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UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Scholar Hamaida achieves significant LSAT score improvement

Sandra Guerra Thompson and Auyanna Aird interview Dr. Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five, during the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Scholar Reem Hamaida

Jan. 30, 2023 — Reem Hamaida, a two-time University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline scholar, improved her score with a 27-point increase from low 140s on the initial diagnostic to high 160s on the official LSAT, a record first for the program that was established in 2016. She credited this accomplishment to the amount of one-on-one attention she was able to receive throughout her participation.

“It was a meeting with Program Director Kristen Guiseppi that catapulted this,” Hamaida said. “I was studying for the test, and scoring in the 160s, but it was inconsistent. With the LSAT the most important thing is consistency. You have to go into the test knowing that you score between a three-point range.

“Kristen sat with me and showed me how to build up stamina for the exam. Implementing her methods, study schedule and staying calm from her words of encouragement. That Zoom meeting lasted an hour and 30 minutes, and I think it's the reason why I improved my score.”

Guiseppi, who also helped establish the Pre-Law Pipeline Programs, noted Reem was an absolute joy to coach.

“Reem is a shining example of the best outcome of such critical pre-law pipeline work. Not only is she intellectually curious, committed, and tenacious, but she is also driven. With those qualities, she will be a fantastic addition to any law school,” said Guiseppi.

In addition to the programs’ administrators, Hamaida also credited her interactions with professors and her peers for making it a fruitful experience. It also helped her gain skills that made her stand out during a judicial internship.

“The writing and legal research were also helpful,” she said. “I worked with a judge in the New York State Supreme Court appellate division. Usually, this judge’s interns do not write memos. But I explained that I took a legal writing course with the UH Law Center's Pre-Law Pipeline Programs, and they liked my writing style. I was allowed to write memos, which was not something usually allowed by interns.”

Hamaida and her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt when she was a child. She was partly drawn to the legal profession from first-hand experience of substandard legal representation.

“When I moved here I did not know about the language and neither did my parents,” Hamaida said. “When a relative of mine was in trouble with the law, there was an attorney who did not want to explain things to my family. They did not have the time for us. I just realized that there needs to be a space for representation for people like us, and I could be the one to do it.”

Hamaida recently completed her undergraduate education at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, earning a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Political science, with a certificate in dispute resolutions. Seeking a legal education is among her top priorities moving forward.

“I just really like learning,” Hamaida said. “Being in class and understanding how law impacts people and how the law implements itself in the world. Big picture, philosophical questions as they relate to law. That's what I want to learn in law school.

“I loved my undergraduate experience because I was able to learn through an intersectional and experimental lens. I was able to put things together by participating in an internship and learning in class. I'd love to do the same thing in law school. I'm looking forward to extending my academic journey.”

For more information on the Pre-Law Pipeline Programs, visit

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