South Texas College of Law Houston

South Texas College of Law Houston

Rockwell Fund has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with South Texas College of Law Houston (STCL), a private, nonprofit law school founded in 1923. STCL’s mission is to provide an accessible legal education, distinguished by its excellence, to a diverse body of students committed to serving their communities and the profession.

Since 1965, Rockwell has funded STCL projects ranging from scholarships to library expansion. In 2001, Rockwell approached the school with a proposal to expand STCL’s General Civil Clinic (now named the Civil Practice Clinics). The Clinic traditionally focused on indigent Social Security, disability, and family law issues. Rockwell’s support enabled the Clinic to provide legal assistance to battered or homeless women.

Over time, the Clinic has expanded to reach other populations in need such as the homeless, intimate partner violence survivors, youth aging out of protective services, families with special education needs or guardianship challenges, and veterans.

In more recent years, efforts at the Clinic have diversified in exciting ways. The Clinic has added three Fellows to its staff to further its mission of helping the working poor and vulnerable populations with access to legal needs. These Fellows are newly licensed lawyers who spend up to three years in service with the Clinic. Fellows not only serve clients, but they also teach a class and support a student cohort in working on special issues like guardianship, public benefits, family law, and supports for those aging out of the child protective services system. The clinic also created intensive pro bono student opportunities designed to address special-needs populations. In addition to fellows and student engagement, the Clinic has also expanded into community education, offering specialized legal training on important public interest law areas like advocating for foster youth and understanding special education services in schools.

Rockwell Fund’s investment in the Clinic’s expansion now totals over $2 million, with the Clinic handling over 150 cases.