Texas legal scholars share feedback on their research at UHLC workshop

UH Law Center Assistant Professor Emily Berman, left, presents a working draft of a paper on national security law during the Texas Legal Scholars Workshop held at the school.

Sept. 10, 2015 - The University of Houston Law Center recently co-hosted the inaugural Texas Legal Scholars Workshop, a two-day event designed to give Texas law professors with 10 years of experience or less a chance to meet colleagues and receive feedback on their work in progress.

Held Aug. 28-29 at the Law Center, the event, co-sponsored by the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, drew 30 participants from almost all of the state’s law schools. In each hour-long session, presenters gave brief synopses of their papers to a small group of colleagues who then offered critical feedback on how to better shape the work for publication in law journals.

“When SMU Dean Jennifer Collins and I initially discussed doing this workshop almost a year ago, I could only dream that it would be as successful as it was,” UHLC Dean Leonard M. Baynes said.

“The participating faculty received constructive feedback on their works-in-progress, and they built and consolidated relationships with other similarly situated faculty. It was also a great way for us to brand the powerhouse UHLC law faculty,” he said.

Among the UHLC faculty members who presented papers were Assistant Professor Emily Berman, a Constitutional scholar who joined UH last year, who presented her paper “Disaggregating the Government’s Interest in National Security”; Assistant Professor D. Theodore Rave, who presented his paper “Fiduciary Voters?”’ and Associate Professor Jessica Roberts, who presented her paper “Theories of Genetic Ownership.”

“We were very pleased with the workshop,” said UHLC Professor Douglas Moll, who helped coordinate the workshop. “We had hoped to get 10-12 attendees for our first year, so we were very excited when we got 30 registrants. Hopefully, they all received useful feedback on their drafts.”

The event ended with a dinner and reception at Sambuca, a restaurant and jazz venue in downtown Houston’s Rice Lofts.

Moll said the hope is for the workshop to become an annual event, switching between the two law schools on alternate years. Dates have not been set for the next workshop.

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