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Dean's Note

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Dear Alumni and Colleagues,

I hope you are well and safe as we make our way through these extraordinary times. As have all of you, we have adapted in many ways to fulfill our academic mission for students as well as our commitment to the community.

Our building is closed and will remain so through summer sessions, but teaching continues remotely, and by all reports, very successfully. Our library staff has put together a Zoom instructional manual that has been downloaded more than 2,000 times by those new to remote teaching. After much discussion among faculty members and with a great deal of input from students, we have changed to a grading system of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory-No Credit Reported.

We are continuing support services for students dealing with personal and school-related stress and pursuing online networking opportunities with potential employers and alumni mentors. We hope to continue online with several programs and initiatives, including our award-winning summer Pre-Law Pipeline program and the inaugural Bilingual Dispute Resolution Competition pitting Law Center students against their counterparts from two Mexican law schools.

The Law Center was quick to react to the impending crisis. Our Health Law & Policy Institute alerted the public, media, and health and safety officials to the dangers of the coronavirus by hosting a webinar on Feb. 19, 10 days before the first reported death in the U.S. and well before most foresaw what would become a global pandemic. The HLPI also compiled a Covid-19 “toolkit” for the school’s website with links to various sources of information, including the Institute’s 2020 Texas bench book, “Control Measures and Public Health Emergencies.”

To help those most in need, Associate Professor Anthony R. Chase is co-chairing the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund. He served a similar role administering distribution of charitable funds in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Our immigration clinic also provides telephone consultations and legal advice, referrals to private attorneys and non-profit agencies, and pro se assistance, as well as direct representation to clients through court filings.

We are all working together today, with an eye toward a brighter tomorrow. Be safe.


Leonard M. Baynes
Dean and Professor of Law