Welcome Back!

Study Group in the Commons

Today is the first day of fall classes. As an admissions dean, the first class day of the fall semester is the day I look forward to, and work toward, all year. It’s the day we welcome the students whom we have gotten to know through the admissions cycle, and it’s the beginning of their journey toward a legal career. I LOVE the first day of school. It’s the day you meet new friends and reconnect with classmates whom you missed over the summer. It’s a day of new possibilities, new subjects to explore, and opportunities to seize. And after three (too) quiet summer months, what I most appreciate is that it is the day the campus comes back to life. So welcome entering class of 2014, and welcome back to our returning students and faculty. And for today I won’t even complain about the back-to-school traffic.

Orientation – Class of 2017

August 15th was the first day of orientation for the University of Houston Law Center’s Class of 2017.  The 1L’s were welcomed by Dean Leonard Baynes and received advice from faculty and current students on how to succeed during the first year of law school.  They also toured the facilities, met with library staff, had lunch with mentors and attended a student organization fair.

The second day of orientation was our inaugural “Community Service Day” project.  More than 180 first-year students volunteered at the Houston Food Bank or an immigration clinic. For those that participated in the immigration clinic, the students and faculty helped undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children apply for special legal status under the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  About 30 UHLC students helped immigrants fill out forms with about 40 applying for DACA renewals and 20 filing initial applications.

The Houston Food Bank volunteers packaged 11,860 meals containing 14,232 pounds of food.   DSC0113

Congratulations to everyone for their hard work and dedication to service!

Life is sweet at the Law Center

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Assistant Dean for Admissions Jamie Dillon and Associate Director of Admissions Nathan Neely, part of team “UHLCupcakes” (so aptly named by our own Associate Director of Admissions Pilar Mensah), participated in the Cougar Cupcake Challenge on Friday, August 8th, hosted by the University of Houston’s Office of Special Events. Although our talented group didn’t win the challenge, they clearly took the cake (pun intended) with the originality of their display, meant to replicate the brand new TDECU stadium on the UH campus. If you take a closer look, you’ll see various UH notables included as key players in the cupcake games, including Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory, Systems Chancellor Renu Khator, and Dean-designate Leonard Baynes, along with our very own Dean Dillon.

cupcakes

Members of the Admissions staff worked extremely hard crafting the small mock-up of the long-awaited stadium, paying close attention to details such as bleachers made out of plastic cups and the ever-present bright stadium lights of every Texas football field. Participants in the cupcake competition were rewarded handsomely with the cupcakes themselves, which the rest of the Law Center staff had the pleasure of enjoying afterward. Dean Dillon indicated that while the Admissions Office’s display wasn’t chosen for first place, it was without a doubt the crowd favorite.

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See? It’s not all work at the Law Center! Our staff and students know how to play hard as well, as evidenced by the thought put into our office’s amazing cupcake display. In fact, any of our law students or Admissions staff are happy to tout our love of Houston and all the fun things there are to do in our city to any curious prospective student, so don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about life at the Law Center or in Houston.

And for anyone now nursing an insatiable hunger for cupcakes (or is that just me?), Houston has an amazing selection of gourmet cupcake shops, including Sprinkles, Crave, Ooh La La, What’s Up Cupcake, and Frosted Betty Bakeshop, just to name a few!