430 Wanted to Know Their Rights
Famed local attorney Ri
chard Alderman ad
dressed 430 public law
students last October at the first
People's Law School. University
law professors and Houston attorneys taught public law classes
free of charge. The sessions, conducted in English
and Spanish, provided a basic legal education to
the general public.
"The purpose of The
School is not to
teach the law on
level, but to provide a great deal
of basic knowledge so that
people will know
what to do when
problems involving the law," Alderman, the
school's founder, said. "Once you
know about the law, you will be
pleasantly surprised at how you
can solve disputes, and you can
save money," he said.
Thirty-five lawyers and
50 UH law students taught and
organized the event. Harris
County District Johnny Holmes,
Defense Attorney Jack
Zimmerman — whose past clients included members of David
Koresh's Branch Davidians —
Gaynell Jones, U.S. Attorney and
six judges gave presentations.
Each student selected
from three of nine legal categories to become familiar with.
These sections ranged from
criminal law to insurance law,
and each consisted of three 45-
UH Law Center
- led by our own
public to a
"I don't know of any program that has done anything of
this magnitude," Alderman said.
The first week the class was
announced (on Channel 13) there
were more than 1,000 requests
this will be used
as a model. It is
my contacts it we
easy to set up," Alderman said.
School was a joint
effort of the UH
community outreach, the Houston Bar Association, KTRK
Channel 13, and
a-day was supplied with a complimentary bag containing a copy
ofAlderman's Know Your Rights,
a booklet comprised of some of
his columns from the Houston
Chronicle, several papers listing pertinent phone numbers,
information about UH's John
O'Quinn Law Library and, of
course, a yellow legal pad.
"The day was a success.
All comments were positive. Applause is due the university, as
it has extended itself and the
law center in particular," said
Marvin Nathan, a Houston lawyer who sits on the UH Law
Center's board of trustees. Plans
are to enlarge the People's Law
School in the coming years.
— Kevin Patton
Law Professor Richard Alderman, pictured with Dr. James Pickering,
led the day-long, first-ever People's Law School. More than 400 attended.
Photo courtey ofUHLaw Center
Interim Dean Raymond T. Nimmer. Photo by Mark Lacy
Dean Robert L. Knauss announced his resignation from the
UH Law Center. Photo by Mark Lacy
Dean Robert Knauss resigned as dean of the
UH Law Center last
year, capping a 20-year law
school dean career. His tenure
of more than 12 years at the Law
Center is longer than any previous dean in the school's history.
"The Law Center owes
Dean Knauss a great debt," said
President Pickering. "Under his
leadership, the law school has
become one of the strongest legal institutions in the Southwest, demonstrated by the quality of its faculty,
research and student body. Its
have an extremely high level
of acceptance in
our own legal
well as nationwide."
Knauss joined the
Law Center in
1981 after serving as Dean of
School for more
than seven years,
efforts in the private sector increased the UH Law Foundation endowment from $500,000
to more than $11 million. A decade ago, 98 percent of the Law
Center's funding came from the
State of Texas. Today, less than
60 percent does.
Knauss was instrumental in helping the Law Center
develop a national reputation
for international legal studies,
especially in Mexican and Russian law. He spearheaded the
"One of my
greatest joys has
— Robert Knauss
Russian Petroleum Drafting
Project to assist the Russian government in creating a more stable
legal environment that would attract foreign investment.
In addition, Knauss initiated many other major special programs and group research projects,
including the Health Law and
Policy Institute, the Environmental Liability Law Program and the
Intellectual Property Law Institute.
Under Knauss's direction,
the Law Center created the largest LL.M. program
in Texas, designed
to provide practicing attorneys with
or "retooling" in
taxation, international law, energy
law, health law and
intellectual property. As a separate
program, the UH
sponsors the largest independent
in the State.
the Law Center was
admitted to the Order of the Coif, the nationwide
honor society for law students
showing distinguished academic
ability at schools of high quality.
Of the 176 law schools in the nation, only 66 chapters had been
admitted by the society when the
UH chapter was installed.
Knauss plans to return to
the Law Center to teach, write and
continue to play an active role after a year's leave of absence.
— Sandra Perdue
Law Dean Knauss