April 27, 2016 - In an effort to strengthen ties between the University of Houston Law Center and the business community, Dean Leonard M. Baynes visited the ExxonMobil campus in The Woodlands on Monday.
Baynes spoke to a group of Law Center alumni about his administration's focus on the power of legal education. Associate Dean of External Affairs Russ Gibbs and Assistant Dean for Career Development Allison Regan joined him at Exxon.
"It's on my radar to connect with the energy sector and Exxon in particular, which is such an important global corporation," Baynes said. "Exxon is right in our back yard, and it is important to tighten our bonds and make them even stronger."
Baynes has made similar trips to Houston-based corporate law firms as well as hosting alumni events in Austin, Calgary, Dallas, Denver, New York City, the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and Washington D.C. He plans to visit California and Mexico City this summer.
"I will go wherever the alumni are," he said. "That's why we're ranked No. 7 in networking. It's very important for us to keep up with and keep connected with our alums."
Following his talk, Baynes presented gift bags to Marie McGowan '91, Jim Roach '82, and Denney Wright '93. McGowan serves as Chief Counsel of Environmental and Safety Law at Exxon. Roach is a Senior Tax Counsel for Exxon, a director of the Houston Law Foundation Board, sponsored the Jim Roach Scholarship for Excellence, and won the Dean's Award at the 40th Annual Law Gala and Auction on April 2. Wright is Senior Tax Counsel for Exxon, but also is an adjunct professor at the Law Center who teaches oil and gas tax law.
"I found the discussion of how corporate counsel can actively participate in UHLC activities to be quite informative and far more than the usual call for financial donations," Wright said. "Teaching at the Law Center over the years has been quite rewarding, but other activities requiring less time commitment, such as alumni mentoring, clinical participation, and moot court competitions all provide important personal benefits to the current students who could be future corporate attorneys."
ExxonMobil employs more than 50 alumni of the Law Center, and supports the Law Center through an educational gift matching program that matches $3 for every $1 spent up to $7,500.
"Dean Baynes provided a great overview of the many valuable initiatives he is pursuing at UHLC to better improve the school, not only in its academic standings, but also in producing graduates who can succeed in today's highly competitive corporate culture," Roach said.