The Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, Jr. Endowed Presidential Scholarship

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Thank you for your support of

The Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, Jr. Endowed Presidential Scholarship,

with gifts made in memory of

Kurt A. Schwarz, Texas Law Class of 1990.


Kurt A. Schwarz passed away on September 22, 2022 at the age of 65.

Kurt accomplished so much during his lifetime. He was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA before going on to Amherst College where he received a B.A. summa cum laude in 1979. While at Amherst, he was Phi Beta Kappa and received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Political Science. Next he took his talents to Princeton University, where he received an M.A. from the Department of Politics in 1981, and was honored as a National Science Foundation Fellow. In 1990, he received a J.D. with honors from The University of Texas School of Law. His accomplishments at UT were numerous, including being the Executive Editor of the Texas Law Review, receiving the Law Day Award in Labor Law, the Dean’s Achievement awards in Jurisprudence and Professional Responsibility, and receiving Outstanding Note and Outstanding Editor Awards from the Texas Law Review Association.

He took his talents to the legal profession where he had a lustrous career, including:

  • Partner at Jackson Walker, LLP 2001-2017
  • Associate and Partner at Cohan, Simpson, Cowlishaw & Wulff, LLP 1991-2001
  • Law Clerk for The Honorable Barefoot Sanders, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 1990-1991
  • Associate Professor at The University of Texas Department of Political Science where he taught classes on American Politics and State and Political Government from 1985-1987
  • Lecturer at Princeton University Department of Politics from 1983-1985 where he supervised undergraduate research projects and taught classes on Soviet Politics, Political Theory, and Political Leadership

He was honored to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Federal Residential Centers from 2015-2016. He was appointed to that position by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to lead a committee of experts in investigating conditions in detention centers housing asylum seekers and to advise how they may be improved. After leading inspections of all detention centers, he supervised the drafting of a 165-page report with dozens of recommendations, all of which were accepted by the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, he served on the ACLU of Texas Board of Directors from 2008-2017, serving as that Board’s President from 2012-2017.

Kurt was known for his love of rowing, cooking, The Boston Red Sox, his many, many dogs, and the Barefoot Sanders Clerk Family.

He is survived by two sisters, Karen Schmidt and Susan Schwarz, a brother-in-law, a niece a nephew, a great-niece and a grand-nephew, and his former spouse, Claire Collins.


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