Law School News

South Texas College of Law Houston Professor Mark E. Steiner Honored as a “Hero of Houston” for Volunteerism

Mark E. Steiner, professor of law at South Texas College of Law Houston (STCL Houston), is recognized in the classroom as a teacher who goes the extra mile to help students. Now, two prominent Houston institutions – Shell Oil Company and BakerRipley – have extended that recognition outside the classroom by honoring Steiner with two notable awards for his extensive volunteerism in the Houston community.

Recently, Shell named Steiner as one of six “Heroes of Houston” in its campaign to honor the resiliency, bravery, and generosity that everyday Houstonians demonstrated in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. BakerRipley (formerly Neighborhood Centers) nominated its nine-year volunteer for his significant efforts to assist families with babies in the midst of record-breaking flooding. Specifically, Steiner worked 11-hour shifts for the first five days following the storm, and for several days afterwards, manning what volunteers called “Baby Island” – the baby supplies distribution station within NRG Center.

“It was so hard seeing the city I love in such distress, but watching our community rally and become stronger than the hurricane that caused so much damage is something I’ll never forget,” said Steiner.

He joins Joy McCormack, Enrique and Julia Uriete, Tom Ashworth, and Michael Barton on Shell’s exclusive list of “Heroes of Houston” honorees. These volunteers currently are featured in a special campaign with advertisements that will run through December 2018. For more information about Shell’s “Heroes of Houston” campaign and to watch the Heroes of Houston stories, please visit: shell.us/heroes.

“We are humbled by the selflessness and courage these heroes showed during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and it is our pleasure to recognize them for their acts of service,” said Bruce Culpepper, Shell Oil Company president, in a recent press release announcing the campaign. “The collaboration we’ve seen among individuals, charities, and the businesses that call Houston home has been greatly inspiring.”

In addition to this honor, BakerRipley’s Immigration program recently honored Steiner as its Volunteer of the Year, and named the inaugural recognition, to be awarded annually, the “Mark Steiner Award for Immigration Altruism.” The organization and its community partners – NALEO, Univision, and the City of Houston Office for New Americans and Immigrant Communities – presented Steiner with this award at its volunteer appreciation event last month.

“Professor Steiner has supported our community members for years by providing free legal assistance in our Immigration & Citizenship program,” said Jill Campbell, immigration attorney and director of BakerRipley’s Immigration program. “After Harvey hit, he stepped up to work almost daily shifts in the shelter, in addition to coming into our offices to complete immigration applications for DACA applicants. In order to honor his amazing service to our community for years to come, we created the “Mark Steiner Award for Immigration Altruism,” which we plan on awarding to a standout Immigration program volunteer each year. In our opinion, Professor Steiner represents the epitome of compassion and altruism in light of the tough year we faced in Houston.”

As a part of Citizenship Month in Houston, Steiner also recently received special recognition from the City of Houston’s Office for New Americans and Immigrant Communities for his volunteer work as an immigration attorney assisting lawful permanent residents in becoming citizens.

Steiner is a member of the Notario Fraud Prevention Working Group, spearheaded by the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative. He regularly participates in citizenship and immigration forums and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival workshops organized by BakerRipley and the NALEO Education Fund. He is a member of the council for the Consumer and Commercial Law Section and the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, and is the former chair of the Consumer Law Task Force of the Houston Bar Association.

Steiner joined STCL Houston as an assistant professor of legal writing in 1996 and was named professor of law in 2007. In addition to immigration law, his areas of legal expertise include American legal history, consumer transactions, internet legal research, and torts. He was twice selected as a Fulbright Scholar and taught law at the University of Latvia and the College of Law at National Taiwan University.