May 7, 2015 - University of Houston Law Center alumni from across the metropolitan area filled a large banquet room in the downtown offices of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP on Wednesday as the school launched its annual 100% Challenge fundraising effort.
The challenge brings alumni at law firms, corporations, and other organizations together for the common purpose of maintaining excellence in legal education. The goal is to achieve 100 percent participation in giving by alumni at those organizations that employ four or more alumni.
Dean Leonard M. Baynes described his vision for the Law Center that he hopes the 100% Challenge “captains” will convey in their respective workplaces. He described the school as “a resource-rich institution that is a recognized leader not just in the metropolitan area but also globally and nationally.”
“Its product,” he said, “is transformative in terms of what it does. A legal education transforms the students, because it teaches the student to think like a lawyer.”
Baynes said with the help of the Law Fund, the school plans to improve its rankings, enhance the impact of the law faculty, hire and retain high-quality faculty, recruit students with excellent credentials, enhance student professional outcomes, and “make sure everything we do is innovative.”
The unrestricted funds raised by the 100% Challenge will be particularly useful in providing scholarships to top students who are being recruited by other schools in a highly competitive environment, Baynes said. The Law Center plans to focus on increasing scholarships to students with high LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs and “trailblazers” who have overcome certain socioeconomic factors.
“This is a really important campaign for the Law Center,” said Bracewell & Giuliani partner Richard Whitley ’99, incoming president of the Law Alumni Association and co-chairman of the 100% Challenge.
The proud “double Cougar” said the University of Houston and the UH Law Center have been “the cornerstone of all the successes I have had in my life, and in my career, and in my practice. I feel like I’m trying to catch up, but I haven’t given back as much as I’ve taken out. And I know that all of you folks feel the same way.”
Whitley’s co-chairs are Linda Glover ’01, a shareholder attorney with Winstead PC; Jacqueline Moy ’01, senior counsel with Apache Corporation; and Jim Tillson ’79, senior counsel with Phillips 66.
Chris Pappas ’77, director of Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC, told the captains they should reflect on the value their education at the Law Center has brought to their lives and careers.
“This is a very fine law school, and it has every reason to be. This is the most diverse international city in North America. This school has done great things for all of us,” he said.
Whitley said the goals for this year’s challenge are to have at least 100 participating organizations, with 75 organizations reaching 100 percent participation. This year’s monetary goal is $400,000.
To see those organizations that are part of the 100% Challenge, please visit http://www.law.uh.edu/giving/100-challenge.asp
Gifts from alumni and friends are welcome year-round and make a profound difference in enhancing legal education. To make a gift online, please visit https://giving.uh.edu/law/.