Aug. 24, 2020 - The University of Houston Law Center Class of 2023 and LL.M. class of 2021 opened their textbooks for the first time of the Fall 2020 semester on Monday, beginning classes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Law school courses will be delivered through either distance education or HyFlex modalities.
HyFlex is a combination of distance and in-person learning. It gives faculty members flexibility to organize lectures through in person and/or a hybrid component of remote delivery. Law students also have flexibility to attend all their classes all online.
Dean Leonard M. Baynes has announced the theme for the academic year will be “One Community.
“You are part of “one community” – the UH Law Center community. As members of this community, we respect each other; we look out for each other, and we hold each other accountable. It is quite an unprecedented time to be teaching when our nation faces a raging pandemic, racial and social strife, a major economic downturn, and a difficult and combative presidential election and its likely aftermath," said Baynes. "In all of this, it is important for us to keep our eyes on our core mission of educating our students, keeping things as normal as possible, and adding our collective expertise and wisdom to the discussion of these very important issues.”
Full-time students combined for a 160 median score on the LSAT, the highest since 2013, and an undergraduate GPA of 3.57 The median LSAT score of the part-time class was 159, the highest since 2017.
The first-year entering J.D. class is made up of 52.8 percent women and 47.2 percent men, and 36.1 percent of students come from underrepresented minority backgrounds.
Part of the class’ orientation included implicit bias training and a professionalism dinner event held via Zoom. During the dinner, Law Center alumni from across the nation participated including Judge Eleanor Ross ‘94 of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia who swore students in with an oath and joint Law Center and University of Calgary Faculty of Law alumnus Barrett Schitka ‘15, an associate at Dechert LLP in New York, who delivered the keynote speech. Bill Kroger, a partner at Baker Botts and president of the Houston Bar Association, began the event by welcoming the students to the bar and the profession. Alumna Anne Chandler, the Executive Director of the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, also organized a virtual community service day project.