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Sondock Jurist-in-Residence speaker Liu to deliver lecture on diversity and shift in law school enrollment

Goodwin H. Liu, an Associate Justice on the California Supreme Court, is the first speaker in the Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist-in-Residence of 2021.

Goodwin H. Liu, an Associate Justice on the California Supreme Court, is the first speaker in the Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist-in-Residence of 2021.

Jan. 25, 2021 — Associate Justice Goodwin H. Liu of the California Supreme Court will discuss diversity and trends in law school enrollment virtually on Jan. 26, highlighting how the demographic composition of law students has shifted since the Great Recession.

Liu is the first speaker of the year for the Justice Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist-in-Residence Lectureship in Legal Ethics. His topic is titled, “Who’s Going to Law School? Trends in Law School Enrollment Since the Great Recession.”

The Jurist-in-Residence program is named in honor of Justice Ruby Kless Sondock, a trailblazer in the law who graduated as valedictorian and one of only five women in the UH law school class of 1962. Sondock was appointed to the 234th District Court in 1977, the first female state district judge in Harris County. In 1982 she was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court, the first woman to serve in a regular session of the court.

Based on a detailed analysis of U.S. law school enrollment trends, Liu will discuss variants in enrollment data such as gender, race, ethnicity and nationality as well as the demographics of law school ranking, pinpointing evolutionary trends in law and the legal profession.

Nominated by former California Gov. Jerry Brown, Justice Liu was unanimously confirmed by the Commission of Judicial Appointments and sworn into office in 2011 and retained by the electorate in 2014. Prior to joining the state’s highest court, Justice Liu was a professor of law and associate dean at UC Berkeley School of Law.

Liu clerked for Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and later worked as a special assistant to the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and as a senior program officer at the Corporation for National Service, helping to launch the AmeriCorps national service program. He went on to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Liu grew up in Sacramento, Calif. going on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, master’s degree from Oxford University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. His primary areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, and diversity in the legal profession. He was the first person in his family to attain a law degree.

“Through the Sondock Jurist-in-Residence Program, the Law Center brings outstanding jurists to the campus to speak on important legal topics and meet with UHLC faculty, alumni and students,” said Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes. “These interactions will bring the Law Center community closer to the bench so we can learn from each other. It also will help inspire our students to be the next generation of outstanding jurists.”

The lecture will be held virtually from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 26. Attendees will receive one hour of CLE credit.

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, and Part-time programs 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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