Meijken Westenskow is the Assistant Director of Academic Success and Bar Readiness at the UNT Dallas College of Law. Ms. Westenskow teaches a number of lawyering skills courses and counsels individual students to strengthen academic skills and prepare them for the bar exam and legal practice.
From 2009 to 2018, Meijken Westenskow worked as a staff attorney and Legal Program Director for Mosaic Family Services, Inc. (Mosaic). Mosaic provides a range of services to survivors of human rights abuses, including refugees, survivors of domestic violence, and survivors of human trafficking. Ms. Westenskow provided family and immigration law services to Mosaic’s clients and oversaw the agency’s Legal Program. In 2017, Ms. Westenskow received the Patrick Wiseman Award from the State Bar of Texas Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section for her civil rights work in Texas.
MARCH 2018 – PRESENT
PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE AND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS AND BAR READINESS/UNT DALLAS COLLEGE OF LAW, DALLAS, TEXAS
- Lawyering Fundamentals, Legal Methods, Academic Success Assistant Program, Legal Skills & Analysis, MPT Special Topics
- Oversee the Lawyering Fundamentals course, a 2-week pre-semester course for all incoming 1L students. Update and revise curricular content, train faculty, and oversee logistics for the course and the College of Law Orientation.
- Oversee the Academic Success Assistant Program, in which upper-level students lead small-group workshops for 1L students that focus on legal analysis, critical reading, legal writing, etc. Prepare exercises for the workshops and train the teaching assistants to work with 1L students.
- Received excellent student and faculty evaluations.
Academic Success and Bar Readiness
- Provide one-on-one and small group support to students seeking to advance their study strategies and enhance academic performance.
- Collaborate with faculty to advance student learning and promote academic success strategies across the curriculum. Present to faculty regarding student performance and bar exam data.
- Lead bar-readiness workshops for students preparing to take the bar exam.
- Created extensive study manuals that review and summarize the most frequently tested principles from the 2010-2019 Texas Bar Examinations.
- Academic Standards Committee
- Scholarship Committee
- Appointments Committee
FEBRUARY 2009 – MARCH 2018
LEGAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR/MOSAIC FAMILY SERVICES, DALLAS, TEXAS
Legal Program Director
- Recruited, trained and managed attorneys, BIA Accredited Representatives, and Legal Assistants. The Legal Program consisted of 4-6 staff.
- Screened over 200 client referrals each year to assess eligibility and assign cases to attorneys.
- Managed and trained 5-12-pro bono volunteers and 6-14 law student interns annually.
- Assessed and created program policies and represented the Legal Program within the agency, among local advocacy coalitions, and within task force organizations.
- Drafted 4-6 grant proposals annually and prepared reports for local, state, and federal grantors.
- Conducted 2-5 outreach and training events each year. Organized and oversaw pro bono clinics.
- Prepared outreach and training materials for pro bono attorneys and legal interns.
- Provided 50-70 legal consultations each year to counsel victims of domestic violence and human trafficking regarding legal options, strategies, and safety plans.
- Maintain a caseload of 180-200 cases and represent clients in proceedings before EOIR and USCIS (VAWA, U Nonimmigrant, T Nonimmigrant, Removal of Conditions, DACA, SIJS, Adjustment of Status, Naturalization, consular processing, and removal defense) and in family law proceedings in Dallas, Collin and Tarrant Counties (divorce, conservatorship, child support, protective orders, annulment, declaratory judgments and UCCJEA concerns).
- Recipient of the 2017 Wiseman Award from the Individuals Rights & Responsibilities Section of the State Bar of Texas, awarded to one Texas lawyer each year for outstanding contributions to the civil rights and liberties of Texans.
SEPTEMBER 2006 – FEBRUARY 2009
CONTRACT ATTORNEY/ORBITZ WORLDWIDE, SPECIAL COUNSEL, AND COUNSEL ON CALL, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS AND DALLAS, TEXAS
- Managed a team of four attorneys in a review of the Orbitz Worldwide contract database to complete the assignment or replication of over 300 contracts after Orbitz’s initial public offering.
