2017 Fellowships Awarded

Organizing more than 50 events annually, and providing professional and law-related education to more than 4,000 public officials and employees, the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center (TMCEC) is one of the largest publically funded judicial branch education organizations in the United States.

Texas Municipal Courts Fellowships are awarded by TMCEC in legislative years to law students and recent law school graduates who demonstrate academic and extracurricular excellence, a commitment to public service, and an interest in learning about the Texas judicial system, criminal law, and the role of local trial courts of limited jurisdiction.

Under the supervision of the TMCEC General Counsel and Director of Education, Fellows conduct legal research, interpret recent legislation, and draft summaries of new procedural and substantive laws of interest to municipal judges, court personnel, city attorneys, and peace officers. In addition to being awarded a stipend, recipients are encouraged to explore new and challenging legal issues stemming from recent legislation and to make contributions to TMCEC’s journal and other publications.

TMCEC is happy to announce that Mark Denman and Robert Avila have been selected as Texas Municipal Courts Fellows.

Mr. Denman is a second-year Juris Doctor candidate at St. Mary’s University School of Law. During his first year, he was a semi-finalist in the Linda and Dave Schlueter 2017 First Year Moot Court Competition.  He previously managed crews for a high rise buildings maintenance company, and helped open a boutique grocery store in Dallas. After working in the private sector for several years, he was accepted into St. Edward’s University where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and minor in English Writing and Rhetoric. During this time, he also served as an intern for the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Avila is a second-year Juris Doctor candidate at Texas Tech University School of Law, with an interest in public policy and international law.  He is the Executive Lead Articles Editor for The Journal of Biosecurity, Biosafety and Biodefense Law at Texas Tech, and works as a writer for the campus newspaper, The Daily Toreador. He has worked previously as an intern for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, and as an assistant for the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute of Law and Public Affairs. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing and in Criminal Justice.

TMCEC was founded in 1984 by the Texas Municipal Courts Association. TMCEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation primarily funded by a grant administered by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from public funds appropriated by the Legislature to the Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund. Serving more than 36 percent of the Texas judicial system, TMCEC provides: (1) judicial education, technical assistance, and the necessary resource material to assist municipal judges, court support personnel (i.e., court clerks, court administrators, bailiffs, city marshals, juvenile case managers, interpreters), and city attorneys in obtaining and maintaining professional competence in the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice; and (2) information to the public about the Texas judicial system and laws relating to public safety and quality of life in Texas communities.