Aug. 22, 2016 - First-year University of Houston Law Center students committed to exemplifying competence, civility and integrity in their legal careers as they were welcomed to the school last week during a dinner at the Hilton University of Houston.
Students also had a chance to visit with their new classmates, meet Law Center faculty and staff, and hear words of wisdom from members of the Houston legal community.
With a median GPA of 3.53 and median LSAT score of 159, Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes commended the students' accomplishments prior to law school in his opening remarks.
"I'm very proud of the Law Center and of this class," Baynes said. "It is one of our most diverse classes in the school's history, with excellent credentials. We can have excellence and diversity at the same time."
Cynthia Mabry '10, an associate at Mayer Brown, served as the keynote speaker. She advised students to get to know their classmates by participating in student organizations, to seek mentorships, and commit to doing pro-bono work.
"This is a terrific journey you're about to embark on," Mabry said. "Over the next three years, through the late nights in the library, the journal assignments, and study groups, you will form relationships with your classmates that will last a lifetime.
"Most of you will stay here in Houston for the majority of your career. Look around you – these classmates will be your colleagues, your opposing counsel, your clients, your judges, and your senators. This is not only the beginning of your law school career, it is truly the beginning of your professional career as an attorney."
Additional speakers included Neil D. Kelly, a partner at Andrews Kurth LLP, and the president of the Houston Bar Association, and 127th District Court Judge Ravi K. Sandill '01, who administered the Law Center's Oath of Professionalism.
The oath reads:
"As a student at the University of Houston Law Center and a member of this law school community, I will strive for excellence in my professional preparation by learning the law and the lawyer's skills to be the very best of my ability, by taking pride in my work, and by taking responsibility for my actions. I will be courteous, civil and prompt in oral and written communications. I recognize that my word is my bond. I will strive for integrity and balance in my personal and professional life by connecting my values and sense of fairness to the conduct expected of me as a law student, by maintaining my physical and mental health, and by valuing both personal and professional relationships. I will seek social justice by serving the local, national, or global community with special attention to those in need, and by recognizing the worth and dignity of every person I encounter."