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Alumni Spotlight

UH Law Center graduate and veteran Aliseda ’91 receives statewide award for legal professionalism

Kristin Kluding '19

Ernest Aliseda '91

July 13, 2020 - Ernest Aliseda, a 1991 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, has been awarded the Jim D. Bowmer Professionalism Award by the Texas Bar College.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by one’s colleagues, especially at the state level,” Aliseda said. “I value professionalism, as it entails many things important to our profession, and which ultimately all of which work together to demonstrate that an attorney is trustworthy and competent.”

The Jim Bowmer Award has been presented to outstanding Texas Bar College members since 1994. The accolade recognizes achievements or contributions to professionalism, and allows the recipient an opportunity to donate $1,000 to a law school of their choice. Aliseda selected his alma mater.

“I feel that the University of Houston Law Center gave me tools and foundations, which have allowed me to both provide for my family and serve my community,” he said. “It was a clear decision for me to donate the money awarded to me in conjunction with this award to the UHLC Law Foundation.”

Aliseda’s interest in law came from a personal place. For generations, his family has been involved in law as politicians and lawyers in their respective countries.

“I remember as a child that I was told by a teacher that you can never pick up the newspaper without having something law related on the front page,” he said.

Besides taking inspiration from his extended family, Aliseda also looks towards his older brother Jose Aliseda, Jr., who also attended law school, and pursued a career in public service.

“Public service has always been important to me and my family,” he said. “As a son of first-generation immigrants, I have always sought opportunities to give back in some way. Mainly as a ‘thank you’ to this great nation for the freedoms and opportunities my family has enjoyed. Among other things, I have had the privilege of serving our nation in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves for 21 years, before retiring last September.”

Aliseda fondly remembers some of his favorite professors from the Law Center who he credits for helping shape his career.

“I credit Laura Rothstein for her help in assisting during a rough period in my law school career,” he said. “Irene Rosenberg, who I had for Criminal Law, was an incredibly passionate individual and David Dow, who was a new professor at the time, who I had for contracts.”

Aliseda’s advice for students who wish to pursue a career in law is to choose a career path that is emotionally rewarding.

“The reality is that we have chosen a high stress profession,” he said. “Whether in private practice, government, or public interest, we all work on tight deadlines. It is important to be happy and take care of oneself.

One of the most important lessons Aliseda said has learned throughout his legal career is to always treat others with respect.

“We are part of an honorable profession and as attorneys we do not ‘make the facts.’ As such, you never know when the shoe will be on the other foot,” Aliseda said. “It pays dividends to maintain professional relationships, even with adversaries in the courtroom. The other lesson I learned is to try to learn from your mistakes. Nobody is perfect. As such, I have tried to see the mistakes made, only as lessons.”