Sept. 14, 2017 -- Before cracking their textbooks and attending courses, University of Houston Law Center 1L students began their semester with acts of generosity.
The volunteering initiative, started by Dean Leonard M. Baynes, is intended to set a good example for Law Center students entering the legal profession in terms of providing support to the community.
Entering students and faculty participated in a number of community service programs spread throughout three days in August.
Twenty students spent time assisting volunteer attorneys at a naturalization workshop on Aug. 12 at the Ripley House Center.
About 10 students joined Houston Volunteer Lawyers for the Houston Bar Association's Veteran's Clinic on Aug. 18 at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where they had an opportunity to sit in on meetings with veterans seeking legal advice.
The following day, Law Center students and faculty spread throughout Houston for four separate initiatives.
About 25 students went to the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Legal Clinic in the Third Ward to assist citizens in need and those who cannot afford legal representation.
Twenty volunteers assisted with mulching, making beds for planting and weeding at the Beauty's Community Garden in Independence Heights. Beauty's Community Garden is a community beacon that has been a consistent source of health and wellness for residents who need it the most. In a neighborhood that is a food desert, the garden is and has been a historically natural source of healthy vegetables and a site for mentorship and educational programs.
More volunteers got their hands dirty when 40 students lent a helping hand at the Japanese Garden Hermann Park Conservancy. The final event at the Houston Food Bank drew nearly 150 students who spent the afternoon preparing packages for those in need.