The University of Tulsa College of Law has announced that the Board of Trustees of the Sarkeys Foundationhas approved a grant that will enable the creation of the Terry West Civil Legal Clinic. When it opens later this year, the clinic will join TU Law’s Clinical Education Program housed at the university’s Boesche Legal Clinic.
West is a longtime Shawnee resident with a law practice in downtown.
The Terry West Civil Legal Clinic will be a vital part of the wide-ranging experiential learning TU Law offers. Students who participate in the Terry West Civil Legal Clinic will take on the professional role of counselors, advocates and problem-solvers for clients who face diverse civil legal problems. These might involve, for example, housing, consumer, education, healthcare and issues affecting veterans.
Professional development and community support
“We are extraordinarily grateful for and honored by the generous gift of the Sarkeys Foundation,” says Elizabeth McCormick, the College of Law’s associate dean for experiential learning and associate clinical professor of law. “The foundation’s commitment to partner with TU Law will give our students a powerful opportunity to develop as professionals while also responding to unmet legal needs in our community.”
The executive director of the Sarkeys Foundation, Kim Henry, says that the idea for this civil law clinic came directly from its namesake – Terry West – who received his juris doctor from the TU College of Law in 1966. “Terry developed the idea and had several lengthy discussions with Lyn Entzeroth, the dean of TU’s College of Law. Terry wanted to develop a clinic that would get law students involved with a local underserved or at-risk community, while at the same time providing free legal services to that community. Getting the next generation of attorneys to understand the issues and complications of those living in poverty and giving law students a passion to be community advocates were central to Terry’s vision. Since Terry was the inspiration behind this program, we thought it was only natural to name it after him.”
Dean Entzeroth points out that the TU College of Law “stands committed to providing outstanding clinical education programs to our students.” In particular, she says, “we support programs that provide legal services to members of the Tulsa community whose legal needs might otherwise go unmet. I am deeply thankful to Terry West, an immensely accomplished graduate of our college, and the Sarkeys Foundation for embracing this vision and helping to transform it into reality.”