Standing Out – Are the Numbers in your Favor?

While some law schools have yet to seat their incoming class, a significant number of programs across the country have commenced their fall semesters.  Typically, the focus is on the seated class and the unique students that have elected to join a specific program.  While stats are certified by the LSAC at the beginning of October (they are currently uncertified [and may not be]), you can find the University of Houston Law Center’s newest class profile available for review.

As we celebrate those that enter into this storied profession, let’s take a moment to understand just how difficult the admission process is to select the Law Center’s incoming student body.  The Admissions Office received 2,565 applications for the Fall 2016 entering class.  Numerically, the applicant pool presented GPAs ranging from above 4.0s to sub 2.0s and LSAT scores ranging from above 175 to below 125.  Regardless of GPA and LSAT, every completed application received full file review as the Admission Committee evaluated each candidate for admission.

The statistics should illustrate the importance of working hard to have your application stand out as admission officers across the nation read and review your application and application materials.  In contrast and as an example, take a look at the top 5 undergraduate programs applicants represented as well as the top 5 majors for applicants:

Applicants represented more than 450 undergraduate programs, the top programs represented were:

  • the University of Texas-Austin,
  • Texas A&M University,
  • the University of Houston,
  • Sam Houston State University, and
  • Baylor University

There were more than 100 different majors represented in the applicant pool. The top majors were:

  • Political Science,
  • Psychology,
  • Criminal Justice,
  • English, and
  • Economics

As you can see, this is not terribly dissimilar from the incoming student profile.  Taking advantage of the multiple programs offered by the Law Center’s Admission Office (Information Sessions [online and in-person], Group Advising, tours, etc.) as well as re-applicant counseling, offers options for applicants to understand the importance of their submission and the relevant pieces of their application both as an incoming student or as a transfer student.

To misquote Public Enemy, “lemme hear you say fight the [numbers]” and educate yourself how to stand out as an applicant.

Cougar Athletics and UHLC – an update

More than two years ago, I blogged about the current state of athletics at the University of Houston.  See what’s new around campus since then with this update!

In 2014, after completing TDECU Stadium, the University of Houston made the decision to part ways with football Head Coach Tony Levine and brought in former offensive coordinator and Broyles Award winner, Tom Herman.  In Coach Tom Herman’s first year, UH not only gained its first conference championship since 2006 but also beat the Florida State Seminoles in the “New Year’s Six” Peach Bowl on December 31, 2015.

In men’s basketball, 2016 saw a return to post-season play with the team receiving a bid to pay in the NIT.  While still looking for a return to Phi Slama Jama glory, the 2016-2017season will see construction start on the next generation of basketball facilities.

2014 saw the addition of the women’s golf team to Cougar Athletics.  Not only was an invitation received to the NCAA San Antonio Regional received in its inaugural year but woman’s golf received a follow up invitation to the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional in year two.

It’s no secret that the University of Houston is working hard to put itself in the best position possible to attract one of the “Power Five” athletic conferences should the winds of expansion blow through college athletics, once again.

With the increased interest in Cougar Athletics, it’s positive to note that tickets to athletic events remain free to all Cougar Card carrying students!

TDECU

Completed TDECU Stadium.

Houston, sports destination de jour!

With apologies to our neighbors to the north, Houston is fast becoming the prime destination for the sports enthusiast.  Lacking only professional hockey, Houston’s offerings range in scope from the wide range of “amateur,” aka college sports, offered in the city limits (including but not limited to the 2015 Peach Bowl Champions, the University of Houston Cougars) to each of the major professional sports.

The weekend of April 1st is a prime example of the prevalence of sports and the options a sports fan has in Houston, Texas. Not only has the University of Houston Law Center hosted the fascinating debate between NYT columnist Joe Nocera and ESPN/CBS analyst Len Elmore asking “Is College Sports Broken?”, but the city of Houston plays host to the 2016 NCAA Final Four men’s basketball tournament, as well as the fantastic Shell Houston Open.

