Saturday, May 21, 2022

UM Law Student Selected for Legal Honors Program

Photo by Robert Jordan, Ole Miss Communications
Photo by Robert Jordan, Ole Miss Communications

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s office of general counsel chose Taylor Baronich, a third year law student at University of Mississippi, to its ambitious 2015-2016 class in Legal Honors Program.

Taylor Baronich
Taylor Baronich

Every year this program selects 10 to 20 candidates nationwide to help the U.S. department of housing and development realize its goal of creating quality affordable homes. Baronich will work in the office of general counsel for the department where she will gain legal experience. The department will also assign her a mentor.

“Through the Housing Clinic (at the UM Law School), I developed a passion for housing law, studied complex legal issues, and learned the critical policy concerns,” said Baronich. “I believe that these three things I gained through the Housing Clinic—knowledge of the relevant law, understanding of important policy and humanitarian concerns and a bright enthusiasm—are likely what set me apart from other candidates.”

Professor Desiree Hensley, director of the Housing Clinic, is thrilled that Taylor is going to work for the HUD Legal Honors Program. Law graduates who are selected for the Legal Honors Program could be the next leaders in their fields.

“Taylor has the skills, training, commitment and desire to successfully work on the front lines of housing policy in the United States. It’s exciting to imagine that a graduate of UM Law may help shape the way our neighborhoods and communities function in the 21st century,” said Hensley

Baronich had praises for her professor Hensley as well as for staff attorney Forrest Jenkins for not narrowing her work on one aspect of an issue. She has learned how to find solutions by studying all the case details from financial status to family dynamic. Baronich knows to not only ease legal issues but strive to improve her clients’ home lives.

Associate Dean for the Clinical Programs, Deborah Bell, believes immersion in clinical practice gives students an edge in seeking opportunities like the HUD Honors Program.

“Students in the Housing Clinic leave law school with genuine practice skills and the equivalent of a mentorship with a housing law expert,” said Bell.

Baronich’s 14-month appointment will be at the HUD Regional Office of Region VI in Fort Worth, Texas. The Program starts off with a week-long training in Washington D.C. with the past and current class of HUD legal honors recipients.

Information and quotes provided by University of Mississippi School of Law

Callie Daniels is a staff writer for She can be reached at