UH Law Center partners with Santa Clara Law for joint Communications Law class

Dean Leonard M. Baynes simultaneously lectures students in a University of Houston Law Center classroom and at the Santa Clara University School of Law through teleconference software.

Nov. 23, 2016 – With the assistance of teleconferencing technology, University of Houston Law Center Associate Professor Anthony Chase and Santa Clara University School of Law Professor Allen Hammond are close to completing the first semester of a collaborative Communications Law course between the two law schools.

"It's been a dream of mine for the two years since I've become Dean to have this joint class between UH and Santa Clara Law," Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes said. "I want to give acknowledgment to the two faculty members who have done most of the work – Allen Hammond in Santa Clara and Professor Tony Chase. I think it's a unique experience for both great institutions to share knowledge and learning."

Baynes recently returned to his teaching roots, and gave a lecture to on the role of cable television in communications law.

He said the joint class with Santa Clara provides students with a non-traditional way to communicate with classmates from across the country. Students make presentations that are  critiqued and discussed by their colleagues in each law school's class.

The class featured a virtual visit aided by the same technology from FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn last week. From Washington, D.C., she discussed her agency's priority to advance nationwide accessibility to broadband technology.

"Over the last few decades, we've seen a revolution in the way we access the Internet. From the earliest days of dial-up, to today's home broadband connections," Clyburn said. "The next wireless evolution will fundamentally change the way we live, interact and engage with our communities.

"Policy makers need to ask themselves, 'How do we ensure our communities have the type of infrastructure and affordable means to grow?'"

The class  also featured a virtual visit last week from California Public Utility Commissioner (CPUC) and Santa Clara Law Professor Catherine Sandoval.  Commissioner Sandoval  discussed an investigation  that the CPUC is conducting into call completion failures (calls that are initiated but not carried to their intended recipient), and call access failures where the caller lacks dial tone or the inability to call 9-1-1 though they have paid for the line and it should be live. 

"It is fitting for a class on Communications Law to use this teleconferencing technology to bring such distinguished public officials to the classroom and to be able to partner with Santa Clara  law school, which is in the heart of Silicon Valley," Baynes concluded.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn visits Law Center Professor Anthony Chase's Communications Law class via Zoom technology.

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