A note from UH Law Center Dean Ray Nimmer
Vol. 4 No. 11
Dean Ray Nimmer

It gives me great pleasure to recognize the next president-elect of the AALS: the Law Center’s Michael A. Olivas, who holds the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and directs our Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance. His appointment as president-elect is subject to vote by AALS members on Jan. 9 during the annual meeting of the AALS in New Orleans.

Much like the American Bar Association is to lawyers, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) is to professors and legal educators charged with preparing students for rewarding careers in law. The AALS is widely respected as our nation’s primary resource for improving the quality of legal education, and past presidents include luminaries from top schools across the country.

It would take several Dean’s Notes to properly catalogue everything that Michael has accomplished during his career. Instead, I will quote the closing line from a memorandum authored by the chair of the AALS Committee on Nominations: “No short and necessarily selective biographical statement can do justice to the remarkable productivity of Olivas’ life, the quality of his many contributions or the strength of his devotion to academic values.”

Suffice it to say that Michael is widely recognized as a prolific legal scholar, and his book on Hernández v. Texas has been hailed for renewing academic and lay interest in this important but overlooked Houston-area civil rights case. As busy as he is, he still finds time to devote to a noble goal: encouraging underrepresented groups of students to take the beginning steps toward becoming a lawyer. Three years ago, Michael helped create the “Pre-Law Institute,” an intensive month-long summer course at the University of Houston that pushes and prepares college sophomores to gain entry to the law school of their choosing.

Congratulations, Michael, and good luck in your important work with the AALS. The entire legal profession will be better for the experience.


Note: I plan to host a reception for friends of the Law Center during the upcoming AALS annual meeting in New Orleans. If you can join us on Thursday, Jan. 7, in the Windsor Room at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside from 6:30 to 9 p.m., please click here to RSVP.

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