Law Clinic Receives Community Partner Award

February 21, 2017

Texas A&M University School of Law Family Law and Benefits Clinic received the Community Partner award from the Tarrant County branch of the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans (TLTV) on Jan. 26, 2017.

During the 2017 Tarrant County Bar Foundation Annual Meeting, clinic attorneys Lynn Rodriguez and Karon Rowden accepted the award on behalf of the clinic.

TLTV works closely with the law school’s Veterans Project and Family Law and Benefits Clinic to assist veterans, primarily low income, in Tarrant County. Aggie Law also sponsored TLTV as a ‘Soldier of Justice’ at the Bar Foundation’s 2015 Advocates of Justice Luncheon and as a ‘Champion of Justice’ at the 2016 Advocates of Justice Luncheon.

Karon RowdenKaron Rowden, Clinic Attorney

Rowden said these efforts are made possible through grant funds from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF), which started the Veterans Project. She said neither the law school nor TLTV would have funding to help veterans if it weren’t for the TAJF.

“Giving each of these organizations funding helps us collaborate to help our veterans,” she said.

Rodriguez, who joined the Veterans Project in Jan. 2016, said the effort is dedicated to helping improve the lives of veterans through legal and non-legal means. For Rodriguez, there is no better feeling than to know she’s helped those who have served our country.

“Veterans come to us with many issues, some not requiring legal intervention,” she said. “Sometimes calling on a veteran’s behalf can solve a problem that is overwhelming him or her.”

Lynn RodriguezLynn Rodriguez, Clinic Attorney

Rodriguez said she decided to join the project because she has many family and friends who are veterans. Closest to home, her son-in-law is a 15-year member of the Air Force. Rodriguez’ father also fought in the Korean War.

“I am grateful for my job and for the opportunity to give back to those who have essentially given more than any of us has ever given,” she said.  

Rowden agrees. She said prior to the project, she had no idea about the issues confronting veterans.

“When I realized the enormities of what some of them are facing just to keep from being homeless, I was thankful that I could help in some small part; I hope to keep every veteran I assist off the streets,” she said.

Rodriguez and Rowden were both surprised, but honored, to receive the award.

“I never think that what I do rates an award,” Rodriguez said. “Karon was instrumental in making the TLTV connection; I just sat on her coattails.”

“I don’t do this for recognition, but of course it feels good when someone gives me a pat on the back and says ‘nice job’ or ‘thank you,’” Rowden said. “When I help a veteran and they thank me, I say, ‘It’s the least I can do for what you have done for our country.’”

Learn more about the Family Law and Benefits Clinic