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The Initiative on Lawyers as Leaders at the University of Houston Law Center is dedicated to providing law students the skills and knowledge needed to assume leadership roles in the public and private sector and promoting the study of what it means to be an effective and productive leader outside of the legal community. The Initiative envisions leadership as a lifelong journey, and hopes to motivate students to embrace different responsibilities as they pursue their professional goals. The Initiative is facilitative in that it brings together existing resources at the Law Center related to leadership, and fosters the development of students into lawyers as leaders. Among these resources, the Initiative intends to enhance students’ study and practice of leadership, and promote the study of what it means to be an effective and productive leader in the legal profession through a future student organization.


The Initiative on Lawyers as Leaders is involved with two faculty members at the Law Center, listed below.

Andrew Gratz

Andrew C. Gratz (J.D. ’02)
Associate General Counsel, LyondellBasell
B.A., The American University, 1998; J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2002; M.B.A. University of Texas at Dallas, 2006; Certified Information Privacy Professional – United States (CIPP/US), 2021

For over a decade and a half, Prof. Gratz has been a corporate leader within the legal department of LyondellBasell, a $30+ billion global petrochemical company.

He pioneered the Lawyers as Leaders course at the Law Center and was instrumental in helping the Law Center establish the Initiative on Lawyers as Leaders.
Greg Vetter

Greg R. Vetter
HIPLA Professor of Law; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
B.S.E.E., Missouri University of Science and Technology, 1987; M.S., University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1991; M.B.A., Rockhurst University, 1994; J.D., Northwestern University, 1999

Prof. Vetter is a leading expert on intellectual property as applied to software and the business of software, with particular emphasis on free and open source software. Since the summer of 2017 he has served as the Law Center’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (ADAA). In the ADAA role he is an effective “second in command” at the Law Center and is involved directly or indirectly in all of its internal operations and involved with some of its external-facing aspects.



Course Title

Example Course Listing



Lawyers as Leaders

Listing Link

Andrew Gratz

This course is the Law Center’s lead offering for the topic of lawyers as leaders.

WRS: Gender, Power, Law & Leadership

Listing Link

Renee Knake Jefferson

This upper level writing course enables students to write long-form treatment of topics related to the course title.

In-House Counsel Fundamentals

Listing Link

Kelly Booth
Brandie Holmes

This simulation-type experiential course provides students insight into the complex function of in-house counsel and provides the basic tools needed to succeed in an in-house role, including the leadership aspects of the role.


Among the Law Center’s non-course training opportunities that relate to lawyers as leaders, these items are notable.

Passport to Success from the Law Center’s Career Development Office (CDO)

This mandatory program of professional development training applies to Law Center students all three years and is in part dedicated to ensuring that the Law Center complies with ABA standards along with providing insight into organizational dynamics and other factors related to lawyers as leaders.

Mediation Training

This training provides Law Center students the opportunity to obtain credentials and skills in mediation, one of the more important skills for laywers as leaders.


Student Involvement

The Law Center and the Initiative on Lawyers as Leaders are actively seeking students interested in creating a new student organization to focus on leadership.  Any student interested in creating this new organization should email a statement of interest to: Prof. Andrew Gratz ( and Prof. Greg R. Vetter (

This new student organization would join the many dozens of existing Law Center student organizations, all of which promote student learning about leadership by the active practice of students serving each other in officer positions and in generating programming for the Law Center community:

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