Jan. 6, 2015 – University of Houston Law Center professors were well represented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, leading panel discussions and speaking on subjects as diverse as developments in health law and employment discrimination to a documentary from an Academy Award winner on an historic Senate confirmation.
The Law Center also hosted a reception led by Dean Leonard M. Baynes attended by more than 100 alumni and legal scholars.
Professor Michael Olivas, a former AALS president, led a discussion of the film “Anita,” about the woman, Anita Hill, whose testimony about alleged sexual harassment at the hands of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas transfixed the nation 23 years ago.
A college professor then and now, Hill, an African-American, testified before an all-male, all white Senate panel about repeated incidents of harassment when she worked for Thomas. He was subsequently confirmed, but her dramatic, oftentimes graphic, testimony proved a watershed moment in gender equality. The film recounts her testimony and its aftermath and provides a rare look into her private life since she became a national figure.
Hill participated in the panel discussion moderated by Olivas dealing with Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees.
Other faculty members participating in the conference held Jan. 2 - 5 in Washington, D.C., included: David Kwok, speaking on the topic “Health Law Works-in-Progress;” Jessica Mantel, “The Fifty Years’ War: Can Legislation Ameliorate Poverty?” Jessica Roberts, “Employment Discrimination and the Americans with Disabilities Act at 25 Years;” Spencer Simons, who organized and presided over a day-long workshop of the Committee on Libraries and Technology and spoke on the subject of “Providing Your Dean with Support and Counsel;” Kellen Zale who participated in a Property Section mentoring breakfast where she presented her work-in-progress titled “Sharing Property;” and Zachary Bray and visiting Professor David Fagundes who moderated a discussion of Zale’s work. Olivas also spoke on “The Higher Education Act at 50” and discussed “A View from Both Sides” before the Committee on Libraries and Technology. Russ Gibbs, associate dean of external affairs, led a “Hot Topic Roundtable” on “Talent Turnover -- Critical Challenges.”
Professor Greg Vetter served on the board of the AALS IP section which conducted two panel discussions followed by a reception. Associate Dean for Student Affairs Sondra Tennessee is the 2015-2016 chair for the Part-Time Section.