A Note from UH Law Center Dean Ray Nimmer  Vol. 1, No. 9

When the world sits up and takes notice of a professor, something special is at work.  At a recent ceremony in Mexico City, our own Stephen Zamora received the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor that Mexico bestows on foreign nationals.  Steve was recognized by Mexican President Vicente Fox for “scholarship and teaching that promotes U.S. and Mexican understanding.”  Previous honorees have included Texas governors, U.S. senators, and Bill and Melinda Gates. 

It’s clear that this is not just “another award” – and it’s equally clear that Steve is not just another professor.  He is the Leonard B. Rosenberg Professor of Law, and he has directed our Mexican Legal Studies Program and promoted student and faculty exchanges with Mexican law schools.  Steve started a scholarship program that brings Mexican lawyers to our campus for graduate classes, and he is a founding director of NACLE, the North American Consortium on Legal Education that links law schools in the United States, Canada and Mexico.  Amid all of these activities and his outstanding legal scholarship, Steve also served as Law Center dean from 1995 to 2000. 

Thanks to Steve and other professors, the Law Center includes a distinct and growing international component.  We have built an outstanding Foreign Scholars LL.M. program that has graduated nearly 300 students representing 59 countries.  In recent months, we have hosted academics from Korea, China and Argentina, and one of our visiting professors – Charles Meyer – was schooled at Oxford University. Law practice and academics are increasingly global in nature, and our school is actively pursuing initiatives that reflect this change. 

In this, the last Dean’s Note that I will write in 2006, I want to add an international footnote of my own.  Next month, I will begin teaching a 10-week course as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in International Commercial Law at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon.  The Fulbright was awarded before I became dean, and it is a special honor for me and for the Law Center.  I will continue with my dean duties while I am in Portugal, and I will be in daily touch with Associate Dean Richard Alderman who will assist in day-to-day duties of running the Law Center.

Best wishes to all of you for the holiday season. 


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