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Commencement 2024

UH Law Center graduates urged to seize opportunities and lead with compassion

Graduates walking in

Commencement 2024

UH Law Center graduates urged to seize opportunities and lead with compassion


2024 Law Center Commencement speaker Lola Lin

May 15, 2024 — University of Houston Law Center commencement speaker Lola Lin encouraged the Class of 2024, which included 262 J.D. graduates and 47 LL.M. graduates, to embrace possibilities, navigate challenges with sound judgment, and demonstrate empathy during Saturday’s ceremony at the Fertitta Center.

Lin is a 1999 alumna of the UH Law Center and is the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal and Compliance Officer and Secretary of Howmet Aerospace.

“Remember today as a day that represents a lifetime of achievement,” she said. “You now have discovered what you are made of—and it is remarkable. And because you are so exceptional and prepared, the world is ready for you to lead. We need your insight—your expertise—and your will to push forward our future with endless promise. You will take up the most important matters and we feel assured that our society will be better in your care.”

Lin explained that legal professionals can encounter many different situations that require a customized solution. To reach the correct conclusions, new attorneys must be able to apply objectivity and then proceed with a plan.

“To do this, you will need to pair your best traits with other traits that may be less natural to you to get to the right answer. Some days require the aggressive you, while others require the deferential you. One day, you may need to be by the book and other days you need to throw out the old playbook and try some new plays. As you become more well-rounded, you will be able to counsel more effectively in any situation.” - Lola Lin

“The only constant in your career is that things will change. As you know, the world around us is volatile and uncertain. Your company may get sold; your firm may split up; the focus of the practice may change. You can move ahead if you look for and take hold of the opportunities that always arise in the hurricane that comes with change. If you have developed the skills to be flexible and evolve - you will excel.”

UHLC Dean Leonard M. Baynes, the ninth dean in the school’s history and the longest serving law dean in Texas, stressed the need for empathy to foster unity and adaptability to handle challenges.

“Our times call for kindness, compassion and understanding. In a country and state with so many people of so many different backgrounds, it is important for us to think about each other before we act. The times require empathy so our nation will move forward together with each different group understanding each other,” said Baynes. “We are also living in the age of disruption, and you must be prepared to navigate changes in our environment, in politics, in society, in technology, and in law.”

Dean and Students
Tennessee and Students

Gregory C. King of the University of Houston System Board of Regents also provided remarks. King, a 1985 alumnus of the Law Center, is a managing partner of EnCap Flatrock Midstream.

King told graduates that their UHLC law degree represents dedication, resilience, and opportunities.

“Your degree is a testament to your ability to face your fears and meet challenges head on and succeed. With your law degree in hand, your career possibilities are unlimited no matter what you choose to do,” King said. “Don’t be afraid to set ambitious goals. Find work you're passionate about. And pursue it with integrity, humility, and respect for others.”

UHLC 2024 Commencement Resources


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