|Office Manager/Legal Assistant (2001)
Prior to joining the Administrative Staff at Tech Law, Elma worked for Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (formerly West Texas Legal Services). She was a legal secretary from 1979 thru 1989 and the Coordinator for the Private Attorney Involvement Program from 1989 thru 2001. During that time she was instrumental in implementing the pro bono legal clinics throughout the community recruiting members of the Lubbock County Bar Association to volunteer their time and efforts to counsel and/or represent low-income individuals in the local community. She developed strong partnerships with local social service agencies, the legal community, and all specialty bar associations.
Elma began employment with Texas Tech University School of Law Clinical Programs in October 2001 as office manager and legal assistant. In her capacity she has assisted the law school in partnering with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, the Internal Revenue Service SPEC division, and various social service agencies. She provides ongoing support to clinic faculty and oversees the day to day operations of the clinical programs to ensure that it operates an efficient and effective clinical program.
In addition to being a founding member of the TTU Latino/Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association, Elma is currently a member of the following organizations having served in various capacities: Coalition of Community Assistance Volunteers; Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Pro Bono Advisory Committee; South Plains College Paralegal Studies Advisory Committee; West Texas Paralegal Association; and National Association of Pro Bono Professionals. She is a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and serves as a Eucharistic Minister. She has been a former member of the Mexican American Bar Association, Texas Access to Justice Commission, and American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
She has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including, but not limited to: West Texas Paralegal Association 2009 Paralegal of the Year Award; Coalition of Community Assistance Volunteers - 2009 Site Coordinator of the Year Award; Hispanic Association of Women - 2007 Hispanas Inspiradoras Award; 2007 Texas Tech University Quality Service Award; and 2004 YWCA Women of Excellence Government Award.
She has developed workshops and/or presented at various conferences (i.e. Rocky Mountain Regional Clinical Conference, American Bar Association/National Legal Aid and Defender Association Equal Justice Conference, and Statewide Private Attorney Involvement Coordinator's Workshops) since 1999.