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Fueled by ‘passion to help others’ UH Law Center 3L Allen using legal skills to improve rights of disabled people

University of Houston Law Center 3L Porscha Allen will complete here legal education in May.

University of Houston Law Center 3L Porscha Allen will complete here legal education in May.

Mar. 2, 2020 - With the experience of nine legal internships, four coming within the last year, third-year University of Houston Law Center student Porscha Allen’s goal upon completing her legal education is to become a public interest attorney who can positively alter the lives of her clients. With a deep interest in criminal and civil rights law, Allen currently works at Disability Rights Texas.

“Whether someone doesn’t have the monetary resources necessary to hire an attorney to zealously protect their rights while facing criminal charges, or whether someone has a disability and they aren’t receiving sufficient accommodations to help them, I definitely want to do something that helps these individuals,” Allen said. “I definitely have always had a passion for public service."

This past summer she worked with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Restoring Justice, a non-profit advocacy organization that provides a number of services to people who cannot afford legal representation.

“I believe that a law degree is very versatile, so I never want to put myself in one box,” Allen said. “I have wanted to work in employment law since I heard some information about it during my 1L year, and as a double minority, discrimination in the employment sector was something that really interested me.”

While at Restoring Justice, Allen learned about indigent criminal defense in Harris County, which disparately affects the poor financially. After her 1L year, she served as a legal intern for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

She also maintained an active presence in student organizations, practicing as a student attorney in the Criminal Defense Clinic and for the Juvenile Children's Advocacy Project, (formerly known as the Juvenile Capital Advocacy Project), where she worked to seal the court records of juveniles.

"I was able to assist people that have a low income, if any income at all," Allen said. "For the juveniles specifically, I was able to help them seal something on their records that could potentially harm their future opportunities."

Allen was also previously vice president of the Association of Women in Law, where she served on the board for a year. She also serves on the board of the Advocates and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

As Allen prepares for the bar exam this summer, her hope is to find a position in the public interest sector where she can advocate for the rights of people unable to do so themselves .

“When I was an undergraduate student, my degree was in criminal justice,” said Allen, a graduate of University of North Texas. “I felt like I could make a difference by doing something with the criminal justice degree. But I could make a much greater impact by getting a legal education, and that’s what propelled me to go to the Law Center.”