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Two New $25,000 Scholarships Created by UH Law Alumnus Andrew Cobos

UH Honors College Director, Service Learning Douglas Erwing (J.D.’93, Ph.D.’05);  Associate Dean of Alumni and Communication Relations Sondra Tennessee; UH Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes; Andrew J. Cobos (M.B.A.’11, J.D.’11); Nicholas G. Kacal (J.D.’20),  Associate Attorney for The Cobos Law Firm; and Kianna Yvonne Zermeno (’19), Intake Specialist for The Cobos Law Firm

November 5, 2021 - Andrew Cobos may have graduated from the University of Houston Law Center and Bauer College of Business in 2011, but he hasn’t forgotten the impact of those schools on his life. This past year, the Cobos Law Firm gifted a generous $25,000 scholarship to the Law Center and another $25,000 to UH’s Bauer School SURE™ program. The law scholarship will go to a first-generation student as part of the UH Law Center’s Fuel the Future Initiative, which empowers social equity and access to legal education through philanthropic support.

“Many thanks to UH Law alumnus Andrew Cobos for giving a very generous gift to the UH Law Center in order to support student scholarships,” Dean Leonard M. Baynes said. “Fuel the Future!”

The other gift goes to the SURE™ program - which stands for Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship. It empowers entrepreneurs in under-resourced communities, like Houston’s Third Ward, teaching them essential business skills such as record-keeping, taxes, marketing, and financial management.

Investing time and talent in students and other small businesses is important to Cobos because of the time and talent UH educators gave to him and his attorneys at Cobos Law Firm. He believes that’s what gave them the skills necessary to be better advocates and he wants to repay that gift. “The most important thing that my firm can do is give back to assist others along their educational journey,” Cobos said.

Cobos himself is no stranger to giving back. Before enrolling in UH’s Law Center in 2008, he gave to his country by joining the military and earning his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Early in his military career, Cobos served in security operations with the Secret Service for the President and Air Force One. During his second combat tour, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. It was during his time in the military that Cobos discovered his love for law.

“Our job was to guard and to prevent terrorist attacks at the polling sites,” Cobos said. “I would talk to the Iraqi citizens about issues important to them. We would routinely discuss topics such as what the proposed constitution meant, the rights inherent to a free country, and the need for a strong judicial system.”

Working with and recognizing the strengths of others is what has made Cobos so successful in his life. In giving these generous gifts to the University, he took a moment to share his appreciation for the teachers who helped him along the way. “Sylvia Polhamus and Rose Aguilera taught me how to write and structure arguments and Kelly Groves taught me how to research,” said Cobos. “David Dow and Ron Turner taught me how to see the world through a different lens, and Bill Alexander and Saleha Khumawala how to run a business.”

When learning about the Cobos scholarship, Saleha Khumawala, founding director of the SURE™ program, returned Cobos’s warmth and appreciation: “It speaks volumes about his values and the giving back attitude he has cultivated in his law firm,” Khumawala said. “Through his investment in SURE™, the scholarship from the endowment will be of immense benefit and even life changing for our students and the under-resourced entrepreneurs we serve.”

And while Cobos says there are so many others he’s grateful to for where he is in life, he believes that Welcome Wilson, Sr. taught him an invaluable life lesson. “That giving back matters!” said Cobos.

These gifts - totaling $50,000 establishes both scholarships. Cobos intends to develop and grow his firm’s relationship with the Law Center and the SURE™ program. His commitment is that the Cobos Law Firm will be supporting law students and small businesses because it enriches the lives of others and the community. To date, over 1400 entrepreneurs have been trained and 600 small businesses launched in under-resourced communities with the assistance and guidance of the SURE™ faculty.

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