and present trainings for other stakeholders serving this population, and serve as a mentor for pro bono attorneys volunteering in connection with this work of the Clinic.  The Fellow will organize and oversee intake/advice clinics for the Youth, provide advice, counseling, brief services and representation to the Youth, and engage Clinic students in this work, including supervising the students' podcast "Aged Out: The Stories that Built Us."  The Fellow will also be responsible for maintaining data for and preparing annual reports to our funders.  The Fellow will also assist with handling (as back up to the director) the Clinic's foster care caseload.

Essential Functions:

    Legal and practical analysis of complex issues affecting Aged Out Youth.

    Speaking/presenting to individuals and groups.

    Being a legal mentor to pro bono attorneys, including developing and maintaining resource materials for them.

    Develop and maintain relationships within the legal community and with advocacy organizations serving Aged Out Youth. 

    Manage new and ongoing cases during the school year, the summer, and student breaks, ensuring the work is done in a timely and professional manner.

    Mentoring student attorneys and assist in the Director's teaching of the classroom component of the Clinic.

Education and Experience:

A Juris Doctor is required.

A minimum of three (3) years of experience is required. Work as a practicing litigation attorney; such work under an associate's state bar license in a law school legal clinic or such work during law school will be considered.  Practice experience in child welfare law is required and experience in general family law area is preferred. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

The successful candidate must have a demonstrated interest and experience in child welfare law and  a passion for serving this vulnerable population.  Experience in the legal issues surrounding education advocacy, social security benefits, municipal court proceedings,  and consumer issues would be valued. The successful candidate should be a self-starter who is collaborative and enjoys building professional relationships. Candidate must be a member of the Texas State Bar or eligible to waive into the Texas Bar. Candidate with experience in Microsoft suite, client management and virtual meeting platforms is required.

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills.  

Physical and Environmental Demands:

    Sit for long periods of timeCarry/lift 25 lbs.Bend
Deadline to Apply:

Open until filled. 

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Primary Location: USA-TX-Dallas
Job: Compliance, Risk and Legal
Organization: Dedman School of Law
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day Job
Employee Status: Regular
Job Type: Staff
Job Level: Individual Contributor
Travel: Yes, 25 % of the Time
Job Posting: Dec 19, 2022, 10:22:27 AM


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