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Dear Colleagues:

Happy Holidays!  Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Yalda! Happy  Bodhi (Rohatsu) Day ! Happy Pancha Ganapati!  Happy New YearHappy Winter Solstice!

On behalf of the Law Center, I want to wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season in whatever faith tradition that you observe. Over the past few weeks, the Law Center has celebrated the holidays with the Dean’s Society at the lovely home of alumnus Mark Elias and his wife Courtney. We also had the annual Holiday Coffee where more than 200 alumni, faculty and staff celebrated the holiday season. Like last year, at the faculty and staff holiday party, we sang holiday carols and showcased ugly holiday hats and sweaters. The Dean’s Office was also adorned with decorations celebrating many different faith traditions.

The holiday season is an opportunity for fellowship, the exchange of gifts with family, friends, and co-workers and deep reflection on the meaning of the season and the year that is coming to a close. During my term as Dean, I have focused on how the Houston Law Center is an exemplar of the “Power of Legal Education” because it fundamentally transforms each student by teaching them how to think like lawyers. We see this transformative power in the many successful careers of our powerhouse alumni who are successful in the corporate, public interest, and government practice.

This transformative power is a gift that endures and is a catalyst for the legal education to become more valuable over time. The transformative power is largely attributed to our very talented Law Center faculty (both full-time and adjunct) who teach our really talented students and our top-notch staff who aptly handle many administrative functions. Our students’ success is also attributable to our alumni who support our students through mentoring and hiring as well as providing them financial resources for scholarships and other initiatives.

Please consider taking the time to let your favorite Law Center faculty member or staff member know how important he or she was in your professional or personal development. They will be delighted to hear from you, and by doing so, you will acknowledge the enduring gift of legal education.

All the best during this holiday season!

Leonard M. Baynes
Dean & Professor of Law
University of Houston Law Center