At Texas Law, we prepare students for great careers at the highest levels of the legal profession and public affairs. We do it with the greatest classroom teachers in America, who train our students to think deeply about legal questions and solve sophisticated problems. And we do it with the finest and most extensive set of clinical programs anyplace, where our students help real clients with real problems under the supervision of world-class clinical instructors. All this learning takes place in a collegial culture, free from the cutthroat atmosphere sometimes associated with top-tier schools. All this is why the University of Texas is the best place in the country to be a law student.
The University of Texas School of Law began as The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Law when the university was founded in 1883. The law school started with two professors and 52 students in the basement of the university’s Old Main Building. The school has since grown to more than 1,200 students and offers the Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and the Master of Laws (LL.M.).
|Director of admissions||Maria Rivera|
|Application deadline||March 1|
|Approximate number of applications||4424|
|Tuition and fees Full-time:||$33,995 per year (in-state)
$50,480 per year (out-of-state)
|Room and board||$12,620|
The following letter grades are assigned in the School of Law: A+, A, A-; B+, B, B-; C+, C; D; and F. An explanation of the grading policy appears on the student’s transcript.
Following is the faculty policy on grades (effective 2014)
Graduation with Honors
Effective Spring 2011, graduates of the School of Law who are judged by the faculty to have completed the Doctor of Jurisprudence with scholarly distinction are awarded degrees with honors. In general, honors are awarded solely on the basis of work done at the University’s School of Law. No more than 35 percent of the graduating class may receive honors, high honors, and highest honors. No more than 5 percent may receive high honors and highest honors. No more than 1 percent may receive highest honors.
|Name of Award||Awarded for/to|
|Order of the Coif||Order of the Coif is computed once each year and includes the graduates from the August, December, and May graduating classes, e.g., Aug. 2010, Dec. 2010, and May 2011. The three classes are combined and the top 10% are eligible to be invited to join Coif. Computations are done after all grades for the three classes are received, typically in September. The list of names is submitted to the faculty sponsor who will then notify the students.|
|Order of Barristers||The Order of Barristers was established in 1965 to give recognition to the outstanding participants in the advocacy program. The organization was founded at the School of Law and is now a national honor society with more than 100 law school members from all parts of the nation. Each year a University of Texas law school student is elected national secretary. Membership in the University chapter is limited to ten third-year students who have demonstrated superior abilities in advocacy, chosen by the Faculty Advocacy Committee.|
|Dean’s Achievement Award||The School of Law offers a Dean's Achievement Award. The award is given each semester to the outstanding student in each course, chosen from among those with the highest grades. Seminars and courses offered only on the pass/fail basis are excluded.|
|Justice Center Graduating Student Awards||The Justice Center fosters engagement in public interest law, public service, and pro bono activities by honoring student commitment and excellence in these areas. Each spring, the Justice Center recognizes up to six graduating law students. The selection committee considers students’ work in public interest, pro bono, government, legislative, and other non-profit sectors, as well as their participation in law school clinical courses and contributions to pro bono projects and student groups. At least one award recognizes commitment to pro bono activities and at least one award recognizes commitment to government service, in addition to other service.|
|Chancellors||Established in 1912, Chancellors is the most prestigious honorary society of the School of Law. The purpose of the society is to honor and reward students who, through outstanding and consistent scholarship and achievement, have shown themselves most likely to succeed and to become a credit to their profession and their alma mater. Eligible for membership each year are the sixteen students who have the highest grade point averages among those who are not already members and who have completed forty-two semester hours of coursework in the School of Law. The number of Chancellors selected in one academic year may be increased from time to time, but at no time does the total selected in any year exceed 5 percent of the preceding senior class. The offices of Chancellors are, in order of scholastic standing and rank: Grand Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Clerk, Keeper of Peregrinus, and, in equal rank, such Chancellors-at-Large as are required to fill out the membership.|
