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Faculty & Staff Focus

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia

U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and
Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia to Teach in Summer Programs

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia will teach in the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education's (CILE) 2014 summer study abroad program.

CILE consists of California Western School of Law in San Diego, New England Law|Boston, South Texas College of Law/Houston, and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. These four independent, ABA-accredited law schools have come together to form a unique partnership that offers expanded opportunities for educational programs on a national and international basis.

CILE offers five summer study aboard programs, four in Europe and one in Chile, that focus on various aspects of international and comparative law. The programs are open to students in good standing at ABA-accredited U.S. law schools.

Chief Justice Roberts will teach a course in William Mitchell’s program in London called "The United States Supreme Court in Historical Perspective." Justice Scalia will teach "Perspectives on the U.S. Supreme Court" in Galway, Ireland, a program run by New England.

"The Consortium for Innovative Legal Education is honored to have Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia teach again in our summer programs, said South Texas Dean Donald J. Guter, CILE's president. "Students from across the nation will have an incredible opportunity to learn from these two extraordinary jurists. We are grateful to both for taking the time to participate in this important educational program."

South Texas leads the summer programs in Malta and Prague. Chief Justice Roberts taught at the Charles University Law Faculty in Prague in 2013 and at the University of Malta's Valletta Campus in 2012. He has also been a faculty member with New England Law's summer program in Galway. This is the first year he will participate in Mitchell in London.

"This is a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to learn from one of our country's preeminent jurists," said Mitchell's President and Dean Eric S. Janus. "I am extremely grateful to Chief Justice Roberts for graciously agreeing to be part of Mitchell in London. I'm also grateful to Dean John F. O'Brien of New England Law|Boston for working with the Consortium for Innovative Legal Education to make this possible."

Justice Scalia also taught in Galway in 2008. The six-week Galway program, which is at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, focuses on courses related to international and comparative human rights law and accountability for human rights violations.

"Justice Scalia's presence will similarly provide New England Law students with an extraordinary opportunity to learn from one of our nation's leading jurists. I am exceedingly proud that our programs are enabling students to hear the perspectives of members of the nation's highest court," said O'Brien.

STCL Graduates Score High Passing Rate on Texas Bar Exam

Congratulations to all of the STCL graduates who passed the July 2013 Texas Bar Exam! South Texas is pleased to announce an impressive 89.35 percent pass rate for the bar exam, putting the college fourth in the state behind Baylor, the University of Texas at Austin, and Southern Methodist University.

"Passing the bar is a major life achievement for a law school graduate, and I am so proud of these terrific bar results," said Dean Donald J. Guter. "It is quite a testament to the quality of our students as well as the hard work they put into their legal education.

"I also want to thank our talented faculty and staff members who went the extra mile in helping these students obtain a first-rate legal education here at South Texas," Guter said. "This is what we are all about – expertly preparing our students for successful careers in the business of the law."

South Texas Expands Bar Passage Efforts with New 
Assistant Dean for Academic and Professional 

South Texas College of Law is pleased to welcome Jocelyn Limmer to the administration as the Assistant Dean for Academic and Professional Achievement. Limmer has joined the law school to expand the school’s comprehensive bar passage efforts for its 3Ls and alumni. 

Previously, Limmer was the Academic Success Program Director and Research & Writing Assistant Professor of Law at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. Prior to that, Limmer practiced complex insurance coverage and appellate law with Hinshaw & Culbertson. Limmer has passed bar exams in California, Alabama, and Florida.

She received her law degree from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana, where she was executive editor of the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. During law school, Limmer interned with the contracts department at Space Systems/Loral, a telecommunication satellite manufacturer, in Palo Alto, California, where she helped draft and negotiate complex international sales contracts.

For the past six years, Limmer specialized in diagnosing and solving both study and testing issues for law students, working with first-through-third year law students to significantly reduce that school’s rate of academic attrition while maintaining its 95-100 percent bar passage rate. Her scholarship focuses on best practices in law school pedagogy and Chinese Contract Law.

“At South Texas, my goal is to help every graduate develop the skills and learning strategies to pass the bar exam,” Limmer said. “I am available to help both current students and alumni, whether they are preparing for their first bar exam, working on retaking a bar exam, or planning to take another bar exam after several years of practice. I’m excited to use my experience as a legal educator, and as a bar-exam taker, to help STCL’s alumni achieve their bar exam goals.”

Please feel free to contact Assistant Dean Limmer if you have any bar-exam preparation questions. In addition to normal office hours, Limmer is also available on Saturday by appointment. Assistant Dean Limmer can be reached via email at jlimmer@stcl.edu or by phone at (713) 646-1788.

Alumni Zone

Benny Agosto '95 Announced as December Commencement Speaker

Benny Agosto, Jr. '95 will be the featured speaker at the Fall 2013 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, December 14, at the Hilton Americas-Houston.

Agosto is a partner in Houston-based Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend, one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Texas. A long-time supporter of South Texas, he and his family lend their names to The Benny and Nikki Agosto and Family Children's Playroom located in the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics, on tenth floor of the law school.

Born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico, Agosto received his undergraduate degree from Houston Baptist University, where he played NCAA Division I soccer. He taught science and coached soccer before attending South Texas College of Law/Houston, graduating in 1995. 

