Page 7 - Briefcase Volume 37 Number 2
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UH LAW CENTER SCHOLAR                                      “To my knowledge, this competition is the most “real-to-life” mediation
                                                                   competition in the country,” said Jim Lawrence, executive director
        DISCUSSES POTENTIAL NAFTA                                  of the Law Center’s Blakely Advocacy Institute which sponsors the
                                                                   competition.  “The longer time format and the opportunity to have
        OVERHAUL AT TRADE SEMINAR                                  unlimited caucuses really tests the student mediators’ skill set.”

        Alfonso López de la Osa Escribano, director of the Center for U.S. and   Final round judges included Leah Leone, Judge Josefina Rendon and
                                                                   Andrew Tolchin.
        Mexican Law at the University of Houston Law Center, discussed a
        potential replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement
        during a symposium in March held in Fort Worth.
        The conference, “NAFTA 2.0: The Puzzle of North America as a Region,”
        was presented by the Texas A&M University School of Law’s Program in
        Global and Comparative Law.
        “I was glad to be a part in discussing a very timely topic with such a
        group of experts interested in U.S. Mexico relations,” López de la Osa
        Escribano said.
        López de la Osa Escribano analyzed what could be the impact of the
        proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which was signed
        by all three countries on Nov. 30, 2018.
        “When approaching the new USMCA, which has yet to be ratified, there
        is an enormous potential in terms of trade that is very positive, but
        one needs to pay attention to some unbalances in terms of respective
        domestic labor law that can exist as they can be an obstacle to trade,”
        López de la Osa Escribano said.
        “Although the new USMCA doesn’t deal expressly with the social
        dimension of trade, it is interesting to highlight the acknowledgment   DIVERSITY EFFORTS DRAW
        from Canada and the U.S. of the existence of Mexico’s labor unions and
        related rights such as collective bargaining.”             NATIONAL ACCLAIM WITH HEED

        UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON LAW                                  AWARD
                                                                   For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Houston Law Center
        CENTER HOSTS NATIONAL                                      has been honored by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine for the school’s
                                                                   efforts to increase minority representation on campus and in the legal
        MEDIATOR COMPETITION                                       profession.

        Twelve law students from across the country competed in the National   In addition, the Law Center for the second year in a row is the only U.S.
        Mediator Competition  hosted by the Blakely Advocacy Institute in   law school to be selected for INSIGHT’s Higher Education Excellence
        October at the University of Houston Law Center.           in Diversity Award, which is the only national, application-based award
        Cody Miller of the University of South Dakota School of Law won the   honoring institutions of higher education for their commitment to
                                                                   diversity and inclusion.
        Jeffry S. Abrams Best Mediator Award and scholarship of $2,000. The
        runner-up, Shannon Walker of the Stetson University College of Law,   HEED Award recipients are selected on the basis of an extensive
        received a $1,000 scholarship also sponsored by Abrams in recognition   application, detailing demographics of the faculty and student body,
        of the work of, an international environmental organization   recruitment practices, mentoring and resource programs, community
        addressing the climate crisis.                             outreach, and other efforts designed to increase diversity.
        The national competition, started in 2010, is held in conjunction with   “Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity
        the Law Center’s in-house Tom Newhouse Representing Clients in   and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their
        Mediation Competition. Students in the national competition serve as   campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity.
        mediators for the Newhouse competition.                    The Law Center’s award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program was among
        Competitors work their way through a series of three problems based   initiatives cited by the magazine. The program prepares undergraduates
        on actual commercial mediations and scenarios provided by Abrams, a   who are first generation, low income, or members of groups
        mediator and 1982 graduate of the Law Center.              underrepresented in the legal profession for a career in law.

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