May 15, 2020 - Recent University of Houston Law Center graduates were officially welcomed to the legal profession via Zoom video conference on Wednesday.
The ceremony included words from Dean Leonard M. Baynes, Associate Dean of Law Alumni and Community Relations Sondra Tennessee and Texas State Bar President Randy Sorrells. The alumni were sworn in by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Judge Jeff Brown '95.
"Many congratulations to our alums who have passed the bar," Baynes said in his welcoming remarks. "I congratulate you making it this far, and am very proud of your accomplishments. This is such a rite of passage. Entering the legal profession is a noble pursuit that opens up many opportunities.
"Lawyers often are captains of industry, politicians - they can do almost everything because the legal training you had at the Law Center provides you with the kind of training that allows you to see both sides of any issue."
Before swearing in the Law Center alumni, Brown quoted former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in his "Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat" speech from May 13, 1940.
"I'm pleased to swear in fellow alumni of the Law Center and welcome them to the bar," Brown said. "I want to congratulate you - you have graduated from one of our nation's finest law schools.
"My piece of advice, especially appropriate in these unusual times that we have, is, 'I am an optimist. It does not seem much use being anything else.' We can all strive to be optimistic as well."
One of the alumni, Fatima Syed said she was appreciative of taking her oath as an attorney under unique circumstances.
"During a time of immense uncertainty, the UHLC Virtual Swearing-In Ceremony left me feeling empowered and uplifted to be joining a profession of advocacy," she said. "I am grateful for the time and generosity extended by Judge Brown, Mr. Sorrels, and our deans to help us commemorate this milestone."