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STCL Houston to Honor 56 J.D. Graduates; Student from Needville Is Fall 2023 Valedictorian

Home Law School News STCL Houston to Honor 56 J.D. Graduates; Student from Needville Is Fall 2023 Valedictorian

Texas A&M graduate Joshua Fojtik from Needville will be recognized December 9 as South Texas College of Law Houston’s fall 2023 valedictorian during the Commencement ceremony in Joe Green Auditorium. Fifty-six students will be awarded their juris doctorate (J.D.) at the ceremony.

Fojtik has actively engaged in the South Texas Law community as a student. He is a research assistant for Professor Debra Berman and his pro bono service during his legal internship allowed him to aid a family seeking asylum and assist in resolving contested wills.

“I have learned two major lessons in life,” Fojtik said. “One, hard work can overcome practically anything. And two, being honest, concise, and direct are the most useful methods in brief writing, oral arguments, negotiations — and nearly every situation.”

Fojtik has run a 50-mile ultra-marathon, and his interests include hunting, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His volunteer service has included home building with Habitat for Humanity. In April, he will join Hunton Andrews Kurth.Headshot 2

“We applaud Joshua’s remarkable academic achievements and his commitment to the values of hard work, integrity, and community engagement,” said South Texas Law President and Dean Michael F. Barry. “He exemplifies the law school’s mission and values.”

Commencement Speaker

This year’s Commencement speaker is Benny Agosto, Jr. ’95, who was named South Texas Law’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year earlier this fall. He is managing partner of Abraham Watkins Nichols Agosto Aziz and Stogner in Houston, the longest standing plaintiffs’ personal injury law firm in Texas.

Agosto was born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico. From a young age, Benny was taught that anything was possible through hard work and determination. An avid soccer player in San Juan, Agosto was recruited by Houston Christian University to attend and play NCAA Division I soccer. He then attended the University of Houston to work on his graduate degree in microbiology and taught high school and college students for six years.

Although Agosto loved teaching and coaching, he realized he needed more. He was accepted to South Texas College of Law Houston, where he exceled in mock trial and academics, and is now a board-certified lawyer in personal injury trial law. He focuses on representing individuals and family members who have been harmed by the negligence of others in cases involving catastrophic injuries.

He has a long history of service to the legal profession and the community at the local, state, and national levels. He was Houston Bar Association president from 2019-20 and was the first native Spanish speaker and second Latino to serve as president of the Houston Bar Association.

Agosto served as Hispanic National Bar Association president from 2011-12. He also founded the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas Foundation, which raises money for annual scholarships for Hispanic law students in Houston.

Through successful client representation and community leadership, Agosto has earned significant recognition on both local and national levels. He is a former recipient of the President’s Award from both the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association and the Outstanding Public Service Award from STCL Houston.

Through a $3 million donation made by Benny Agosto, Jr. and his wife Nichole to his law school alma mater in 2021, the Benny Agosto, Jr. Diversity Center at South Texas Law was launched.

“I’m blessed to be able to make a difference in today’s world,” Agosto said. “I put everything I have into learning and challenging myself, to love and support my family, and to help better my community. Change can begin in your own community, but when you reach out to other communities, you can change the world, one act of kindness at a time.”

To view the livestreamed Fall 2023 Commencement ceremony on December 9 at 10 a.m., click here.

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