University of Houston Law Center
Clinical Legal Education Program
4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060

Directions to the UH Law Center

Room 56, TU2 (Ground Floor)

Phone 713.743.2094
Fax     713.743.2195

Clinical Faculty

Link to Clinic Faculty Biographies


Janet Heppard
Director, Clinical Legal Education Program
Director, Civil Practice Clinic
Associate Clinical Professor

Janet B. Beck
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor, Immigration Clinic

Christopher Heard
Director, Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor

Geoffrey Hoffman
Director, Immigration Clinic
Associate Clinical Professor

Richard McElvaney
Director, Consumer Law Clinic
Director, Center for Consumer Law
Associate Clinical Professor

Diane M. McManus
Clinical Supervising Attorney, Civil Practice Clinic

Josephine Sorgwe
Clinical Supervising Attorney, Immigration Clinic

Yvonne Taylor
Director, Criminal Defense Clinic
Adjunct Professor

Kristina Van Arsdel
Director, Externship Program
Adjunct Professor 

Rosemary Vega
Contract Staff Attorney, Immigration Clinic

Tasha Willis
Director, Mediation Clinic
Director, ADR
Associate Clinical Professor

Professional Staff

Thelma M. Baines
Program Manager, Clinical Legal Education Program

Thelma M. Baines is the Program Manager for the Clinical Legal Education Program. She earned her Paralegal Certificate from the University of Houston in 2005. Baines began working at the UH Law Center in 2005 as a legal secretary working closely with Professor Joseph A. Vail, founder and then director of the UH Immigration Clinic. She became the clinic Program Manager in 2007.  Prior to coming to UH, Baines was a legal assistant at Barrett, Burke, Daffin, & Frappier LLP and served as a collection supervisor for Commonwealth Mortgage/Transworld Mortgage.

Elsa Ramirez
Legal Secretary, Clinical Legal Education Program

Elsa Ramirez is a Legal Secretary for the Clinical Legal Education Program. She earned her Associates in Paralegal from the Houston Community College in 2008. Before joining the Law Center in 2010, Ramirez worked as a family law paralegal at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) providing direct legal services to victims of domestic violence. She also serves as an interpreter, translating legal documents and interpreting client meetings, home visits, and civil court proceedings for the Clinic. She is a member of the Paralegal Division for the State Bar of Texas. Ramirez has completed 40 hours of basic mediation training at the AA White Dispute Resolution Center at the University of Houston Law Center.

Brisa M. Gossett
Legal Secretary, Clinical Legal Education Program
Executive Secretary, Center for U.S. and Mexican Law

Brisa M. Gossett currently splits her time between the Clinical Legal Education Program and the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law. Gossett began working at the University of Houston in 2006 as a work-study before becoming member of the staff. She coordinates student programs and marketing initiatives for the Center and Legal Clinics. Gossett has served as a member of the UH Law Center Staff Council since 2013.

She received a B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship from the C. T. Bauer College of Business and a B.S. in Spanish from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston in spring 2011. Gossett graduated from the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston in 2008.