Austin Bar Foundation & Austin LGBT Bar Association gives two $3,000 scholarships to Texas law students

Austin Bar Foundation & Austin LGBT Bar Association gives two $3,000 scholarships to Texas law students

October reception to raise more funds for students committed to LGBT legal issues

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The Austin LGBT Bar Association is proud to congratulate the recipients of the Austin Bar Foundation's second annual LGBT Scholarship, Mr. Derek Mergele-Rust of the Texas Tech University School of Law and Mr. Adam Greenup of the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law.  The scholarship, administered by the Foundation and fundraised for by the Association, gives $3,000 to two law students at Texas law schools with demonstrated commitment to the LGBT community or LGBT legal issues. 

Both recipients were honored June 22 during the State Bar of Texas' Annual Meeting at a reception hosted by the LGBT Law Section of the State Bar. The honorable Judge Tonya Parker, 116th Civil District Court - Dallas County, presented the students with their scholarships.
 
Adam Greenup graduated from the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law this May.  Also a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word, prior to law school, Adam was a policy staffer in San Antonio city government, most recently serving as the city's first official LGBT liaison under Mayor Julián Castro.  In this role, he was a key point-person in providing domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian employees, and updating he city's non-discrimination ordinance to include protections for the LGBTQ community.  During law school, he was co-founder and president of the school's LGBTQ affinity group, which hosted numerous lectures and, in partnership with the Dallas Resource Center, created LGBTQ law clinic opportunities, including providing gender marker changes for transgender clients, reversing dishonorable discharges issued under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and crafting emancipation petitions for homeless LGBTQ youth.  Adam was also active with the Hispanic Law Students Association, winning the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association's annual scholarship. Along with his husband, Adam will next move to Baton Rouge for a clerkship with the Honorable James Brady, federal Middle District of Louisiana.
 
Derek Mergele-Rust recently graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law, where he founded the school's Lavender Law Student Bar Association.  The organization hosted a series of impactful, well-attended events, including inclusion of LGBTQ alumni on the school's annual diversity panel, an ally workshop co-hosted by the Tech Counseling Center, a campus-wide lecture on same-sex marriage post-Obergefell v. Hodges covered by local media, a screening of "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" with panelists Judy and Dennis Shepard, and guest lectures from Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez and ACLU LGBT & HIV project attorney Carl Charles.  Derek also created a pro bono project which successfully helped transgender clients with gender marker amendments. Derek also began work on creating a scholarship for LGBT students. With support from his husband and two teenage daughters, Derek hopes to open a law practice focused on civil rights and LGBTQ law.
 

*** Donate to our scholarship!
You can donate to the scholarship on the Austin Bar Foundation website at https://austinbarfoundation.givingfuel.com/austin-bar-foundation-fellows... by selecting the "I would like to designate my donation to the LGBT Scholarship Fund" button.

 

Image caption: Derek Mergele-Rust (left) and Adam Greenup at the LGBT Law Section reception at the State Bar of Texas annual meeting in Dallas. 

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