- Aided in contract negotiations and provided legal counsel to Orbitz managers and salespeople.
- Created advertising guides, contract templates, and records retention resources for over 900 Orbitz Worldwide employees in the United States and abroad.
- Performed document reviews in relation to antitrust, contract, securities, and insurance litigation on behalf of several firms in Chicago, Illinois and Dallas, Texas.
NOVEMBER 2005 – AUGUST 2006
ASSOCIATE COUNSEL/BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS, WASHINGTON, D.C.
- Reviewed submitted evidence related to veterans’ previously denied claims for Veterans Administration benefits and drafted de novo legal decisions on behalf of a Veterans Law Judge.
JURIS DOCTORATE/GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.
- 3.45 GPA (Top third); 2003-2004 Dean’s List
- Legal Research and Writing Law Fellow, August 2004-May 2005
- Clinic Participant, International Human Rights for Women, September-December 2003
- 2005 Georgetown Public Service Award for work with the Equal Justice Foundation
BACHELOR OF ARTS/BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, PROVO, UTAH
- 3.71 GPA, Major in International Development, Minors in Near Eastern Studies and Arabic
- Teaching Assistant, Religion and Near Eastern Studies
- Editor, CultureGrams
- Study Abroad in Jerusalem and Damascus, Syria
- THE TEXAS ESSAY EXAM FINAL STUDY GUIDE, UNT Dallas College of Law
- PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE STUDY MANUAL, UNT Dallas College of Law
- Immigration Bans – Where Are We Now? State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, June 2018
- PRO BONO TRAINING MANUAL, Mosaic Family Services
PRESENTATIONS AND RECOGNITIONS
- Recipient, 2017 Wiseman Award, Individuals Rights & Responsibilities Section, State Bar of Texas
- It Takes a Village: Establishing Working Relationships with Doctrinal Faculty, Southwest Consortium of Academic Success Professionals Conference, Lubbock, Texas, March 2020
- Scrapbooking for Law Students: A Hands-On Approach to Rule Synthesis and Application, Association of Academic Support Educators Conference, Seattle, Washington, May 2019
- ASSESS YOURSELF! Collaborating with 1Ls on Effective Self-Evaluation, Southwest Consortium of Academic Success Professionals Conference, San Antonio, Texas, March 2019
- Immigration Bans – Where Are We Now? 2018 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas, June 2018
- Labor Trafficking in Texas, North Texas Anti-Trafficking Task Force, Dallas, Texas, December 2017
- Trafficking Issues in Texas, Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable, Office for Access to Justice, Department of Justice, Washington, DC, October 2017
- Keynote speaker, SABA Dallas Benefit Gala, Dallas, Texas, October 2017
- Domestic Issues Facing Cultural Populations, Lawyers Against Domestic Violence Committee, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Dallas Bar Association, Dallas, Texas, October 2017 [panelist]
- Changes to the I-918 Supplement B Certification Form, Arlington Police Department, Arlington, Texas, June 2017
- Case Study: U.S. v. Murra, North Texas Anti-Trafficking Task Force, Ft. Worth, Texas, December 2016
- Immigration Options for Victims of Crime: Focus on Trafficking Panel, Conference on Crimes Against Women, April 2016 [panelist]
- Women as Catalyst for Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development, Hunt Institute, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, April 2015
- Plugged Into DFW: Mosaic Family Services, CBS Dallas Local News, Dallas, Texas, March 2015
- Working with Law Enforcement: Perspectives from a Social Services Agency, 2011 Freedom Network Conference, Washington, DC, March 2011
- Career panel presentations at Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M, and University of North Texas Dallas (January 2016, April 2016, November 2016, April 2017, April 2018)
- Pro bono training presentations: In-house, September 2015 and November 2016; Holland & Knight, June 2016 and April 2017; Bank of America, October 2017; Kane, Russell, Coleman & Logan, November 2017; Baker & Botts, December 2017; Dallas Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section, May 2016; Sabre, October 2016 and September 2014; Capital One, September 2014