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University of Houston Law Center welcomes attendees for the ABA 2024 Americas Conference

 Photos from opening day of the American Bar Association (ABA) International Law Section 2024 Americas Conference at the University of Houston.

Feb. 28, 2024 — Industry experts, legal scholars and government officials from around the world convened last night at the University of Houston Law Center for the commencement of the American Bar Association (ABA) International Law Section 2024 Americas Conference. The conference, titled "The Future of Energy Across the Americas: Helping Lawyers Predict and Adapt,” is taking place from Feb. 27 to March 1 in Houston.

David A. Schwartz, Of Counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Chair of the American Bar Association International Law Section, emphasized the conference theme of joy, highlighting key components and connection with the conference.

“Joy is the theme that I chose this year as chair of the section. There are three reasons for that,” said Schwartz. “The first is we all have that opportunity to feel a sense of joy when we help other people,” emphasizing mentoring and engagement opportunities within the ABA.

Secondly, he discussed the joy found in learning and self-improvement, acknowledging that conference attendees are here to learn from other lawyers.

“The third and final piece of joy is the joy of being able to connect,” said Schwartz, highlighting connection as an important aspect of the conference.

He also praised the friendliness and welcoming nature of UHLC students.

“At the end of the day it is friendships that will drive networking from a business perspective,” said Schwartz. “That is a quality your students have and a quality we welcome in the international law section.”

University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes expressed his delight in welcoming the American Bar Association to the Law Center’s John M. O’Quinn Law Building, emphasizing the significance of such collaborative events with a prominent organization.

"It is important to co-sponsor events of this magnitude," said Baynes. “As an academic institution, it is crucial for us to be part of the legal community and to give forethought to issues affecting the Americas and energy.”

Karen Jones, Executive Director of the University of Houston Law Center Global and Graduate Programs, reflected on the year-and-a-half journey leading up to the conference.

“I am happy to see it culminate with all of us being here,” said Jones, who is also an organizing committee conference co-chair. “Houston is an ideal place for a conference on energy. We are the energy capital of the world, and the University of Houston Law Center has a top 10 LL.M. program in the world for energy law.”

UHLC has multiple LL.M. programs ranked within the top 10 worldwide, such as global law, intellectual property law, and health law. Additionally, UHLC provides a U.S. Law LL.M. tailored for foreign lawyers and hosts a Legal English Certificate (LEC) Program.

The opening day of the conference featured a series of sessions, including discussions on "The Global Nuclear Renaissance: Challenges and Opportunities" and “Energy Professionals Forum: In-House Counsel Perspectives.” The day ended with a conference networking reception.

For more information about the conference, please visit the event website here.

For more information on the UHLC Master of Laws programs visit,

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