AUSTIN, Texas – The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health announces Jemila Lea as their new Policy Fellow. A Texas native, Lea joins the foundation after receiving her juris doctor from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in the spring of 2013. Prior to law school, Lea earned her bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in legal studies from Texas Woman’s University.

Interested in mental health and child advocacy, Lea interned during her time in law school with the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council’s Office of the Mental Health Advocate, where she assisted with representation and monitoring of defendants who had been acquitted with a plea of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI). Additionally, internships with the Honorable Brent Carr in Tarrant County and the Office of the Public Defender Flint Judicial Circuit supplemented her  knowledge of mental health policy with valuable experience in a legal setting. A dedicated child advocate, Lea has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in her home county of Tarrant, Texas, and received Excellence in Pro Bono recognition during her law school graduation.

As a policy fellow, Lea will continue policy work at the Texas capitol initiated by previous fellows and program officers on behalf of the foundation, advocating for systemic change in mental health policy in Texas.

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research, and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.