As we start another school year, I look back with pride at the great strides we collectively have made during my two years as dean of the University of Houston Law Center, and I look forward with a great deal of hope for a bright future. The Law Center's national rankings are up, the qualifications of our students are higher than ever, several initiatives and expanded programs are underway, and new hires enhance an already renowned faculty. None of this would have been possible without the support and dedication of faculty, staff, students and alumni.
I would like to share with you some highlights:
• TOP TIER RANKINGS:
UHLC tied for 50th in the most recent U.S. News & World Report best law school rankings. Three programs — Health Law, Intellectual Property and Part-time —rank in the U.S. News Top 10.
• BAR PASSAGE:
UHLC ranked #1 among the state's nine ABA-accredited law schools in the percentage of graduates passing the February bar exam.
• ENTERING CLASS UGPAs:
The Class of 2018 entered last fall with the highest median undergraduate GPA, 3.54, since 2007 while the median undergraduate GPA for students in the part-time program rose to an historic high of 3.61.
• FACULTY ADDITIONS:
The addition of six outstanding scholars/teachers, including three lateral doctrinal and three lawyering skills and strategies hires, all of whom bring excellent scholarship, teaching and practical legal experience in the areas of energy, professional responsibility, property law, constitutional law, and legal writing to an already renowned faculty.
• LEGAL BRIEFCASE RADIO:
Short segments broadcast on KUHF radio (Houston NPR affiliate) introduced by me and featuring professors, alumni and students addressing solutions to cutting-edge legal issues.
• PRE-LAW PIPELINE PROGRAM:
An intensive, eight-week summer program that introduces undergraduates to law school and the legal profession to improve their opportunity of being admitted to a law school of their choice. The program was recently honored with the University of Houston Regents' Academic Excellence Award.
• UH LAW ALUMNI LEADERS AND ACHIEVERS SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS:
Alumni-driven incentive to attract the highest quality applicants. The Leaders and Achievers Award, one of the newer scholarship funding opportunities, has been embraced by the alumni community with support from Tom ('98) and Yvette Hetherington, Mike ('84) and Kathryn Jones, and Mike Nugent ('72).
• 3+3 PROGRAM:
UH Honors College undergraduate/Law Center dual degree program that allows exceptional students to begin law school their senior year, earning a Liberal Studies degree and J.D. in six years. The Law Center also included several students who completed their first year at the Honors College in the Pipeline Program.
• THE HEED (HIGHER EXCELLENCE IN DIVERSITY) AWARD:
The Law Center is the recipient of the Higher Education in Diversity Award (HEED) Award, through INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. The HEED award is the only national award honoring colleges and universities that demonstrate outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The Law Center is exceptionally strong and its reputation outstanding. It exceeds its mission of providing the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure its graduates are ready to take their place in the legal world. By continuing to work together, I'm looking forward to even greater successes in the coming year and beyond.
Please enjoy these photo highlights of my second year as dean.
Leonard M. Baynes
Dean & Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center
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The University of Houston Law Center
100 Law Center
Houston, TX 77204-6060