We just admitted our best first year class ever, and have some high caliber new hires…not to mention an AWESOME new building!!!
This fall, I start my ninth year as dean. It is hard to imagine how quickly time has passed. This should prove to be the most “normal” fall opening in the past three years. We plan to have a full menu of in-person, incoming student activities: a full-day of orientation, a professionalism dinner where Magistrate Judge Yvonne Ho ’06 swore the students into the profession, and community service activities where incoming students learn about the greater Houston community through service by gardening in Hermann Park or Beauty’s Community Garden in Independence Heights or working at the Houston Food Bank.
The incoming and returning students will experience one big change from prior years in that they will start their legal studies in the new state-of-the-art John M. O’Quinn Law Building. It has been a decades-long dream (and one my key objectives) that has been achieved through the efforts and dedication of our alumni, faculty, students, staff and UH central administration. Many thanks to all who strived to make this happen.
Always part of my objectives is to enroll law school students with outstanding credentials. I am pleased to announce the impressive credentials of UH Law Center’s incoming first-year class and the outstanding talent of its newly hired law faculty.
First, the entering class of 2022 credentials and diversity are exceptional. This class has a 161 median LSAT and a 3.70 median undergraduate GPA. The LSAT score ties two prior classes as the highest median LSAT in the Law Center’s history, and the median GPA marks a record high. This entering class is also the most diverse in the Law Center’s history. Approximately 81% of our entering 1Ls are first-generation law school students, and 17.7% are first-generation college students. Of this cohort, 55.8% are women, 46.9% are from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, including African Americans, Asian Americans and Latino/a/x Americans and 13.5% identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Combining excellence with diversity is not just a buzzword at the Law Center — it is a reality. I would like to recognize our collective efforts as staunch supporters of diversity, equity and inclusion as we serve as an exemplar for others in legal academia.
Second, I would like to introduce four new exceptionally talented faculty members, whose scholarship and instruction will enhance the law school experience for our students.
S.J.D., University of Toronto Faculty of Law
LL.M., University of Washington School of Law
LL.B., Haramaya University College of Law
Professor Gebru focuses on issues at the intersection of intellectual property law, innovation policy and knowledge governance in both domestic and global contexts. He previously served as an assistant professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law, a visiting assistant professor at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law and a global post-doctoral fellow at New York University School of Law. He has also taught internationally at Haramaya University College of Law (Ethiopia) and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Canada).
LL.M., Stanford Law School
J.D.-equivalent, Ph.D., University of Freiburg
Professor Guggenberger specializes in antitrust, technology, privacy and regulation. Before joining the Law Center, he lectured at Yale Law School and served as the Executive Director of the Yale Information Society Project. He previously taught at the University of Münster School of Law in Germany, the University of Virginia School of Law and the University of São Paulo Law School in Brazil. He also served as an advisor on banking and financial markets regulation and monetary and economic policy to Jakob von Weizsäcker at the European Parliament in Brussels. Guggenberger is in the first cohort of UH Presidential Frontier Faculty, a university-wide integrated interdisciplinary faculty hiring campaign designed to respond to federal priorities and societal challenges.
Clinical Associate Professor & Director of the Civil Justice Clinic
J.D., University of Houston Law Center
B.B.A., University of Houston
Professor Marquez has worked at UH Law Center since 2016, where he began as a Staff Attorney for the Center for Consumer Law. Board certified in Consumer and Commercial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Marquez has experience with consumer legal issues including debt collection, contractor disputes, foreclosures, title disputes and landlord/tenant cases. As a Professor of Practice, he directed the Consumer Law Clinic from 2019-2022 and previously managed the Hurricane Harvey Assistance Program. Under his leadership, the White House recognized the Law Center for its commitment to address the national housing and eviction crisis, and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation funded the Center’s legal aid initiative with a $300,000 grant.
Clinical Assistant Professor
J.D., Stanford Law School
B.A., Wake Forest University
Professor Simmons teaches foreign-trained LL.M. students, 1Ls and graduating 3Ls. She joined the UH Law Center after teaching Fundamentals of U.S. Law, Legal Research and Writing and the Capstone Writing Project at U.C. Berkeley School of Law and Critical Studies at U.C. Hastings College of the Law. She is also a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. Previously, she worked at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley and clerked for Chief Judge Julie E. Carnes of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
A back-to-normal fall school opening! A new Law Center Building! A 1L class with historic entering credentials and diversity! Four excellent new faculty hires! I know that you join me in celebrating this success and sending best wishes to our incoming students and new faculty.
Leonard M. Baynes
Dean & Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center
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