April 25, 2018 - Members of the University of Houston Law Center Class of 2021 met with their peers, professors and staff and learned about all the school has to offer during the recent Admitted Students Day.
Dean Leonard M. Baynes welcomed students and their guests warmly and encouraged them to take advantage of the excellent faculty and staff at the Law Center.
To give students an idea of what to expect in their classes, the day started with a mock lecture delivered by Assistant Professor David Kwok. There was lively debate between Kwok and the students exploring different aspects of a case.
"In a substantive criminal law class we try to teach some basic things so everyone has some common understanding of how to read a criminal statute even if you don't go on to practice criminal law in the future," he said.
Laura Neal, a financial aid advisor at the Law Center, discussed different ways students can finance their education, through loans or financial aid. She insisted on the importance of "living like a college student while you're in college," so you won't have to later.
"The purpose of financial aid is to assist; it's not going to let you be living like you might have been if you were out in the work force," Neal said. "It is very minimal. It will cover your tuition fees, cost for books, room and board, and personal and miscellaneous."
Dillon Norton, a 2016 alumnus, spoke about his experience at the Law Center.
"Even though I was new as a transfer student, everybody welcomed me with open arms, everybody was very friendly," he said. "It was like that throughout my entire time at the Law Center. The students are high quality the faculty are top notch."
Norton referenced the convenience of nearby courthouses downtown, and how much the Law Center's clinical programs helped him prepare for his career as an attorney.
"I really can't say enough good things about this place," Norton said. "They really gave me the tools I needed to succeed, to start my own law practice right out of law school. I'm really grateful for that."
Tiffany Tucker, assistant dean for Career Development, assured students that picking a specific career within law wasn't something they would do on their own.
"That collective knowledge that we pull from our own experiences, from each other's experiences, and from the feedback we get from employers, so that we know what's going on in the industry, we pass on to you," Tucker said.
Sondra Tennessee, associate dean for Student Affairs, covered student schedules. All first-year law students will have their classes picked for them. While she noted students are accustomed to selecting their own classes, she assured them this process will relieve some of the stress of their 1L year.
When students are able to make their own schedule, Tennessee advised them not to overwhelm themselves with a heavy course load just because there is an open time.
"White space is the time that you're thinking, that you're processing, that you're renewing, refreshing," Tennessee said. "Don't feel that if you have three or four courses that you need to put a bunch of stuff in that space. Be happy when you have space to just breathe."
The reception ended with a Q&A panel with current students at the Law Center.