Scholarship Created to Support Promising 2Ls
The day Robert Braubach ’77 stepped onto campus for his first semester at Texas Law, he was already behind in his classes. He had been living in Europe—a three-month stay following his 1973 graduation from The University of Texas at Austin had turned into a year—and was on a waitlist for law school entry. By the time he returned to Austin, classes were underway.
“I started a week or so late and was behind most of the semester. I did not do well that first semester,” he recalls.
Now an international business attorney in private practice, Braubach initially struggled with the coursework and questioned whether he belonged in law school. He turned things around, however, and at the end of his first year, he received a Most Improved Student award from West Publishing. He says it kept him from dropping out.
“That award motivated me to work more diligently and efficiently in order to continue to improve at Texas Law,” he says.
Braubach wants to pass along the same kind of support to promising Texas Law students in similar situations. His recent $100,000 estate gift establishes a scholarship honoring the most improved students.
“I know firsthand the struggles some students have adapting to the rigor and intensity of law school,” he says. “This gift acknowledges that, while also recognizing growth and achievement in students who show outstanding tenacity.”
Braubach’s gift will provide a scholarship of approximately $4,000 each year to the most improved 2L student, as measured by GPA and several other factors.
The scholarship will go a long way to helping deserving students alleviate the costs of attending law school, says Mathiew Le, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid.
“Every scholarship dollar means supporting a student to offset tuition and living expenses, which allows them to focus on their legal training,” Le says. “Scholarships are an investment in the student’s future and the important work they’re going to do, and we are extraordinarily grateful for the generosity of the Braubach Scholarship fund.”
From offices in his hometown of San Antonio, Braubach provides legal advice to foreign companies with commercial real estate interests in the U.S. He credits his career path not only to his education at Texas Law but to caring professors who introduced him to opportunities overseas.
Braubach had enjoyed his year in Europe before law school and wanted to return after graduation.
And he did. Texas Law has a global reach, and former Prof. Thomas Buergenthal was a guide, recommending Braubach to the Free University of Brussels, where he learned French and earned a Master of Laws in international and European Union law. The degree immersed him in legal matters specific to the region, and he worked on the continent for a decade, first in a role at the European Commission in Brussels. He then moved to Paris to join Coudert Brothers LLP, where former Texas Law professor and White House counsel Ernest Goldstein was a managing partner. There Braubach helped U.S. companies manage the legal twists and turns of operating in Europe.
Braubach devoted his career to bringing companies in the U.S. and Europe together to build lasting relationships. This led to an appointment as honorary consul of Belgium for Texas, promoting trade and cultural relations between the country and his home state. In recognition of his 25 years of service, he received Belgium’s top service award, Chevalier De L’Ordre De Leopold, in 2013. As the current honorary consul for Namibia, Braubach helped author a sister cities agreement between the country’s capital of Windhoek and San Antonio.
Braubach—who also earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing at UT—keeps in touch daily with former Texas Law classmates and professors. He sees the scholarship fund as another avenue for the school to retain talented students who can contribute in unique ways.
“This all comes back to how UT Austin helped me prepare for this success, and not only with its global contacts and outreach,” he says. “The professors are such high level. They help you critically and in organized and logical ways to communicate more clearly and effectively—something that has been essential in my work.” And he’s gained even more knowledge over the years. “I’ve learned that education is a lifelong endeavor,” he says.