Scholarships give UHLC students chance to attend state and national conferences

LL.M. candidates Vanessa Johnson, left, Bradley Cook, Clé Holly were selected to attend a health law conference in Austin this month.

LL.M. candidates Vanessa Johnson, left, Bradley Cook, Clé Holly were selected to attend a health law conference in Austin this month.

Oct. 14, 2014 – During the course of their law school careers, University of Houston Law Center students are given many opportunities to attend conferences and workshops in their specific areas of interest, oftentimes through scholarships from the sponsoring organization.

So far this semester, students have been selected to attend a state bar minority affairs conference in Austin, a workers rights conference in Baltimore, the Student Leaders Access to Justice Summit and a health law conference, both in Austin.

“I can’t overemphasize how important these activities are in giving students the chance to learn from noted scholars and practitioners in their field of study,” said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. “The opportunity to meet and establish relationships with contacts throughout the legal community is invaluable.”

Many of the conferences require scholarship candidates to be nominated by faculty and staff. Five students were selected recently to attend the Law Student Leaders Access to Justice Summit sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Commission and funded by a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation. The two-day conference Oct. 9 and 10 was designed to show outstanding students from each of the state’s law schools the pressing need for legal services among low-income Texans. The aim of the program was to instill a statewide culture of pro bono service and develop leaders in the field.

One of the highlights of the summit was a hands-on “Poverty Simulation” in which participants played roles as members of low-income families as they try to meet their day-to-day obligations, including trying to work, access benefits, buy food, and maintain housing. 

UHLC students chosen to attend the summit because of their leadership qualities and interest in public service law are: Kate Chapman, Bobby J. Dale, Melissa MacNeil, Lauren Masullo, and Lisa Virgen.

Three students also were chosen to attend the annual Texas Health Law Conference in Austin Oct. 12-14. The event is sponsored by both the State Bar of Texas Health Law Section and the Texas Hospital Association.  The scholarship includes registration (regularly $290 for students) and a stipend of $300 for travel, lodging, and meals.

“This conference is one of the preeminent health law conferences in the state, covering a complete range of health law issues,” said Allison Winnike, a research assistant professor in the  Health Law & Policy Institute who helped coordinate the application process for the Law Center.  “Students in the past have remarked how beneficial it was to them not only for knowledge gained during the sessions, but for networking opportunities to meet and interact with health care leaders across Texas.”

The Health Law faculty chose three LL.M. candidates, Bradley Cook, Clé Holly, and Vanessa Johnson, who “have displayed a deep commitment to health law and are planning to pursue careers in the field,”  according to Winnike.

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