AUSTIN, Texas — This week The University of Texas School of Law welcomed the Class of 2008 to its campus, with an Orientation program featuring leading judges, attorneys, and faculty members as well as a reading program with professors, live music at an outdoor barbeque, a student organizations fair, and movie night.
Orientation co-chairs Allyson Childs, '95, and Professor David S. Sokolow worked with a team of law school administrators, faculty, and students to produce the two-day welcome which, during the past two years, has garnered a near 100% approval rating from students in follow-up surveys. Presenters this year included Dean Bill Powers, the Honorable Marilyn Aboussie, '74, the Hon. F. Scott McCown, '79, Texas State Bar President Eduardo Rodriguez, '68, and as well as many members of UT Law's nationally prominent faculty. The program helps students meet other students and faculty, become acquainted with the campus and classrooms issues, and introduces students to academic and social opportunities at UT Law.
Childs and Sokolow's office, the Office of Student Life, organizes the first year into societies. This new program builds a sense of community within the school by organizing students into small groups that interact with the faculty in social, public service, and academic activities. Society-sponsored social activities in the past have included a boat party on Lake Travis, an evening of bowling, and an early Thanksgiving celebration. In the academic and professional areas, last year the societies hosted a panel discussion on clerkships with U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa and current and former legal clerks; a brown bag lunch on careers in criminal defense law featuring prominent criminal defense attorneys; and a panel on what it is like to practice in a large law firm, with attorneys from around the state as speakers. Each society has different public service projects throughout the school year such as serving as tutors at a local elementary school, supporting survivors of domestic violence, raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
The Class of 2008 will start classes on Wednesday morning, August 31.