AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas School of Law will welcome the Class of 2009 on Monday, Aug. 28, and Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Law School’s annual, first-year orientation program. Classes start on Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Highlights of the orientation include talks by incoming Dean Lawrence Sager on the “Law and Legal Process,” the Honorable Marilyn Aboussie, ’74, on “Entering the Profession,” and Professor Derek Jinks on “Defining the Role of Law in Wartime.” In addition, Martha Dickey, ’80, the president of the State Bar of Texas, will give welcoming remarks at a Student Bar Association barbeque for new students.
Morning orientation sessions will be held at the B. Iden Payne Theatre in the Winship Drama Building on campus. Afternoon and evening sessions will be held at the UT School of Law at 727 E. Dean Keeton St.
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 program featuring talks by leading judges, attorneys, and faculty members and events that include career and public service panels, book discussions with professors, lunches with students’ society and mentor groups, a student organization fair, and an outdoor barbeque.
This year, there will be an increased focus on public service at orientation. In addition to remarks by the Honorable F. Scott McCown, ’79, director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, there will be pro bono and public service panel discussions with professors, judges, non-profit attorneys, and private attorneys who do pro bono work. Participants include UT Law professors, district and state judges, and attorneys from Bracewell & Giuliani, Fish & Richardson, Texas Civil Rights Project, Texas Rural Legal Aid, Woman's Advocacy Project, and Vinson & Elkins.
Law students will also have the opportunity to participate in public service projects during the school year through the Society Program. In past years this work has included tutoring local elementary students, a clean-up effort at Lake Travis, painting and renovations at the Austin State School, and helping low-income families prepare their tax returns. Organizations students have worked with include the Austin Parks Foundation, the Capital Area Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, the Survivor Support Network, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
In addition to orientation, Childs and Sokolow oversee the Law School’s Society and Mentor Programs under the umbrella of the Office of Student Life. The Society Program began two years ago with the class of 2007. It was introduced to build a sense of community within the Law School and to allow students to interact with the faculty in small groups. This year will be the first that all three classes are integrated into the program.
“I believe that UT is the only law school in the country to foster interaction among students from each of the three classes in this kind of formalized way,” Sokolow said. “It will help to foster a wider network of social and professional contacts that will be invaluable to our students both during their law school careers and after graduation.”
UT Law Office of Student Life: http://www.utexas.edu/law/depts/studentlife/
2005 Orientation Press Release: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/083005_welcome.html
UT Law Announces New System for First-Year Students: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/071204_societies.html