Welcome to the Civil Liberties & Civil Rights Section of the State Bar of Texas
Our section is comprised of lawyers with an interest in the rights and responsibilities conferred by the United States and Texas Constitutions. Many of our members teach or practice in the area of civil liberties and constitutional law. We invite you to explore this website and consider becoming a member of our section.
January 2022 Section Announcements
Dear CLCR Section members,
I hope your 2022 is off to a good start! 2021 was a busy time for the Civil Liberties & Civil Rights Section. The section co-hosted the 15th Annual Bill of Rights Course: Litigating the Constitution on May 14. Highlights from the 2021 course included a panel discussion on The Notorious RBG’s Legacy on Voting Rights, which included Chief Judge Lee H. Rosenthal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, and a presentation on Religious Liberties U.S. Supreme Court Update by Justice April Farris from the Texas First Court of Appeals.
We were also privileged to have a presentation on First Amendment Challenges to a Mandatory Bar by Thomas S. Leatherbury of Vinson & Elkins LLP, who was also presented with the 2021 Patrick Wiseman Award for Civil Rights.
Additionally, the section co-sponsored a program at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting with the Appellate Law Section that focused on recent developments at the Texas Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court. On September 17, the section also launched a new program, Privacy in 2021, that provided an overview of privacy issues impacting businesses, law firms, and the judiciary in 2021. Our privacy program, which was provided free to registrants, had well over 300 attendees! Highlights from the program included a judicial panel consisting of Judge Xavier Rodriguez from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and Judge Maya Guerra Gamble from the 459th Civil District Court in Travis County.
The section also continued its support of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, which continues to be one of the premiere civil liberties and civil rights journals in the country. In sum, exciting things happened in 2021, and we are excited for what 2022 will bring for the section.
Below are some upcoming events and ways that you can get involved in the section in 2022.
Apply to Join the Section's Council
We are currently accepting applications to the section council.
There are two open positions with terms ending in 2022. Members of the council will meet a minimum of four times per year to vote on matters affecting the section. They are also expected to participate in section business, such as website design, organizing happy hours, and attending section events.
To apply, you must complete the linked application and submit it by February 12, 2022. If you have any questions about the work of the council, please feel free to contact section chair Matthew Kolodoski.
2022 Section Annual Meeting and Bill of Rights Course
May 13, 2022 - Texas Law Center, Austin
The section’s 2022 Annual Membership Meeting and 2022 Bill of Rights Course are scheduled for May 13 at the Texas Law Center in Austin.
The section's membership meeting is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. CDT with the course beginning at 9:00 a.m. More details about both events will be forthcoming.
2022 Wiseman Award Nominations
We are also currently accepting nominations for the 2022 Patrick Wiseman Award for Civil Rights. The Wiseman Award is intended for lawyers who have made a lifetime commitment to civil liberties and civil rights in Texas. Any current section member is eligible to nominate a Texas lawyer (including non-section members) for the Wiseman Award.
Our committee is limited to selecting an award recipient from the pool of candidates that are nominated by our members, so it is crucial that our members participate in this process! Please also include either a copy of the nominee’s resume or a link to an online biography, if available, along with a statement of why the nominee should be recognized with the 2022 Wiseman Award.
Completed nominations should be submitted to Matthew Kolodoski by January 28.
Request for Referrals from UH's Appellate Civil Rights Clinic
The Appellate Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center represents clients and amici in appeals of civil rights claims in federal and state courts. The clinic welcomes referrals from trial counsel and represents (pro bono) clients in appeals throughout the country.
The clinic focuses on § 1983 claims based on police misconduct and unconstitutional prison conditions; cases arising from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; and all other violations of constitutional and civil rights. The clinic does not take criminal or immigration appeals or post-conviction petitions.
Participants are third-year students able and expected to perform all aspects of appellate work, but faculty will provide close supervision, ensure high quality representation, and remain counsel of record.
The clinic director is Adjunct Professor Martin Siegel of the Law Offices of Martin J. Siegel, reachable here or here.
Submission to the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Please consider submitting your work to the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights for consideration, which is a print academic journal published by the University of Texas School of Law and provided to section members. The Journal publishes student notes and articles by academics and practitioners. In addition, the Journal invites authors to submit shorter works, such as book reviews, commentaries, essays, notes, comments, and biographies.
All submissions are reviewed throughout the year on a rolling basis. When considering a submission, the Journal weighs the following factors: the scholarly value of the submission, the topic’s relation to civil liberties and civil rights, and the novelty of the legal arguments or discussion. Importantly, however, the Journal does not veto submissions based on political leanings or personal beliefs of the editing board.
The editorial board retains full editorial license to publish or decline to publish any submission for any reason, which does not need be disclosed.
Please send submissions, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and a cover letter, to the Journal via ExpressO, Scholastica, or by email.
Manuscripts should conform with the most recent version of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, published by the The Columbia Law Review Association, The Harvard Law Review Association, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal Company. As is the standard practice of publications in the United States, the Journal will hold copyrights to the publication.