Jan. 20, 2021 - Recent graduates of the University of Houston Law Center were welcomed into the legal profession at the virtual Pass the Bar celebration last week held on Zoom.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic test-takers faced numerous challenges including the exam being re-scheduled through two different methods and September and October of last year. The exam was also administered in two non-traditional methods in hotel rooms and online.
"What I'm most proud of our recent graduates is that they persevered," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. Our first-time test takers in September and October passed at 88 percent under all this confusion. It is a testament to your resilience and your excellence.”
Additional speakers included Bill Kroger, president of the Houston Bar Association and a partner at Baker Botts, and Justice Evelyn Keyes, formerly of the Texas First District Court of Appeals and a 1987 alumna of the Law Center.
Among Keyes' advice for graduates was to think outside the box when it comes to their legal careers.
"The education you get in law school and leading up to law school is what you need for leadership," Keyes said. "A law degree is wonderful, and there are a lot of different types of practices. Use your contacts, look ahead and consider clerkships or if you want more education."
Kroger congratulated attendees for displaying confidence and determination, discussed the variety of legal career options in the Houston area and encouraged participating in pro bono work.
"Houston is a wonderful place to practice law," Kroger said. "For those who have decided this is where you want to put down your roots and begin to practice, you could not have picked a better city.
"We all have responsibilities to our communities. It's the essence of what we do. Lawyers should be active in pro bono from the very beginning."