Aug. 31, 2022 — The University of Houston Law Center opens its state-of-the-art John M. O’Quinn Law Building, the newest law school building in Texas and one of the newest in the country. Law Center students, faculty and staff gathered last Friday to mark the momentous occasion.
“This has been a decades-long dream of alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends who wanted a new building that represented the quality and caliber of the Law Center,” said UH Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes.
Baynes also noted that the new building is a model for others to follow by ensuring that each part of the law school community is represented in the very foundation of the new building.
“I am most proud that our alumni donors stepped up to endow and name different rooms in the building. These donors represent the geographical, racial/ethnic, and gender diversity of our alumni and student body. That diversity will reflect positively on the learning experience of our students who will be able to project into the future and say to themselves that no matter what their backgrounds may be they can be just as successful as our alumni who are able to give back financially to their alma mater,” Baynes said.
The ultramodern nearly $93 million John M. O’Quinn Law Building, located at 4170 Martin Luther King Boulevard, represents a new era in legal education for the Law Center, which opened 75 years ago with classes in converted World War II barracks.
Grown substantially since its early days, the Law Center is home to the University of Houston’s J.D. and LL.M. degree programs. The building also houses nationally ranked clinics, specialty institutes, pre-law pipeline programs and career services.
“When we started this project, all we could think about was what it would be like for students to walk into this new building and feel pride,” said UH Law Library Director and Professor Amanda Watson.
The five-story, cantilevered building was designed by the women-owned architecture firm, Shepley Bulfinch. Built with the personal and educational needs of faculty and students as a top priority, the new facility is equipped with technology and collaborative spaces that will expand teaching capabilities.
With dedicated spaces for research, clinics, courtrooms and events, the new facility has better versatility to serve alumni, the community, the judiciary, members of the bar and other professionals.
UH Law Center Associate Dean Greg Vetter commented on the distinctive design of the building, “The L-shape for the top three stories, the high ceilings and windows all combine to let in copious amounts of natural light, providing a great ambience for our space.”
Throughout its history, administrators, professors and students have worked diligently to secure an outstanding reputation. Today, the UH Law Center is among the top tier law schools in the nation with three specialty law programs ranked Top 10 nationally by the U.S. News & World Report and more than 17,000 alumni worldwide. The UH Law Center is hosting an all-day Celebration and Dedication Conference for the new building on Friday, Sept. 23.
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