Law school ranking rises
The UH Law Center rose to 60th place in the 2007 U.S. News ‘ World Report’s nationwide ranking of law schools, up from last year’s position at 70th and now sharing the title with five other schools.
"I think it takes a while for reputation to catch up, and people are realizing we’re a good law school," Associate Dean Richard Alderman said.
Ensuring that the faculty and students are satisfied is important for any law school because it boosts morale, Alderman said, which in turn allows the school to raise its academic quality and improve social life.
The removal of large classes from the curriculum has also spurred an improvement in the student-to-faculty ratio, he said.
Alderman, who has been at the Law Center for 34 years, said that changes were also made to accompany full-time students who preferred to attend day classes, rather than ones held at night.
Alumni professor John Mixon said that morale among students and faculty has increased because of a systematic effort from the top-down to improve the Law Center.
In the past year, new policies have been implemented to help improve graduate performance on the state bar examination and raise employment rates for students overall. The change has been tangible, Mixon said.
Sanjay Minocha, a second-year law student, said that although the Law Center might not be best law school in the state, its location offers incentives that the University of Texas and Texas A’M do not.
"You have access to job opportunities that you don’t have in other cities," Minocha said. "Austin doesn’t have the legal market that’s in Houston. The city location in Houston allows for the UH law students to have access to more jobs coming out of school."
Minocha said there are still parts of the school that can be improved upon, such as course scheduling conflicts, which can cause problems for students.
Despite some perceived shortcomings, however, Minocha and Mixon said that morale is elevated. This has made the Law Center a better learning environment, Alderman said, and is reflected in the whole school.
"UH is starting to be recognized nationally the way it should be," Alderman said. "I assume we will continue to move up (in the rankings)."