Needless to say it’s an exciting time to be in Houston.  With strong economic outcomes, exciting social opportunities (2017 Super Bowl anyone?), and great communities to build a life within, Houston provides significant options for the discerning student looking to establish their professional life with a mixture of sporting and social activities!

Running in Houston

Last fall I touched upon the subtropical climate native to the Bayou City and the optimal conditions offered for outdoor play, year round.

Considering the importance activity and exercise play in the role of stress management, I thought I would touch upon an alternative to the University of Houston’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center— running!

First, where should one run? In addition to the paths in and around the University of Houston campus, some of Houston’s popular running trails include the Seymour Lieberman Exercise Trail at Memorial Park (intersection of I-10 and 610, about 8 miles away from the Law Center’s campus) with its 2.93-mile crushed granite and packed-earth jogging trail. If you’re up for it, you can add, approximately, another 7.7 miles (or 3.85 one way) to downtown Houston on the asphalt and concrete trails of Buffalo Bayou Park, but beware of the bats at the bridges intersecting the trails at Waugh and Studemont!MPR

Another popular run is the three miles around the campus of Rice University (located in the Museum district, about 4 miles away from campus). Mostly crushed granite and packed earth provide a nice surface for runners and mature oaks provide shade and shield runners from the sun for the majority of the run.

RiceR

Finally, if you’re looking for a route that’s a little bit shorter than the above, try the 2-mile Marvin Taylor Trail around the golf course at Hermann Park (located in the Museum District as well and about 3 miles from Campus). Offering a lot of shade from the historic oak trees lining the golf course, runners see both pavement and gravel trails.

HPR

Why Run? The Houston running community has plenty of opportunities to put your training to the test. Not only does Houston boast one of the top rated destination marathons in the country in the Chevron Houston Marathon, but a myriad of Boston qualifying options are within close proximity from the Woodlands Marathon to the Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon to the largest finisher medal in the country compliments of the Metal Saw Texas Marathon. By my count Houston and the immediate surrounding areas offer upwards of 10 Marathon or Ultra Marathon distance supported runs. This doesn’t begin to include the various 5k and up distances that are offered on a consistent basis throughout the community nor the night/day, mud, color, etc. runs that also present solid options.

Who can you “run” with? Houston has a very active running community! Not only are there several organizations in the Houston area dedicated to running (Houston Area Road Runners Association, Trail Racing Over Texas, to name a few) but students at the University of Houston Law Center can find classmates and colleagues with the same interest through the U.H. Law- Running Group Facebook page.

Best of luck as you find your running path and remember, the first step is always the hardest!

Go to the SHO!

A mere 22 miles from the University of Houston Law Center’s campus, the city of Houston plays host to the PGA Tour tournament, the Shell Houston Open.  Currently played at the Golf Club of Houston, the week before the Masters Tournament, the seven day event has something to offer every level of interest.

Not interested in golf, at all, the tournament course easily offers a scenic 7 mile walk in Greens Bayou, a rarely seen part of the Houston “wild.”

Interested in celebrity? Not only will you get a chance to see some of the PGA’s greatest, as they vie for the million plus dollar purse, but you just might see a non-golf celebrity. This year drew Houston Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien, among others.

Have a passing interest or are highly interested in golf? I’m certain you could find a reason to attend.

Overall, the atmosphere of the Shell Houston Open is entertaining. Food and beverages run on the pricey side ($6 hot dog, $7 adult beverages). Entrance fees start at $30.00, but students on a budget may consider the option to volunteer (although you must purchase a uniform, currently priced at $80.00).

As one of the major sporting event options in the city of Houston, the Annual Shell Houston Open offers an outdoor and unique opportunity to enjoy professional sports, beyond the offerings of NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park, the Toyota Center and BBVA Compass Stadium.

For more information, please visit www.ShellHoustonOpen.com.

SHO1 SHO3