UHLC’s Professor Olivas Honored at UH Homecoming Game


University of Houston Law Center Professor Michael A. Olivas was named Faculty Member of the Game last weekend during the homecoming football game against the Cincinnati Bearcats (33-30).  Professor Olivas is the Williams B. Bates Distinguished Chair and director of the Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance.  He teaches courses in business law & immigration, higher education law, and immigration law and policy. Professor Olivas is also known for his show on National Public Radio, The Law of Rock and Roll.  He can be seen in this photograph saluting Houston Cougar fans!


UH Homecoming Week

This week is Homecoming at the University of Houston! Homecoming at the University of Houston is a tradition dating back to 1946.  This week we celebrate the University of Houston, unite students and organizations, and showcase Cougar pride and spirit during one of the oldest traditions on campus.

Each day there will be different events for students, alumni, and the UH Community.  The week kicks off with a pep rally and the announcement of the Homecoming Court.  Students have the opportunity to participate in Spirit Day, a block party, Coog-lympics, and mum making, along with many other activities. Homecoming Fiesta on Friday includes delicious Texas BBQ, fireworks, and a concert featuring Lupe Fiasco and Wale. On Saturday we will cheer on the undefeated Cougars, currently 8-0, as they take on the Cincinnati Bearcats.  For more information regarding all the Homecoming events, please visit here.

To show our Cougar pride, the Office of Admissions teamed up with the Student Services Office to participate in the Cougar Spirit Bell Challenge.  This is an annual competition to award the office that shows the most Cougar spirit by decorating their offices during Homecoming Week.  This year’s theme is “Varsity Red” and we bleed red!  Below are a few pictures of the office suite.  The winners will be announced this Friday, wish us luck!


Front door to the suite


Entry way


Office Door Mum



The History of Shasta


UH Bear

Student Post: Mediation Competitions

Student author Nneka Morah is a 2017 J.D. candidate at the University of Houston Law Center.

On Friday, October 9, 2015, I had a chance to participate in the Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition held at the University of Houston Law Center. The competition, which featured negotiators and mediators, involved students from the Law Center paired up in teams of two (32 teams in total), acting as attorney and client, whose disputes were mediated by mediators from other law schools around the country. What was even more interesting was the fact that the mediators were in a different competition as well, the Abrams Mediation competition. 

Amongst other criteria, we were judged on the presentation of our case, our understanding of the opposition, and our attorney/client relationship. After each round, we had the opportunity to critique ourselves and to get feedback from the judges. Although only three rounds were required, my partner, Zeinab Kachmar, and I completed four rounds that day because one team dropped out of the competition last minute and our help was solicited to fill in.

Although we did not advance to the quarter finals, I had an amazing experience. Being in the mediation clinic at the Law Center this semester has allowed me to take on the role of mediator in a few cases. Participating in this competition reminded me of the importance of my role as a mediator in making the mediation process a positive one from the attorney/client perspective, and it gave me a better and more rounded outlook on the entire process.

***Admissions staff note: please see below for more information on the Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition.

The Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition is held in conjunction with the Jeffry S. Abrams National Mediator Competition.  Tom Newhouse Competition Teams are presented with several fact patterns that include a summary of their side’s position and interests, then given a limited time to present their position and work through the dispute with mediators (who are themselves competitors in the Jeffry Abrams National Mediator Competition).

The Competition is open to all UHLC students.  Competition Teams consist of two UHLC students, with one serving as attorney and the other as client (alternating each round).  The Tom Newhouse Mediation Competition is limited to 30 teams.  Competition rounds are judged by members of the Houston legal community who often offer feedback to the teams after their round is over.  Teams are scored on the basis of the students’ case analysis, creativity, presentation, expression of the client’s goals, skills of compromise, and professional courtesy.

UHLC wins the National Trial Advocacy Competition

Congratulations to the University of Houston Law Center Mock Trial Team for winning the National Trial Advocacy Competition held October 9-11, 2015 in Lansing, Michigan.  The National Trial Advocacy Competition is a national invitational in which 16 of the country’s top advocacy programs are invited to compete.

The competition was designed for a team of four participants, made up of two advocates and two witnesses.  UHLC’s team members were: Travis Holland, Barira Munshi, Mark Gonzalez and Janan Sharaf.  They defeated Duquesne, Georgetown, SMU, Brooklyn, and St. Mary’s to win the championship. The team was coached by UHLC alums Jackie Houlette, Julie Gray, and Megan Daic.

One L at UHLC – The Student Perspective

The emotions in your first year of law school range from excitement to terror. Excitement that you got in, anxious to start the first day, fear when you take your first exam, relieved when it’s over. The first year of law school (affectionately referred to as 1L) makes everyone a mess of emotions but ultimately the decision to commence on this adventure is one that you won’t regret! Coming into law school can be very daunting. However, if you come in prepared and ready to learn you will soon realize that law school will be a great experience for any student.

Upon entering law school, I had just wrapped up college at an amazing institution. I was confused and scared and yet at the same time eager to learn and excited to start on a new adventure. Everyone that I encountered told me a million times that law school was a mistake. “There are no jobs,” they claimed. “That’s such a waste of money,” they said. I let their voices get inside my head and the first few weeks before school, I seriously considered turning back. What frightened me the most was that I had no idea what to expect. Where do you sit? What if you get called on and have no idea what to say? Do you really have to recite a case in front of the entire class? Wholeheartedly, I look back at the anxiety I harbored and the mental state I was in and realize, now more than ever, that I had no reason to worry or fear.

1L is a learning experience for all and through it each student grows not only intellectually but also as a person. Ultimately, everyone is in the same boat as a 1L student. For the first year, you are divided into sections and have all classes with these people. The people in your section become like a family to you and are willing to help you out in any way possible. Something that I wish I had known during my first year was that if you ask for help (if you don’t understand something, if you have a question about a legal area, etc.) you will receive an answer. Every day in 1L, I was grateful for the friends I made and the professors who helped me along the way. You will spend every day surrounded by intelligent people—your professors and your peers—who will better you with each conversation and challenge you to engage in the legal world.

Your first year, the professors expect you to read and be sure that you’re ready to explain the case. That being said, they understand that you are getting used to the new way and will help you. My biggest fear upon entering law school was that I would be humiliated in class a time or two. However, the professors are not there to make you suffer, they are enthusiastic to teach you what they know and watch you excel as a lawyer. Countless times in class, you will be able to hear a professor bragging on a former student of theirs. They want you to do the best you can and to better yourself and society.

Ultimately, you are walking into a world unknown so nerves are to be expected. Through all of the emotions that come from law school you become a better person, a better student, and a better lawyer. Looking back on the time spent at the University of Houston Law Center as a 1L student, there are no words to describe how accomplished I feel and how excited I am for the future.

Author, Charlotte Coe, recently completed her 1l year at the University of Houston Law Center.