TU College of Law receives $1 million endowment for legal services clinic

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bill Lobeck and Kathy Taylor to fund the establishment of a legal services clinic at The University of Tulsa College of Law for at-risk families


At-risk families in Tulsa will soon have increased access to legal services thanks to a $1 million endowment from Bill Lobeck and Kathy Taylor, presented Friday, April 19, to The University of Tulsa College of Law. The fund will establish the Lobeck Taylor Family Advocacy Clinic.

“Bill Lobeck and Kathy Taylor have long been generous supporters of many worthy causes throughout our community and at The University of Tulsa, and the gift we’re announcing today is further evidence of their commitment to our city,” said TU President Steadman Upham.

The endowment will establish the Lobeck Taylor Family Advocacy Clinic, a program within the Boesche Legal Clinic that will provide legal services to at-risk families in the Tulsa area.

“Like Boesche, the new clinic will offer assistance to some of the most underserved and underrepresented among us – a noble effort, indeed,” Upham said. “From strengthening education, to eliminating domestic violence, to a vibrant support of the arts, Bill and Kathy have led by example in their dedication to creating better lives for all Tulsans.”

For more than a decade, TU College of Law’s Boesche Legal Clinic has provided law students with opportunities to learn by representing clients under the supervision of faculty members within the law school.

“The Boesche Legal Clinic fills an essential need in the Tulsa community by representing at-risk individuals and families,” Taylor said. “We look forward to expanding those services to families in Tulsa, especially women and children, who are underrepresented in the legal system.”

The clinic functions as a law firm, representing real clients with real problems. It is both a legal service provider and a class for which TU Law students receive academic credit. The clinic anticipates working with a number of social service organizations, including Family & Children's Services, Women in Recovery, and Domestic Violence Intervention Services.

“This endowed gift will allow our students the opportunity to continue to make a difference in the lives of Tulsans who are in need, while also gaining invaluable legal experience,” said Janet Levit, Dean and Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair of The University of Tulsa College of Law. “We are extremely grateful to Bill and Kathy for their continued support of our university and the Tulsa community.”

During their time in the clinic, students explore and begin to develop the fundamental professional skills involved in practicing law. Students gain experience interviewing and counseling clients; negotiating with other attorneys; case planning; conducting factual investigations; drafting documents; examining and preparing witnesses; working with federal, state, and local government agencies; and providing written and oral advocacy and community education workshops.

“Students at the Boesche clinic have the opportunity to learn from the diverse perspectives and experiences of their clients,” said Betsy McCormick, director of the Boesche Legal Clinic. “For many of them, this is one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences they have in law school.”

Professor Anna Carpenter will join the TU College of Law faculty this summer to develop the clinic. Carpenter has served as clinical teaching fellow and supervising attorney for The Community Justice Project at Georgetown University Law Center.

(From left:  Professor Anna Carpenter; Dean Janet Levit; Bill Lobeck; Kathy Taylor; President Steadman Upham; Elizabeth McCormick, Boesche Legal Clinic Director)

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