Student Affairs Office
Elizabeth T. Bangs
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Dean Bangs is the primary advocate for law students within the School of Law and the University. She counsels students on academic, personal, and professional matters. Together with the members of the staff, she coordinates and supports a range of student services, programming, and special events. Dean Bangs graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Prior to returning to academia, she was a judicial law clerk on the Ninth Circuit and in the Central District of California and a trial attorney in the United States Department of Justice. Prior to coming to the University of Texas, she was the director of legal research and writing at Harvard Law School and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She has also taught civil procedure and disability law and has experience in academic support and bar preparation. Dean Bangs lives in Austin with her husband, who teaches religious studies at the University of Texas; their two children, Zack (born in 2011) and Charlotte (“Charlie,” born in 2013); and their newest addition, Lab-Shepherd mix Molly. Dean Bangs spends Saturday mornings watching preschoolers play soccer, knows "Frozen" by heart, and is always searching for new Austin restaurants that are both kid and adult friendly. She loves to bake. Her door is always open to students.
Director of Academic Advising & Student Affairs
Brandi Welch serves as the primary academic advisor in the School of Law. She manages a series of programs designed to assist students from day one of law school to the final day of the bar exam and beyond. Students are always welcome in Brandi’s office for counsel on issues personal and academic. Brandi graduated from the University of Michigan and taught high school in Houston for four years before attending Texas Law. After graduation, Brandi was an associate at Vinson & Elkins in New York and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Austin before returning to the law school in 2008. Brandi and her husband Aaron have two daugthers, Alice and Piper. An avid college football fan, Brandi sincerely hopes that the Longhorns and the Wolverines never play each other again. Ever.
Rashida Y. Douglas
Director for Academic Services
As the director for academic services Rashida oversees functions related to registration, course schedule production, exam administration, grade reporting, and faculty support. Rashida earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism/public relations, and a master’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma where she was a McNair Scholar researching minority representation in the workforce. She has worked in higher education administration for the past 15 years. She enjoys writing creatively and binge watching her favorite shows in her free time. She has one daughter and one puppy who are currently engaged in a bad case of sibling rivalry. Rashida has resolved to remain neutral.
Ricardo L. Garza
Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Inclusion and Community Engagement
Rick Garza serves as Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Inclusion, and Community Engagement in the School of Law. His primary responsibilities in this role include managing the Society Program, partnering with Texas Law’s student organizations on leadership and strategy, and serving as the law school’s principal student resource for diversity and inclusion programming. Rick also works especially closely with Texas Law’s affinity, minority, and public service-oriented student groups regarding organizational development, fundraising, policy, and community outreach. Rick keeps an open door and encourages all Texas Law students to stop by his office in the new Student Life Suite (TNH 2.125). Rick has a BA in English from UT Arlington, an MA in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Columbia University, and earned his JD from Albany Law School. Prior to attending law school, Rick worked in Academic Advising for two years and completed a Graduate Assistantship in Career Counseling while at Columbia. During law school, Rick completed a Graduate Assistantship with the Office of the Vice President at Albany Law School, and legal internships with the New York State Department of Education and the Office of University Counsel for the State University of New York. Following law school, Rick resumed his career in student affairs as the Honors Advisor at SMU, before landing at Texas Law. Rick lives in south Austin with his wife, Theresa, and their son, Benjamin. Having both been born and raised in San Antonio, Rick and Theresa consider their move to Austin to be a homecoming of sorts. Rick’s passions include quoting Seinfeld in everyday situations, well-intentioned sarcasm, and the San Antonio Spurs.
Assistant Director for Academic Services
As Assistant Director for Academic Services, Alissa helps to oversee administrative functions related to course schedule production, exam administration, faculty support, and registration. Alissa earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature/communication studies from Florida State University, where she served as the public relations director for FSU’s student-run radio station in her free time. She worked in magazine and web publishing in Chicago before returning to the warm embrace of the South, moving to Austin in 2010. Alissa provided academic and faculty support services at the LBJ School of Public Affairs prior to joining the team at Texas Law. She enjoys creative pursuits of all kinds and loves living in a city that celebrates music, television, film, literature, art, and food as much as she does. After hours, you have a pretty good chance of running into her and her husband at a concert, football game, or comedy show.
Administrative Associate and Assistant to Dean Bangs
Rachel Ervin is Dean Bangs’ assistant and the first stop for student organization and journal resources. She helps students with their accounting and travel forms. She also assists in the planning of events such as Orientation, Explore UT, Society events, Family Weekend and the Sunflower Ceremony. Rachel graduated with a degree in Recording Arts from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. She earned her BBA in Management Information Systems from Baylor University. She moved to Austin after working for 14 years as her family restaurant’s Operations & Marketing Coordinator. As a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor, she loves editing audio and choreographing routines. Some of her other passions are tennis, playing the violin, and travel. The thing she loves most about being in Austin is the abundance of concerts and festivals in the Live Music Capital of the World!
Administrative Associate for Academic Services
David Watson is your go to for Bar certifications, unofficial transcripts, law applications copies, and letters of good standing. He helps relay official documents and information to state and federal legal associations and departments. He manages Course Instructor Surveys each semester and room reservations for student groups and events. David earned a B.B.A in Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration . David worked in the School of Music at Sam Houston State before joining Texas Law. David enjoys traveling, seeing live music, quoting funny movies “Dad, what are you doing? It’s ‘Shark Week”- Step Brothers, and volunteering.