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UHLC Alumna Nicole Nathan Gibson ‘95 honored by Jung Center for her volunteer work with the Anti-Defamation League

September 13, 2023 — University of Houston Law Center alumna Nicole Nathan Gibson (J.D. ’95) was recognized by The Jung Center at the 2023 spring benefit for her work supporting diversity and inclusion.

A firm believer in standing up for others, Gibson has served as regional chair for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and is a member of The Kinkaid School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. She has always implemented her values in the work she has done and what she has accomplished throughout her career.

Gibson discusses the friends she made while at UH Law Center, the significance of being honored by The Jung Center and advice to law students.

Nicole Nathan Gibson

Name: Nicole Nathan Gibson Hometown: Houston, Texas J.D. Received: 1995 Role: Board member with Anti-Defamation League Southwest, The Jung Center and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston

What led you to pursue a legal education at UHLC? What were some of your favorite professors/memories here?

My father. Marvin Nathan, is a 1966 graduate of UHLC, so I was raised with an appreciation for the Law Center and the professors and classmates with whom he remained close. I applied to UHLC knowing the education would be an asset to a variety of career options, but without any specific practice areas identified. It is hard to narrow down my favorite professors, but I'm especially grateful for having the compliment of Yale and Irene Rosenberg for Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law respectively and for having the challenge and impact of Professor Mixon's Land Finance class. I struggled through Professor Guerra Thompson's Criminal Law class and Professor Ragazzo's Business Organizations class, but they were two of the best professors I had, and I'm glad to know that current students are still benefitting from their instruction and guidance. By the end of my UHLC days, I realized the same relationships my father spoke of so fondly. My husband, George, was a fellow Section C classmate, and we are one of three couples that met and married from within our section. Our class of 1995 was incredibly close, and our Section C friends will forever be family.

What does being honored by The Jung Center at the 2023 spring benefit for your work supporting diversity and inclusion mean to you?

I remain overwhelmed by the honor. My efforts are not solitary. Most of my contributions involve volunteering alongside other dedicated volunteers and supporting professionals who commit their lives to this work. I was raised and educated to understand that while it may not always feel safe to speak up, history has taught us that failure to speak up when others are being hurt can have devastating consequences. Tolerance of others’ stories, of others’ history, of others’ identities is not enough. Tolerance is a half-hearted gesture for those unwilling to commit to genuine respect. Some may not understand Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work, and

it’s okay to have and to ask questions, but at its core, it is about thoughtful, intentional respect for all. I am grateful that my work with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has also allowed me to stay connected to UHLC and Dean Baynes with shared support of the Coalition for Mutual Respect and the Nathan Fellowship which places a UH Law student with ADL each summer.

On the heels of the most recent Supreme Court session, I am left feeling that there have been so many setbacks to the rights of too many people. We are all bombarded with demands for our time, and it is easy to say “No, that doesn’t affect me” or “No, I don’t have time for that.” I hope to challenge that thought. When anyone’s rights are restricted, everyone’s rights are impacted, so it does affect all of us. And while it may be true that we don’t have time to do it all, most of us have the capacity to do a little more. If we all do a little more to listen and learn from each other, if we all appreciate the lenses through which our friends and neighbors see the world, and if we can all be more curious and less fearful, then we can get a lot closer to achieving a world with less hate.

In what other ways did a J.D. help you in your career?

My education prepared me in many ways, but mostly with the confidence to speak up, to appreciate what I know and what I don't know and to be unafraid to ask for the opportunity to work toward answers. While in law school, I never imagined I would do many of the things I was tasked with while working at PACE Entertainment (now Live Nation) or in service to various boards, but the education was foundational and the skills of issue-spotting and seeing the facets of complex relationships prove essential repeatedly.

What is one valuable lesson you learned at UHLC?

Preparation is everything. Prepare early and often. And when you think you've done enough, review it again. Nothing matters more in all that we do in the practice of law and in the practice of life.

What advice would you give to law students who are unsure of their next steps?

Don't feel like you must know what you want to do for the rest of your life right now. Be open to all the possibilities. Take classes in a variety of subject areas to build well-rounded skills and knowledge. Take advantage of all that UHLC offers - the coursework, the clinics, the professors, and the professionals, and get to know as many of the people with whom you are sharing the journey as possible. It is the people who will impact your career and your life most of all.

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