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As 2020 draws to a close, it is important to recognize that it will be remembered in the history books as being one of the most challenging years in our nation’s history. We have witnessed racial/social unrest, an economic downturn, and a contested presidential election outcome along with a once-in-a-century pandemic. Together, these occurrences have totally upended our world.
For almost one year, we have tried to stay safe as we sheltered ourselves from the rages of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, more than 16.6 million people have been infected and more than 302,000 have perished from the virus. For safety reasons, the University of Houston Law Center migrated the vast majority of classes, services, and events online.
Amid all the difficulties, it is critical to highlight some bright spots.
• The construction started on The John M. O’Quinn Law Building.
• Our faculty, staff, and students have adapted to engaging with the world through online video conferencing for instruction, events and work-related meetings.
• We have created a website highlighting our considerable racial justice and human rights initiatives.
• Along with Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, the University of Houston Law Center co-convened the Black Lawyers Matter conference which drew more than 1,000 attendees from across the country.
• Our excellent faculty, who are brilliant teachers with stellar academic credentials, continue to author outstanding research and scholarship shaping the global and national debate.
• Our engaged, diverse, and well-credentialed student body possesses one of the largest first-year classes with a median LSAT of 160 and a median undergraduate GPA of almost 3.6.
• Our law alumni leaders have used their lawyering skills to represent clients in socially and economically important cases and continue to support us through philanthropy, mentoring and hiring our students.
I am personally very thankful to serve as your dean for almost 6 1⁄2 years.
Please enjoy the “Year-in-Review” edition of Briefcase magazine which highlights many of the great things happening at the law school. We will also give you a peek into the construction progress of the new John M. O’Quinn Law Building and a summary of the Law Center’s efforts to address the racial and social inequity in our society and the response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as highlighting many other significant achievements and outcomes.
I wish you and your families continued good health, safety, and overall well-being in the new year.
Leonard M. Baynes
Dean and Professor of Law
Dean’s Note 3 Pandemic 4 Protest 7 Progress 8 Alumni Feature:
Jim Lemond ’70 10
Racial Equality & Social Justice 12
Briefly Noted 21
Alumni Feature:
Lucy Bassli ’00 24
Briefly Noted 25
Alumni Feature:
Jaime Gutierrez ’20 44
Holiday Coffee 44

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