"The program is funded through a grant from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission," Musico writes. "It bills participating counties significantly less than what those counties would have to pay practicing attorneys to work as public defenders."
The student lawyers, who have permission do everything a lawyer does except talk to the judge without a supervising attorney, typically represent clients "charged with misdemeanors and low-level felonies," Musico writes. Steven Chapa, a student participant, told Musico, “I like the fact that I get to help people, and at the same time it’s gonna help me when I open up my law firm." (Read more)