Aggie Law Students Participate in National Adoption Day

December 12, 2016

NAD2016-kim1L Katherine Kim (at right) proves-up the adoption for the Brose family

Fourteen Texas A&M University School of Law students assisted attorneys with prove-ups and case documents for National Adoption Day (NAD) in Tarrant County on Nov. 18.

Hands-on Real-world Experience
The Aggie law students participating in National Adoption Day gained significant hands-on training in family court adoption proceedings while donating valuable pro bono service hours to the community. The students, standing with the children and their new families, proved-up the adoptions in front of the judge. During the fall semester, they prepared the legal adoption documents under the supervision of mentor lawyers.

Seventy children were adopted into 45 forever families at the Tarrant County Family Law Center in downtown Fort Worth. During this annual event, courts and attorneys waive all fees to consummate adoptions for dozens of foster children. Texas A&M University School of Law was among the eight organizations that sponsored Tarrant County NAD.

NAD logoN​ational ​Adoption ​Day is a collective, national effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care who wait ​for an average of four years for permanent and loving families. The event, now in its 17th year, is held in nearly 400 cities across the country.

Shawna Smith, Student Affairs Program Coordinator, said NAD is one her favorite events and is always an emotional one.

NAD 2016 Martin1L Emma Martin (in center, with white nametag) with the adopting family in front of the judge

“I am proud of our students that participated in this event and I’m overjoyed by all of the love and happiness that filled each courtroom,” she said.

The joyful atmosphere included costumed superhero characters and volunteer “caped crusaders” greeting the children. Smith said the kids were very excited to see superheroes walking around. Teddy bears, many collected by students and donated by the Office of Student Affairs, decorated the courtrooms and were given to the children.

Aggie Law students volunteering for the 2016 NAD in Tarrant County were:

   1L Callie Dobson
   1L Katherine Kim
   1L Emma Martin
   2L Jonathan Berry
   2L Jessica Holtman
   2L Mehreen Medlock
   2L Michael Vinson
 2L Sarah Young
 2L Elizabeth Anderson
 2L Kyle Millsap
 3L Lauren Bishop
 3L Kyle Corgan
 3L Jordan Hartshorn
 3L Kimbell Kesling
NAD-2016-Students Kimbell Kesling, Kyle Corgan, Jessica Holtman, Callie Dobson, Michael Vinson and Sarah Young

Tarrant County Family Law District Court judges and associate judges for the cases included Judge Nancy Berger (Texas Wesleyan University School of Law [TWU Law] ’94), Judge Jesus Nevarez, Jr. (TWU Law ’01), Associate Judge Lindsay DeVos (TWU Law ’03), and Associate Judge Cynthia Mendoza (TWU Law ’03).

Learn more about the Tarrant County National Adoption Day ​event with these media links:

NAD 2016 collage

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law; photos by Doug Thurman, Texas A&M University School of Law