Noted legal scholars and advocates Katya and David R. Dow endorse Judge Mike Schneider in 2018 November election

Powerhouse couple of legal scholars known for advocacy endorse Judge Mike Schneider in 2018 reelection

HOUSTON – Below is the text of a letter penned by Katya and David R. Dow, noted University of Houston law professors, scholars and advocates, in which they urge friends to join them in fully supporting Republican Judge Mike Schneider’s 2018 reelection bid.

Judge Schneider, who has presided in the 315th District Court since 2006, has been recognized nationwide for his innovative and effective juvenile justice programs. He is running for a fourth term in the November election.

“If you had asked either one of us when we first met and started working with Mike some five years ago whether he is a Democrat or a Republican, we would have told you we don’t have a clue,” the Dows wrote. “What he is is a wise, thoughtful, creative, and caring judge — exactly the kind of judge we need.”

Professor Katya Dow is the Legal Program Director for the Juvenile and Capital Advocacy Project (JCAP), an innovative initiative based at the University of Houston Law Center. She also is a Professor of Practice there.
Since creating a juvenile record sealing clinic at the Law Center in 2015 with Judge Schneider, Professor Katya Dow and her students have sealed nearly 300 juvenile records locally.

She also teaches an adult records expungement program and ad litem representation program. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center, where she was an editor on the Houston Journal of International Law.

Professor David Dow joined the University of Houston Law Center faculty in 1988. He graduated with a B.A. in History from Rice University and earned his M.A. in History and his law degree from Yale. Upon graduation, he
clerked for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is also the founder of the Texas Innocence Network. Often working with his students, he has represented more than 100 death row inmates in their appeals.

“I cannot express how proud I am to have the full support of the Dows,” said Judge Schneider. “These are able, intellectual legal warriors who, whether you always agree with them or not, always put their hearts into what they are doing. They have helped countless people who would have otherwise not gotten the kind of advocacy they needed in their darkest moments.”

The full text of the Dow letter is below.


Dear Friend,

We are writing you about Judge Mike Schneider, who is running for reelection to the 315th Harris County Juvenile District Court (one of three juvenile courts). Mike was first elected in 2006, and has since been reelected in 2010 and 2014. He will be on the ballot again this November.

If you are like us, when you get to the so-called down ballot races, you are unfamiliar with many of the races and many of the candidates. If you are not a criminal defense lawyer or prosecutor, for example, then (unless you are actually a criminal), you probably do not know who many of the judges running for the criminal court benches are. People (and by “people” we are definitely including ourselves) generally do one of three things when they get to a down ballot race where they know little or nothing about the people running: they might not vote at all for that race, or they might vote based on the name of the candidate, or they might vote based on the candidate’s party affiliation.

The reason we are writing this brief note is to urge you to vote for Judge Schneider, even if you would otherwise skip the race, and even if you generally vote for the Democrat. Mike is one of the most creative juvenile court judges in the country. He recognizes that most kids who find themselves in the juvenile justice system as young boys and girls can still turn their lives around, if they
have support — including, most importantly, support from judges presiding over their cases. He has been instrumental in helping juveniles get past their youthful mistakes, and in finding solutions to help youth in foster care who also become involved in the juvenile justice system. In short, he cares immensely about the kids that come into his court.

For those of you who want to hear specific details about his innovative and demonstrably successful efforts to help kids turn their lives around, we invite you to contact either one of us. To keep this letter short, however, we will say simply that Houston and Harris County — and indeed the entire State of Texas — are lucky to have him. Mike presides over cases firmly yet empathetically; he lectures all across the country; he has developed a cutting edge class teaching prisoners in New York’s notorious Sing Sing prison; and he has built coalitions in Houston among diverse groups all seeking to improve the likes of socially or economically disadvantaged kids.

If you had asked either one of us when we first met and started working with Mike some five years ago whether he is a Democrat or a Republican, we would have told you we don’t have a clue. What he is is a wise, thoughtful, creative, and caring judge — exactly the kind of judge we need. Please consider supporting him, and please vote for him in November.


Katya and David R. Dow