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Houston Reception

   Armed with a business background and a deeply-rooted commitment to community outreach and creating job
opportunities for students, Leonard M. Baynes assumed the reins of the University of Houston Law Center in August as its
ninth dean. He plans to bring both of those interests to bear during his tenure. In one of his first official acts, Baynes initiated
a “Community Service Day” at a neighborhood food bank before students even attended their first class of the semester, and
he will draw on his business acumen and fund-raising skills to cope with the new realities of law school finances.

   Baynes came to the Law Center from St. John’s University School of Law where he taught Business Organizations,
Communications Law, Regulated Industries, Perspectives on Justice, and Race, and the Law. He was the inaugural director
of The Ronald. H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at St. John’s for which he raised approximately
$1.6 million from various sources. He previously taught at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield,
MA, and served as Scholar in Residence for the Federal Communications Commission.

   Baynes holds a B.S. degree with a double major in Finance and Economics from New York University and an M.B.A. and
J.D. from Columbia University.

   Polished and in his own words, “very deliberative,” Baynes sat down and answered a few questions for Briefcase about
his background, and qualifications, and his hopes, and plans for the Law Center:

What brought you to the Law                    dean of students and a member of the Law       dedicated staff. It is part of a Carnegie Tier
Center?                                        Center’s Dean Search Committee, and            One Institution that is on the move. After
                                               Marcilynn Burke, a Houston law faculty         my interviews and when the offer was made,
     It was the power of networking. For       member, attended the 2014 reception, and       I had no hesitation in saying yes!
the past eight years I’ve held a reception at  we talked about the opportunity of being the
the Association of American Law Schools        law dean at the University of Houston. After   What surprised you most about
(AALS) conference. The AALS Conference         much research and many interviews, I found     Houston?
is where all the law school deans, faculty,    the Law Center to be a perfect fit for me. It
and staff convene to discuss emerging          has an outstanding and well-credentialed            I love Houston! There have been hardly
legal trends and issues confronting legal      faculty, terrific alumni, great students, and  any surprises. I have a lot of experience
education. Sondra Tennessee, associate

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