The University of Texas School of Law is proud to announce that graduating student Kiah DeBolt ’19 has received the inaugural 4Girls Foundation Postgraduate Fellowship in Law, which funds a Texas Law graduate to work with The Safe Alliance (SAFE) in Austin, assisting survivors of child abuse and neglect, sexual assault, domestic violence, and commercial exploitation on a range of criminal and civil issues.
This new postgraduate fellowship is generously supported by the 4Girls Foundation, a Miami-based family foundation that invests in initiatives that give voice to girls and women by providing individuals with opportunities to enrich their lives and supporting organizations committed to strengthening the lives of girls, women, families, and communities. Brittany Perkins Castillo ’13, a member of the 4Girls board, established and managed the direct legal services practice at SAFE after graduating from Texas Law. She is now the chief executive officer of AshBritt Environmental, a U.S. disaster response and recovery services company.
The fellowship will provide DeBolt with an annual salary of $50,000 to work at SAFE for two years. Under the supervision of Nikhita Ved, SAFE’s senior director of legal services, DeBolt will offer SAFE clients direct representation, legal advice, pro se assistance, and community resources and referrals.
At Texas Law, DeBolt has participated in the Environmental Clinic and a broad range of activities through the Mithoff Pro Bono Program, including special education community education, supported decision making clinics, Youth Court, the Expunction Project, and interviews for the Texas Appleseed School to Prison Pipeline Project. She has also been active in the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, the Texas Law Disability Alliance, the Environmental Law Society, the Texas Environmental Law Journal, and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.
DeBolt has interned in Austin with Disability Rights Texas; Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where she focused on environmental justice and fair housing matters; and Texas Appleseed’s Natural Disaster Recovery and Fair Housing Project. In addition, DeBolt has worked for TRLA’s Telephone Access to Justice Program conducting intakes since fall 2017.
“We are deeply grateful to the 4Girls Foundation and to The Safe Alliance for joining forces to create this new postgraduate fellowship,” said Eden Harrington, director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, which administers the fellowship at the law school. “Kiah DeBolt is a very impressive student and we are proud to play a role in helping to launch her public interest career.”