HOUSTON – The University of Houston Law Center will once again offer its Judge Ruby Kless Sondock Jurists in Residence Program for the 2016-2017 school year and has announced its lineup of jurists for the program. 

In its second academic year, the Jurists in Residence Program aims to connect students with jurists, allowing them to learn about their lives as a jurist with hopes the students will one day clerk for the jurists or become a judge themselves. Jurists come to the University of Houston Law Center’s campus for a day and a half and participate in a range of events with students, faculty and the Houston legal community, including a lecture, lunch and reception.

“The Jurists in Residence Program helps build relationships between our students and the practicing judiciaries in hopes that jurists will be interested and looking at our students and thinking of them, perhaps, for their prestigious clerk positions," Meredith Duncan, professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center told the Southeastern Texas Record.”

The program also works to build the relationship between the University of Houston Law Center and the Houston legal community, offering one hour of CLE ethics credits for attorneys who participate.

This academic year’s jurists include Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey V. Brown on Oct 24, and U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller of the Southern District of Texas Jan 30, Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit of Virginia will give a lecture April 3.

“We look for jurists from a variety of area of the bench,” Duncan said. “We have a lot of fabulous jurists to choose from.

The Jurists in Residence Program is named after Judge Ruby Kless Sondock, an inspiration to students. As a University of Houston Law Center graduate, Sondock was valedictorian of her class and one of only five women in the Class of 1962. She was the first female appointed to the 234th District Court in Harris County in 1977 and also was the first woman appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 1982.

Sondock continues to participate in the program and always returns to campus for the program she is named after. 

“She’s a living legend in the legal profession,” Duncan said. “She participates so enthusiastically. It provides our students another type of education, especially for female students with how hard it was to be a female lawyer, how far we’ve come and the gratitude we should have for people like Judge Sondock. She really is a pioneer for women in the legal industry.”

Through the Jurists in Residence Program, students get an opportunity to see what it would be like to be a judicial clerk firsthand through the clerks who accompany the judges to the event. 

“Jurists bring their law clerks so our students get to interact in a one-on-one [relationship] and see exactly what [the clerks] do and what their day-to-day responsibilities are,” Duncan said.

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