A note from UH Law Center Dean Ray Nimmer
Vol. 4 No. 10
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Dean Ray Nimmer

Experts differ on the precise timing of the much-anticipated “turnaround” in the national economy, but most seem to agree on one point: when it finally arrives, small- to medium-sized firms will be the primary sources of new job growth.

Three years ago, I asked our Career Development Office to expand its outreach efforts to include more small- and medium-sized law firms. They promptly designed and implemented a Small Firm Initiative, and it has yielded good dividends for employers and Law Center graduates alike.

To date, our Career Development counselors have met with representatives of more than 150 of these firms in cities throughout Texas and the Southwest. Since smaller employers typically find it difficult to come to our campus to recruit new graduates, these firms have embraced our idea of “bringing the Law Center to them.” Assistant Dean Rhonda Beassie reports how these contacts offer an excellent opportunity for give-and-take discussions. As firms learn more about the way we train our graduates for the real world of law, our school learns more about how we can best prepare new associates for the challenges of working in a smaller firm.

Upcoming meetings are being scheduled with smaller firms (up to 20 lawyers) in Beaumont, Fort Worth, Galveston and Dallas, and Law Center alumni in those cities are helping us schedule these sessions. If you would like to participate in our Small Firm Initiative, I encourage you to reach Dean Beassie at rbeassie@central.uh.edu or 713/743-2574. We are also preparing a new Small Firm Apprenticeship program, and it promises to be another “win-win” situation for employers and Law Center students alike. Look for details on this apprenticeship program in an upcoming Dean’s Note.

FYI, it’s worth mentioning that the Law Center recorded another year of record employment last year, with more than 96% of the Class of 2008 employed within nine months of graduation. The numbers speak to the good work by our Career Development professionals – and the continued high regard that employers have for someone holding a Law Center degree.

RTN

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