fbpx STCL Houston to Honor 235 J.D. Graduates at May Commencement; Professor Elaine A. Carlson to Present Keynote Address - STCL Houston

STCL Houston to Honor 235 J.D. Graduates at May Commencement; Professor Elaine A. Carlson to Present Keynote Address

Home Law School News STCL Houston to Honor 235 J.D. Graduates at May Commencement; Professor Elaine A. Carlson to Present Keynote Address

South Texas College of Law Houston will bestow Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degrees upon 235 graduates May 11 during the spring Commencement ceremony at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

President and Dean Michael F. Barry said, “It is an honor to welcome these 235 exceptional graduates to the distinguished profession of law. They join more than 16,000 STCL Houston alumni serving our city, our state, and our country with distinction.”

Among the graduates is Elena J. Smith, the spring 2024 valedictorian. In her time at South Texas, she exceled academically and contributed significantly to the STCL Houston community. In addition to earning a CALI Award for the highest grades in six different classes, Smith received the Hyman Slohm Scholarship and the STCL Houston Steward Scholarship, was a member of the South Texas Law Review, served as a Langdell Scholar, and made the Dean’s Honor List all six semesters of law school. She will soon begin full time with Hunt Law Firm, PLLC, where she has been clerking since May 2023.

Elaine A. Carlson, Professor of Law, Stanley J. Krist Distinguished Professor of Texas Law

The Commencement ceremony will feature Professor Elaine A. Carlson ’79 as the keynote speaker. Professor Carlson, a summa cum laude graduate of STCL Houston, is the law school’s Stanley J. Krist Distinguished Professor of Law. Throughout her tenure, she has made significant contributions to the legal community, both in academia and in practice. As a co-author of several authoritative texts on Texas civil procedure and a prolific writer of law review articles, Professor Carlson has established herself as a leading authority in her field. 

In 1982, Professor Carlson was one of the first women hired as an assistant professor at South Texas. She was tenured and promoted to full professor in 1988. Professor Carlson has served as an appointed member of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee for more than two decades and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Professor Carlson is a frequent lecturer at conferences on innovative civil procedure matters and has made presentations to the Texas Legislature, the bench, and the bar. She has served as an appointee on the Civil Appellate Law Exam Commission as well as on the Civil Trial Law Exam and Personal Injury Trial Law Exam Commission.

In 2008, Professor Carlson received Texas Lawyer’s Extraordinary Women in Texas Law Award and was honored as Alumna of the Year for STCL Houston. She also earned the Texas Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Law Review Award as well as the Vinson & Elkins Faculty Excellence Award. Before becoming a professor, she served as a briefing attorney for Justice James Wallace on the First Court of Appeals in Houston and as a member of the litigation section of Gulf Oil. The Elaine A. Carlson Scholarship for Texas Judicial Clerkships was established in 2007 by Professor Carlson and friends in honor of her 25 years of teaching at the law school. 

To learn more about the 2024 STCL Houston Commencement, visit stcl.edu/commencement

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