Feb. 16, 2018 — University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes brought students up to date Tuesday on the headway the school is making on its law building campaign.
"We're making a lot of progress on steps needed for the realization of a new facility," Baynes said during his spring semester, "Discussion with the Dean." "We signed a contract with a program consultant in December who has been helping us with the design, schematics, and how things fit together.
"We're at the same time trying to raise money. The goal is to raise $10 million by the end of the year and we are at more than $4 million now. We hope to show the state legislature that this is like a 'down payment,' and that our alums and friends are very excited about the possibility of a new building."
For inspiration for the new building, Baynes said he and his staff have visited several sites featured on the bestchoiceschools.com list of the 50 most impressive law school buildings in the world, including the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, and the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Baynes also will visit New York to tour the Fordham University School of Law, New York Law School, and the New York University School of Law.
On other matters, Baynes noted that clerkships have dramatically increased among Law Center students, and emphasized how students can gain a unique perspective with exposure to the judiciary.
"The goal is to increase clerkships," Baynes said. "It's very important for our students to consider being federal clerks or state court clerks. It's a great opportunity to learn from a judge and earn a prestigious credential."
Baynes also stressed the significance of students succeeding on the bar exam.
"It's really important to put all of your effort into the first time," Baynes said. "The power is within your hands, and we're going to help you as much as we possibly can to make sure you pass the first time. When you pass the first time, you're going to get a job right away, and it means you aren't going to be anxious about having to take it a second time."
Baynes summarized some of his recent activities including alumni events in Phoenix and San Diego. He also provided a preview of upcoming events, staff changes and retirements. The discussion concluded with a question and answer session with students.