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ALUMNINEWSALUMNINEWS

rate Counsel” and “Best Handling of a Complex      and the Texas Bar Foundation.                     The true pride of Hirsch’s life is her family,
Issue” awards. In 2010, she was recognized by                                                        which she has built with great joy with her
the National Diversity Council as one of the       Justice Higley has served as development chair    husband, Michael. Her family has always taken
“Most Powerful & Influential Women in Texas.”      and chairman of the board of the Nehemiah         a sincere pleasure in her work life, and particu-
In 2013, the Association of Women Attorneys        Center, a faith-based community center initi-     larly enjoyed the association with the UH Law
honored her with the “Premier Women in Law         ated by First Presbyterian Church, and as a       Center.
Honoree Award.” In 2014, she was recognized        director of the Harris County Children’s As-
with the “Influential Women Leaders” award,        sessment Center and the Houston Museum of         Lonny Hoffman
as well as one of the “Top 50 Women in Oil and     Natural Science.
Gas” by the National Diversity Council.
                                                   In recognition of her devotion to the commu-
Laura Carter Higley ’89                            nity, Justice Higley’s Rotary Club made her a
                                                   Paul Harris Fellow in 2008. She was one of five
                                                   Houstonians to be awarded the Mayor’s Award
                                                   for Volunteer Service in 1986.

                                                   Deborah Hirsch

Justice Laura Carter Higley has served three       Deborah Hirsch served the students of the         Lonny Hoffman, Law Foundation Professor
terms on the Texas First Court of Appeals,         University of Houston Law Center for 23 years,    and immediate past associate dean, joined
having first been elected in 2002. In 2008, she    including leading the Career Services operation   the Law Center faculty in 2001. An expert on
received the highest number of votes of any        for many years before directing the Office of     procedural law in federal and state courts, he
female opposed by a major party in the State       External Affairs.                                 is a prolific scholar whose work has appeared
of Texas.                                                                                            in the country’s leading law reviews and been
                                                   As assistant dean for career services, Hirsch     highly influential with commentators, lawyers,
During her 12 years on the bench, Justice Hig-     established relationships with many law           and courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
ley has authored 865 opinions and has partici-     students as, together, they explored the journey
pated in approximately 1,570 panel decisions.      and adventure of moving from student life to      In the classroom, he is an acclaimed and dedi-
                                                   professional life. She deeply values these rela-  cated teacher. One of several teaching awards
Prior to her election as judge, she was special    tionships and is honored to have participated in  he has won put it this way: “Professor Lonny
counsel in the tax department at Baker &           these important transitions.                      Hoffman embodies all the qualities of a great
Botts, with a focus on employment benefits                                                           educator. Not only does he have an astounding
and health care law. Previously, she also served   As assistant dean for external affairs, Hirsch    command of his subject area, he takes pride
on the West University Place City Council as       worked to keep alumni relationships active        and pleasure in sharing that knowledge with
mayor pro-tem, and also was elected mayor.         among UH Law Center graduates through             his students. Professor Hoffman’s energetic
                                                   event planning and annual fundraising. This       approach and ‘real world’ attitude to teaching
Justice Higley, a fifth-generation Texan, was      participation by Law Center alumni volunteers     bring a freshness to the classroom which in-
born and raised in Port Arthur. She received       included dynamic growth of the annual Law         spires his students to give one hundred percent
her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt           Center gala.                                      of their efforts to live up to his high standards.”
University, her master’s degree from the
University of Texas at Austin, and graduated       In 2005, Hirsch joined DePelchin Children’s       In addition to his scholarly work, Hoffman
among the top of her class at the University of    Center as vice-president for development.         is actively involved in professional practice.
Houston Law Center. At UHLC, she was se-                                                             He has testified before Congress on several
lected as an associate editor of the Law Review,   She became senior director of development at      occasions, spoken by invitation to federal rule
a member of the Order of the Barons, and the       Houston Grand Opera in 2006. While increas-       makers, and lectured around the world on civil
Order of the Coif.                                 ing her own love for opera, she has helped        litigation subjects.
                                                   build a development organization that recently
Currently, she serves as an elder of First Pres-   completed the largest comprehensive campaign      In 2009, he was elected to the American Law
byterian Church, as a director on the advisory     in the history of the company.                    Institute. Previously, he has served as chairman
board for the Houston Law Review, and as a                                                           of the Civil Procedure Section of the American
director of the board of directors of Presbyteri-                                                    Association of Law Schools. At the request of
an School and Brazos Presbytery Homes. She is                                                        the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Lonny
a life member of the Houston Bar Association                                                         was the reporter for a project to revise the
                                                                                                     circuit’s civil Pattern Jury Instructions.

                                                                                                     At the state level, Hoffman has served on
                                                                                                     numerous professional committees and
                                                                                                     organizations. He remains an active member

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