|Laura Gibson ’84|
June 25, 2015 – University of Houston Law Center alumna Laura Gibson, ’84, was elected this month as the new president of the Houston Bar Association, the fifth-largest metropolitan bar association in the nation.
Gibson, a labor and employment attorney and a founding partner of the firm Ogden, Gibson, Broocks, Longoria & Hall, LLP succeeded M. Carter Crow of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. During her one-year term, Gibson said, she will work on initiatives focusing on professional development, mentorship and encouraging pro bono service by the 11,300 members.
Among those initiatives will be one that will provide 35 hours of Continuing Legal Education online credits on the HBA website for free to members. Another involves a partnership with the law firm of Baker Botts, the Houston Grand Opera and Communities in Schools. Baker Botts has commissioned an opera about Peter Gray, the first president of the HBA and a founder of Baker Botts and judge who before the Civil War successfully represented pro bono Emmeline, a slave who had gained her freedom and was subsequently enslaved black woman, in a lawsuit to declare that she was a free woman. In the lawsuit, Gray sought and obtained an injunction that prohibited her removal from the state. After its premiere in May 2016, in conjunction with Law Day activities and as a Service Raiser for the Houston Volunteer Lawyers at the 1910 Harris County Courthouse, the opera will be taken to area high schools to teach children about how one person can make a difference.
Gibson has been a member of the HBA Board of Directors since 2006. She chaired the HBA Labor and Employment Section, served on the council of the HBA Litigation Section, and chaired the Houston Lawyer Referral Service Board of Directors. Gibson has served in leadership roles on numerous HBA committees, including Administration of Justice, Gender Fairness, Law Week, Judicial Polls, Continuing Legal Education, Juvenile Consequences, Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession, and Lawyers Against Waste. She is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
Gibson, a Houston native, is the daughter of the late David A. Gibson, a prominent Houston family law practitioner who died in 1980. But Gibson said that while growing up, she didn’t see herself following in her father’s footsteps: she attended Texas A&M with an eye toward one day owning and operating a summer camp.
Gibson said her father, probably because of her mother’s influence, did not try to persuade her to go to law school. But about midway through her undergraduate studies, she asked her father if she should also consider becoming a lawyer. “I think you’d be terrific,” he told her.
Gibson graduated from UHLC in two-and-a-half years and immediately landed a job at the firm now known as Locke Lord Edwards LLP. A few years later, she and her husband, Bill Ogden, were among the four founding partners of her present firm.
In addition to her practice and HBA duties, this month Gibson completed her service as a director for District 4 of the State Bar of Texas, where she chaired the Administration Committee. She previously served for six years on the Advertising Review Committee, where she served as Chair for three years. The State Bar’s Texas Minority Counsel Program honored her with the Trailblazer Outside Counsel Award in 2013. Gibson has been active in the Association of Women Attorneys since 2003, serving as president in 2011-2012.
Gibson is board certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has been a trial instructor for the National Board of Trial Advocacy and an adjunct professor in legal communications and trial advocacy at UHLC.
Gibson and her husband have four children: Wes, a Marine Captain currently stationed at the Naval Air Station Pensacola; Sheila, a teacher at KIPP Courage College Prep at Landrum Middle School; Kelly, a nurse and research assistant at Methodist Hospital; and Christine, a junior at Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.