Samantha Brown graduated with her degree in Criminal Justice from UTSA and while she was pursuing her degree, she became a member of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma (APS). She is in her second year of law school at Texas A&M School of Law. At UTSA, Brown interned with the Bexar County District Clerk’s Office – Juvenile Division. While working there, she realized juvenile delinquency was attributed to issues juveniles faced in the home undergoing neglect and abuse, which forced the state to take them away from their homes. Their legal troubles came from their traumatic experiences. Brown now works at Texas A&M’s Legal Clinic (Family and Veterans Advocacy Clinic). Most of the clients she works with now are victims of domestic violence. Brown credits the UTSA Criminal Justice program for helping her understand and navigate the many complicated criminal and civil issues.
Samantha spent the summer interning with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid’s Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault Project. She assisted victims of domestic violence escape their abusive partners. She handled mostly divorce and Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) cases, but she did legal research regarding immigration and employment cases.
“My trip to Spain also helped me keep up to date on my Spanish and reminded me of the value of understanding the culture of my clients,” said Brown. “UTSA’s Criminal Justice Department built a strong foundation for the difficult work of assisting victims in a civil court.”
At the legal clinic, Brown drafts court documents and maintains communication with her clients on a regular basis. She conducts interviews and evaluates whether a potential client has a case the clinic can handle.
“My experience of balancing APS with my studies in undergrad has helped me manage my time better in law school, so I am able to embrace opportunities like the clinic while still keep up with my studies,” stated Brown.
“Most of my clients are victims of domestic violence, and my work with the clinic has continued to feed my drive to continue down the path UTSA started me on. I have discovered at A&M that I work well with adult female victims and hope to tailor my legal work to benefit those victims and their children.”