Center recognized for diversity
The UH Law Center was ranked 22nd nationally for the total number of law degrees conferred on Hispanic students in 2009, according to a study by the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.
“The UH Law Center is pleased to be recognized as a top school for educating Hispanic students,” Jamie West Dillon, director of law school admissions, said. “We strive to recruit a diverse student body with excellent credentials.”
Of 341 degrees granted at the UH Law Center, 10 percent were awarded to Hispanics.
“Our school tends to reflect more the community, and there are a lot of Hispanics in Houston,” Dillon said. “With that being said, we have quite a few Hispanics in our school.”
Research by the Law School Admission Council found a 30 percent increase in Hispanic law students since 2000.
“Evidently, the reason we have such an increase in Hispanic students at the law center, has to do with the fact that we have made all sorts of efforts to attract Hispanic, along with black, students,” Raymond Nimmer, dean for the law center, said. “And that effort has been successful.”
The admissions office attracts Hispanic students to apply through recruiting and campus visits.
“Our office does recruiting at Hispanic-serving universities across Texas, we invite high-performing Hispanic (and other) prospective applicants to apply to our school and provide fee waivers,” Dillon said. “We also reach out to accepted applicants, inviting them to visit campus and speak with faculty and current students.”
Dillon expects more Hispanic law students in the upcoming years.
“Demographically, I think we should probably continue to see a higher percentage as more Hispanic students are attending college each year,” Dillon said.
Dillon expects the increase will provide a goal for future students.
“Many students feel the responsibility to be role models for young people in their communities, particularly for those students who are first-generation college students,” Dillon said. “I hope that young people see the achievements of our graduates and that it does motivate them to work hard in school and to consider a career in law in the future.”
Other schools ranked included the University of Texas at Austin, University of Miami and American University.