A leader in the legal community, Agosto was the Hispanic National Bar Association’s (HNBA's) president from 2011-2012. He is a cofounder of the HNBA’s Legal Education Fund, which raises money for minority scholarships.   

Agosto is founder of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas (MABATx) Foundation, which helps young, Hispanic, Houston-area law students through scholarships. Agosto is a member of many bar associations in Texas and sits on the boards of several. He is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker, has published numerous articles, and has received many awards and honors, including being named to Texas Lawyer’s list of Texas Super Lawyers from 2004 to 2013. He was named one of the 101 Most Influential Leaders by Latino Leaders Magazine in 2012 and 2011 and received the State Bar of Texas 2006 President’s Certificate of Merit.  

Commencement is free and open to the public. The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Americas. Following commencement, a reception to celebrate the occasion will take place in the prefunction area located outside of the ballroom.

Dean Donald J. Guter and event sponsor Trey Bergman '80

Polo in the Park 2013 a Great Success!

Sunday, November 3, saw more than 150 South Texas alumni, family, and friends come together for a fun-filled afternoon at the Houston Polo Club. The event, which was generously sponsored by Trey Bergman '80 of Bergman ADR Group and hosted by the Young Alumni Council, was a huge success, raising over $4,000 and benefiting the South Texas College of Law Annual Fund. Enjoying fajitas with friends, alumni had the unique opportunity to take in two exciting polo matches.

"Since we began Polo in the Park two years ago, it has become one of our most popular events," says Dean Donald J. Guter. "We are thrilled that more and more alumni from all classes are joining us for this great Sunday outing." 

A very special thank you to Trey Bergman and Bergman ADR for sponsoring! Additional thanks to the Young Alumni Council for hosting and promoting what was a truly wonderful event! 

Save Big and Show Your South Texas Spirit!

The South Texas College of Law bookstore has launched a special loyalty program for alumni. Take advantage of exclusive discounts and offers on South Texas gear by signing up today!  To enroll, click here.

Save the Date: The Fred Parks Law Library to Host Technology CLE

The Fred Parks Law Library is hosting a CLE called "Digital Lawyering and Law Practice Technology – Tools, Trends, and Ethics" on February 7, 2014, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The program, which has been submitted to the State Bar of Texas MCLE for approval for 4.5 hours of CLE credit and 1.5 hours of ethics credit, will include topics on e-discovery, knowledge management, legal process improvement, technical proficiency for the small firm lawyer, ethics issues in the modern age, and what the future holds for twenty-first-century legal practitioners.

A detailed program for this CLE will be available soon and registration will open the week of December 16, 2013. For updates and additional information, be sure to check the library's blog.

Update Us!

Don't forget to submit your recent personal and professional announcements to the Class Notes section of my.stcl.edu. Also, if you have a story you would like to submit for possible inclusion in future e-newsletters, please send it to stclalumni@stcl.edu.

Recent Class Notes:

Lisa Flournoy (1997) was awarded the 2012 Exceptional Service Award by the National Association of Former United States Attorneys for successfully prosecuting two of the highest ranking officers in the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Both received life sentences.

Randy Howry (1985), a partner in the firm of Howry, Breen, Herman, LLP, was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. One of the premier legal associations in America, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only, and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship. Membership in the College cannot exceed 1 percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5,789 members in the United States and Canada.

The Honorable Donald E. Scaglione (1985) has been appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court in Tallahassee, Florida. Judge Scaglione has been a Hernando County Judge since 2005. From 1990 to 2004, Scaglione served with distinction as Assistant State Attorney in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. From 1985 to 1990, he served as Assistant State Attorney and Assistant Public Defender in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit.

Courtney Tracy (2007) has been appointed by Governor Rick Perry as district attorney of Newton County. Effective October 31, 2013, Tracy's term will expire at the next general election. An attorney in private practice and former assistant city attorney for the City of Houston, she is also president of the Newton Chamber of Commerce and event chair of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Newton County.

Click here to see all Class Notes.

The Docket

December 19: Tampa Alumni Holiday Party

January 16: Young Alumni Leadership Reception

April 26: 2014 Awards Gala

Time, Talent, & Treasure

Will Your Name be on The 2013 Donor Wall? It's Not Too Late!

As the holiday season approaches and 2013 winds down, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the many South Texas alumni who have contributed to the legacy of excellence here at the College. Your continued support of South Texas is appreciated by our faculty, students, and staff.

If you have not yet made your gift to the College, great news – there is still time to be honored for supporting South Texas! Donors making contributions through December 31 will be recognized in the Annual Report to Donors. Additionally, those making gifts of $250 or more ($100 or more for alumni of the last ten years) will be listed on the 2013 Partners in Excellence donor wall.

To make your gift now, go to my.stcl.edu and click on the "Give" button. You'll have the opportunity to designate your contribution for the Annual Fund or to a variety of priority programs, such as Advocacy, Law Review, or the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics. Your gift, no matter the amount, makes a huge impact on the college and ensures our continued excellence in legal education. Thank you for sharing your spirit of generosity.

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Support South Texas! This year, we celebrate 90 years of excellence in legal education. Make your gift today to honor our esteemed past and fund the College’s future.

South Texas College of Law • 1303 San Jacinto Street, Houston, Texas 77002 • 713-646-1801
Please send comments or questions to stclalumni@stcl.edu