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UH Law Center welcomes incoming students with engaging orientation activities, fostering professionalism and community service

Dinner

Incoming University of Houston Law Center students gather for the professionalism dinner at the UH Hilton during orientation week.

Aug. 23, 2023 — The University of Houston Law Center welcomed its incoming class of 1Ls with a week of activities. Incoming students started their orientation by hearing remarks and insights from the dean, faculty, staff, upper-level students, alumni, and members of the legal community.

University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes greeted the class by saying, “We are very excited to officially welcome you to the UH Law Center community. Law school changes people’s lives. By going to law school, you have the opportunity to make a difference in your family, society, city, state, and the world. That’s the transformative power of legal education. Congratulations on being a member of the UH Law Center family.”  

Additional welcome speakers included Assistant Dean for Admissions Pilar Mensah, Professor of Law and Assistant Dean of Opportunities and Community Meridith Duncan, and Student Bar Association President Natalie Luera.

Recent graduates and current students shared their law school experiences with the incoming 1Ls during two days of panel presentations.

The week of orientation activities continued with a professionalism dinner where students learned about the importance of establishing their professional identity early in their legal careers. Featured guest speakers included the Houston Bar Association President and Chamberlain Hrdlicka Partner Diana Gomez, U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr., and UH Law alumnus and personal injury attorney Jacob Karam (J.D. ’17).

The UH Law Center also encourages first-year students to participate in the 2023 Community Service Day to bond with class members and give back to the Houston community. Community Service Day was established in 2014 to engender a sense of public service in students.

Students volunteered for projects and organizations including the Houston Food Bank, Hermann Park – Japanese Garden, Native Seed Packing, and Houston Volunteer Lawyers Veterans Clinic.

Most of the incoming class of 1Ls, 83.2%, are first-generation law school students and 17.9% are both first-generation college and law school students.

The overall entering J.D. class median LSAT is 161 and the median undergraduate GPA is 3.72. This matches the highest median LSAT in the Law Center’s history. The overall median GPA is the highest in the Law Center’s recorded history for both the full-time and part-time programs.

Of this cohort, 53.4% are women, and men 46.6%. The first-year entering class is comprised of 44.3% who are members of underrepresented minority groups including African Americans (6.9%), American Indians (0.8%), Asian Americans (16.8%), Hispanics/Latinx (19.1%) and Native Hawaiian (0.8%). For the second time, incoming students were surveyed about their sexual identity and 14.9% voluntarily identified as LGBTQ+.

Click on the images below for photo highlights of orientation week.


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