|A Note from UH Law Center Dean Ray Nimmer||Vol. 1, No. 4|
One thing that elevates our Law Center above a mere law school is our commitment to the community. We have a number of specialties that distinguish themselves in this area, and I want to call attention to one of them: our expertise in consumer law.
Earlier this year, professors and administrators throughout the world gathered at the UH Law Center for the third Teaching Consumer Law Conference, a three-day gathering that reinforced our growing reputation for excellence in consumer law. The conference was led by Prof. Richard Alderman, the Dwight Olds Chair in Law who is known to many as “The People’s Lawyer.”
Under his direction, our Center for Consumer Law has emerged as a model for other schools to emulate. More than 25,000 people have “graduated” from Richard’s free People’s Law Schools with a better understanding of their legal rights, and we should recall (on the one-year anniversary of Katrina) how our school quickly put together a call-in program and a special People’s Law School to help more than 1,000 victims of last year’s hurricanes.
Three more items deserve note. In January, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott awarded $360,000 to help expand our school’s consumer protection outreaches, an initiative that is being carried forward by John Ventura and Rick McElvaney, among others. The money is being used to strengthen the Center’s programs, and create a new entity, the Texas Consumer Complaint Center.
Caveat Vendor, which we have produced since the early 1980s, and which morphed into the Journal of Texas Consumer Law about a decade ago, recently changed its name to the Journal of Consumer & Commercial Law to reflect its growing national scope and is now expressly co-sponsored by the Law Center.
And the Texas Education Administration recently approved the Center’s “Know Your Rights!” video program as part of the fiscal responsibility component of social studies classes throughout Texas.
It’s safe to say that consumer law is one of our centers of excellence, and we are determined to keep it that way – even after Richard Alderman succeeds Prof. Victor Flatt as our associate dean for academic affairs on Sept. 1. On the eve of this move, I thought it appropriate that we gather to praise Richard before we bury him – with work!
The University of Houston Law Center