Sept. 1, 2016 – The University of Houston Law Center is among four law schools nationwide recognized for outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
The Law Center and the University of Houston are among 83 recipients of the 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award — the only national award honoring institutions for their efforts on behalf of diversity. INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
"We are delighted to receive the HEED Award recognition, which confirms that the University of Houston Law Center is the destination for excellence and diversity," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes.
Institutions were selected for the HEED Award based on their initiatives that embrace all aspects of diversity, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community. Award recipients for 2016 include community colleges, public and private schools, baccalaureate-granting institutions, graduate schools, and one school system.
UHLC was selected for its numerous diversity initiatives, including the UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program. The program, now in its second year, was designed to prepare undergraduate students who are first generation, low income, or members of groups underrepresented in the legal profession for a career in law.
The eight-week dual track summer program is held at the Law Center and provides students the necessary resources to meet the demands of the LSAT exam, the law school application process, and their future law school career. The Pipeline Program has seen immediate success with two students from the inaugural class currently enrolled in law school and a 9-point average increase in the practice LSAT diagnostic scores from the 2016 class. Diagnostic scores can still improve as students prepare for the September LSAT.
The Pipeline Program also was recognized last week as a recipient of the UH System Board of Regents' Academic Excellence Award.
Other initiatives considered for UHLC's award include the Juvenile & Capital Advocacy Project (JCAP), a community-based program designed to reduce juvenile crime and delinquency in an effort to improve the long-term educational success rates of socially and economically disadvantaged juveniles. UHLC's diversity and equality focused education programs, nationally recognized specialty programs, Continuing Legal Education programs, speaker selections, community service projects as well as the multitude of student organizations reflecting the diverse student body, highlight the Law Center's intense commitment to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus and in the surrounding community.