A note from UH Law Center Dean Ray Nimmer
Vol. 5 No. 5

Dean Ray Nimmer
Another terrific hiring season has just concluded – and I am very pleased to announce the addition of five new professors who collectively elevate the excellence of the University of Houston Law Center. I want to extend special thanks and congratulations to the members of our hiring committee who identified outstanding candidates and helped convince them of the obvious: that the Law Center is a perfect place to further the teaching and research ambitions of top academic talent.

Our Law Center is distinctive for a large number of reasons, not the least of which is our determination and commitment of resources to add top talent to a faculty that already holds an international reputation for brilliance. (I do not use that word lightly.) At a time when other schools are doing well to hold to the status quo, we aggressively pursued superior candidates and prevailed over offers these men and women received from other Top Tier schools.

Here is a quick snapshot of our five new professors, and I encourage you to click to the links and review their CVs.

  • Jessica Lind Mantel adds new strengths to our nationally ranked health law program. She served in the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is the author of an impressive list of articles. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and a former clerk for the honorable Karen Nelson Moore of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her newest article on health care reform is forthcoming in the UCLA Law Review.
  • Jessica L. Roberts is a second high-quality addition to our health law program. After graduating from Yale Law School, she completed judicial clerkships at the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and taught as an Associate in Law at Columbia Law School. Her primary interests include health law, bioethics and employment discrimination. Her most recent article is on legal issues related to genetic information and is forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Law Review.
  • Zachary Bray also graduated from Yale Law School and completed two judicial clerkships, including one at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, before joining the L.A. firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson. His newest article – “Reconciling Developmental and Natural Beauty: The Promise and Dilemma of Conservation Easements" – is forthcoming in the Harvard Environmental Law Review.
  • Geoffrey A. Hoffman joins us as an Associate Professor and director of our Immigration Clinic. He holds a cum laude degree from Tulane Law School and an LL.M. from Harvard. Within weeks of his arrival, he served as co-counsel before the U.S. Supreme Court for a deportation case that started in our Immigration Clinic.
  • Tracy D. Hester, who previously headed the Environmental Law Section in the Houston office of Bracewell & Giuliani, rounds out our five new hires as previously announced as a Visiting Assistant Professor and new director of our Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law. For a number of years, Chambers USA has noted him as one of America’s leading business lawyers, and he shares my distinction as being named one of the Best Lawyers in America for several years. Tracy was a Stone Scholar graduate of Columbia Law School.

Any head coach or law school dean will tell you that good recruitment is the key to long-term success. During my tenure as dean, we have added a dozen top-quality professors and dramatically increased the depth of talent at our institution. In each of my years as dean, we also have increased the quality of successive incoming classes, as measured by overall LSAT grades.

It’s a simple equation: great professors + superior students = a new era of excellence at the Law Center. Please join me in welcoming these latest additions to our outstanding faculty.


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The University of Houston Law Center
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