Skillful Lawyers affirms the Law Center’s commitment to emphasize the art of advocacy throughout its curriculum and special programs. Lawyers must be effective writers and communicators, and they must understand how to properly advocate for their clients. The Law Center is recognized for the innovative way it combines the study of substantive law with in-depth skills training. Our clinical programs expose students to hands-on case and client management in diverse legal disciplines, and our coursework and competitive programs help students hone their advocacy and persuasive technique. The last component is perhaps the most important: critical legal research and writing skills covered in our LRW (legal research & writing) courses that give students a solid foundation in the fundamental tools they will use throughout their careers.
The BLAKELEY ADVOCACY INSTITUTE includes instructors and guest lecturers who are among the most respected trial and appellate attorneys in the nation. Our students learn effective pretrial, trial, and appellate techniques and test their advocacy mettle in regional, state, national and international competitions. Keystone topics covered in our SKILLFUL LAWYERS program include dispute resolution, negotiation, and the effective use of presentation technologies.
CLINICAL LEGAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS give our students practical experience in the legal profession while they are still in law school. Under the supervision of clinical faculty, students handle all aspect of cases, from interviewing and filing motions, to conducting trials in court and filing an appeal. Students are trained to be competent, professional and ethical advocates for their indigent clients. Our program emphasizes the importance of pro bono work, along with the important roles that lawyers serve in the judicial and legislative systems.
Attorneys and judges agree that writing ability is a distinguishing feature of successful lawyers. To ensure that our graduates have the skills demanded by the legal community, the Law Center focuses a significant part of its first-year curriculum on building research proficiency and teaching students how to efficiently survey sources that may be applicable to their cases.
THE LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING TEAM at the Law Center includes nine clinical professors – each with extensive legal experience and a proven ability to convey skills knowledge to students.
A team of students and faculty from the Law Center’s Immigration Clinic recently took a case to the U.S. Supreme Court – and earned a unanimous 9-0 win.
2009 Super Lawyers ranked the Law Center 34th among 200 law schools in the number of alumni who are viewed as the top practitioners in the legal profession.
ACADEMIC APPOINTMENT DIRECTORSHIPS distinguish leaders of our centers of excellence, and they are important tools that help elevate the national and international profiles of our special programs. Creating an academic appointment directorship typically involves a commitment of $100,000.
Opportunities in this area include: Blakeley Advocacy Institute Directorship Clinical Legal Education Program Directorship Legal Research and Writing Directorship
NAMED PROGRAMS allow the Law Center to host or create special programs that appeal to a donor’s specific areas of interests. Examples of these programs include lectureships, speakers series, a special edition of a research journal, or a regional or national competition for law students. Creating a named program typically involves a commitment of $100,000.
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FUNDS allow faculty members to pursue commissioned research on legal topics or issues that match the specific interests of donors. Creating these types of funds typically involve a commitment of $50,000.
TARGETED GIFTS allow donors to directly support a specific area of interest at the Law Center, including clinics, special programs or a center of excellence. Examples of these types of gifts include sponsorship of a student writing competition or the underwriting of a student fellow in one of our clinics. Targeted gifts typically range from $2,500 to $10,000.
For more information on how you can invest SKILLFUL LAWYERS at the University of Houston Law Center, please contact:
Russ Gibbs, D.Min., CFRE
Associate Dean of External Affairs