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UH Law Center named Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine

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Sept. 20, 2021 – The University of Houston Law Center has received the distinction of Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine. The Law Center is the only law school in the country to receive the recognition.

According to the publication, “Diversity Champions exemplify an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels.”

Additionally, the Law Center has received the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for the sixth straight year. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — the Law Center will be featured in the October 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

“It is an honor to receive the very prestigious HEED Award for the sixth year in a row and now for the first time being named a Diversity Champion, the only law school in the nation with that designation,” said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. “Many thanks to the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and alumni who helped us achieve this recognition. The Law Center’s mission has always been clear. We have historically provided opportunities for many first-generation college students. Our faculty teach students to be successful lawyers and instill confidence in the students despite societal barriers that they may face.

“The Law Center’s mission remains the same irrespective of the complexion or background of our students. The only difference is that we have adapted our programming to meet the needs of these diverse students to ensure that they continue to be successful.”

HEED Award recipients are selected on the basis of an extensive application, detailing demographics of the faculty and student body, recruitment practices, mentoring and resource programs, community outreach and other efforts designed to increase diversity.

The Law Center’s award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program was among the initiatives cited by the magazine. The program prepares undergraduates who are first-generation, low-income or members of groups underrepresented in the legal profession for a career in law. The initiative recently completed its seventh year of programming.

“We continue to use the HEED award application as a way to assess the Law Center’s DEI practices and take stock of our accomplishments,” said Pipeline Program Director Kristen Guiseppi. “We remain steadfast in our efforts to promote and support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many, many thanks to INSIGHT Into Diversity for continuously recognizing our efforts and initiatives.”

“It is an honor for Insight Into Diversity to acknowledge the Law Center’s diversity efforts for the sixth time,” added Professor Meredith J. Duncan, Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Metropolitan Programs, who oversees the program. “We are delighted to be recognized, not only for what we are doing here at the Law Center, but also for our deliberate efforts toward diversifying the legal profession as a whole through our Pre-Law Pipeline Programs.”

The Pre-Law Pipeline Program is just one of many efforts at the Law Center that promotes diversity, civil rights and social justice. The Law Center also has a Diversity, Racial Justice, and Human Rights Initiative, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and offers courses and clinical work for students that promote diversity and service to underserved communities who need legal representation..

UHLC media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; Elena Hawthorne, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125,; and John Brannen, Media Relations Rep, 713-743-3055,

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the
nation’s 4th largest city. UHLC’s Health Law, Intellectual Property Law rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university
recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 47,000 students.

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