fbpx Alumni Spotlight: Ron Haggerty ’96: President of STCL Houston Black Alumni Chapter Passes Baton - STCL Houston

Alumni Spotlight: Ron Haggerty ’96: President of STCL Houston Black Alumni Chapter Passes Baton

Home Law School News Alumni Spotlight: Ron Haggerty ’96: President of STCL Houston Black Alumni Chapter Passes Baton

Second-career attorney Ron Haggerty ’96 attended law school part-time at South Texas College of Law Houston while working for a large power company.

“I was a mechanical engineer, working as an operations manager at a power generating facility,” Haggerty said. “In a few years’ time, I went from being a guy who worked in power plants, to being a guy who worked on deals to build power plants.”

A background in science made Haggerty the ideal candidate to become a patent and intellectual property lawyer. After passing the bar, he found himself in the legal department of the power company he worked for, eventually rising to the position of Assistant General Counsel. A corporate attorney at the forefront of the energy business, he consulted on the development and construction of power plants and pipelines and was plunged into international travel and transactional work.

“STCL Houston allowed me to experience the career-changing potential of the law degree,” he said. “However, I did have a big learning curve when I began the journey. As a nontraditional student, I had to relearn how to study and take exams.” As a graduate of Prairie View A&M University, a historically black institution, Haggerty had never attended a predominantly white school. “I had to learn how to navigate this new environment.”

Remembering how it felt to be in that situation, Haggerty is dedicated to helping others learn to navigate unfamiliar waters and bring people together. He was involved in the creation of the Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Chapter (BAC) in 2016 and became its president in 2017.

“I wanted to use my skill set and talents to help others, while creating an opportunity for people to bring a different perspective to STCL Houston,” he said. BAC members have served on search committees and advised leadership on various social issues.

Haggerty believes his most significant contribution as president of the BAC was creating an emergency fund to assist students who are “in the no-man’s land” between earning the law degree and passing the bar exam. “It can be a tough time. You are not a student any longer, and you are not a lawyer yet,” he said. “You are studying for the bar exam. Your financial aid is running out, and there are bills to pay. We were able to galvanize BAC members to give generously.”

A native Houstonian from Sunnyside, Haggerty credits his parents with his passion for public service. His father was a first-class machinist and civil rights pioneer who successfully sued his employer and won the right for African Americans to apply for skilled labor jobs and be hired. His mother was an entrepreneur who owned a successful hair salon and always encouraged him to “do his part.”

“I got a lot of encouragement and support from my parents, in word and in example,” he said.

Haggerty, now a solo practitioner, plans to remain involved with the BAC as the immediate past president and lend stability to the organization as the transition to new leadership takes place. “I will still be available to meet with students and alumni to let them know they belong, they can do this, and they get to decide what success will look like as they pursue their career.”

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