Distinguished judges set for Sondock 'Jurist In Residence' program at UH Law Center

Visiting members of the bench provide valuable insight into the judiciary through day-long interaction with students, faculty, alumni and practitioners  

Oct. 12, 2016 — The University of Houston Law Center today announced the lineup of distinguished state and federal jurists who will participate in the Judge Ruby Kless Sondock Jurist In Residence Program for the 2016–17 academic year.

The program, starting its second year, brings sitting jurists to campus for a day of interaction with students, faculty and the Houston legal community.  Each jurist provides a lecture on a legal ethics issue important to the community.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey V. Brown will kick off the series on Oct. 24 followed by U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller of the Southern District of Texas on Jan. 30, 2017, and Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit based in Richmond, Va., on April 3, 2017.

"Through the Sondock Jurist In Residence Program, the Law Center brings outstanding jurists to the campus who will give lectures and meet with UHLC faculty, alumni and students," said Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes. "These interactions will bring the Law Center community closer to the bench so we can learn from each other.  It also will help inspire our students to be the next generation of outstanding jurists. We are very proud to host the Jurist in Residence Program so aptly named after Justice Ruby Kless Sondock who is a role model and trailblazer." 

 "Justice Ruby Sondock is truly a living legend," said Professor Meredith Duncan who coordinates the program. "It is a privilege for UHLC to host prominent jurists from around the country in her honor.  We are thrilled for the opportunities this program provides for our students, faculty and the Houston legal community."

Brown, a 1995 graduate of the Law Center, was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Perry in September 2013. He previously served as a justice on Houston's 14th Court of Appeals and as judge of the 55th District Court. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced at Baker Botts LLP in Houston and earlier served as briefing attorney to Justices Jack Hightower and Greg Abbott on the Texas Supreme Court.

Miller, a 1978 graduate of the then-UH Bates College of Law was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2006. Prior to his appointment, he was a senior partner at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, having joined the firm in 1978. From 1969 -1978, he served as an officer with the Houston Police Department.

Gregory was appointed to fill a new seat on the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. He was nominated to the same position by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2001. He earned his J.D. in 1978 from the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law in Michigan and Virginia.

The Jurist In Residence program is named in honor of Sondock, a pioneer in the law who graduated as valedictorian and one of only five women in the UH law school class of 1962.  After practicing law for many years, Sondock was appointed to the 234th District Court in 1977, making her the first female state district judge in Harris County. She was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 1982, making her the first woman to serve in a regular session of the court. Earlier this year, she was proclaimed a "Texas Legal Legend" by the litigation section of the State Bar of Texas.

One hour of CLE ethics credit per lecture is available for attorneys. Click here to register for the first lecture Oct. 24. 

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184, cacriado@central.uh.edu; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713-743-8298, jtkling@central.uh.edu; Elena Hawthorne, Multimedia Specialist, 713-743-1125, ehawthor@central.uh.edu; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055, jtbranne@central.uh.edu 

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 42,700 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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