Texas Law offers an unbeatable set of student-run journals. They publish important scholarship about the legal system, and everything they print is selected or written by their student members. Involvement with a journal gives you a chance to take your writing skills to another level. It also provides a credential that employers value highly. We have more journals than most other schools, which means more opportunities for our students. Here is an overview that provides a sense of the interest and variety of these remarkable publications:
The American Journal of Criminal Law is proud to announce the immediate availability of Volumes Volume 40:1-3 (2012-2013) and Volume 41:1-3 (2013-2014), as well as the opportunity to order Volume 42 (2014-2015). We invite you to subscribe thereby ensuring your receipt of this fine legal periodical. Volume 39 article topics include the applicability of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to sovereign wealth funds, immigration advice during criminal proceedings, expert testimony on the reliability of eyewitnesses, death qualification process, implications of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the “excuse theory” in criminal law, and interrogation under Berghuis v. Thompkins. Hardcopy subscriptions ordered through our publications office are available domestically for only $30 per volume/academic year and $35 for foreign delivery. Recent single issues are only $15, including USPS shipping for domestic orders. We believe the American Journal of Criminal Law will be a great resource to you and your library and look forward to including you in our family of subscribers.
The Texas Environmental Law Journal is an official publication of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas [homepage] and is published jointly with students of The University of Texas School of Law. Intended to be published bi-annually, the Journal gives timely and practical information about developments in environmental law. It includes articles by practitioners and academicians; information about recent developments involving cases, statutes, and rules relevant to environmental law; and notes submitted by law students throughout Texas. The opinions expressed in the Journal are solely the opinions of the respective authors and are not the opinions of the State Bar of Texas, the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, The University of Texas School of Law, or The University of Texas' Texas Environmental Law Journal.
The Texas Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy is pleased to announce the opportunity to order Volumes 20 and 21 and the upcoming Volume 22:1 (2015-2016). The Journal seeks to advance legal scholarship through feature articles, essays, book reviews, and student notes relevant to a national and international audience of legal scholars and practitioners. Our latest issues have inspired the academic community to recognize the importance of Latino legal representation.
The Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal was started in 1991 by a group of University of Texas law students to provide intellectual property attorneys with a journal dedicated to the field. These students quickly realized that intellectual property is an increasingly important area of the law, but with few publications dedicated to the topic. TIPLJ seeks to fill this void by publishing insightful articles focusing on substantive legal issues and recent developments in the areas of patent, copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and trade secret law. The student editors also host a successful guest speaker series, an annual symposium on contemporary IP topics, and work closely with leading IP practitioners of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.
The Texas International Law Journal (TILJ) is proud to announce the availability of Volumes 49:1-3 and 50:1-3, and 51:1-3, with the opportunity to order Volume 52:1-3 (2016-2017). Please note our current rates: $45 domestic subscribers; $40 alumni/students; $50 international subscribers. TILJ is the fourth-oldest student-published international law journal and the tenth-ranked student-edited international law journal in the United States. TILJ strives to advance an understanding of contemporary international legal issues through timely articles, and student notes. Past contributors to TILJ include preeminent scholars and practitioners such as Dean Rusk, Robert Reich, Louis Henkin, Charles Alan Wright, and W. Page Keeton. As a note, TILJ will continue printing 3 or 4 issues in each volume.
In the rapidly expanding discipline of international law, the Texas International Law Journal (TILJ) helps readers stay abreast and informed of recent developments and new scholarship by providing access to leading international legal, theoretical, and policy analysis. TILJ publishes academic articles, essays, and student notes in the areas of public and private international law, international legal theory, the law of international organizations, comparative and foreign law, and domestic laws with significant international implications. The editors and staff aim to fulfill these needs by concentrating on groundbreaking articles that will be useful to both practitioners and scholars. TILJ is among the oldest and best-established student-published international law journals in the United States. In the wake of the Bay of Pigs disaster and the Cuban Missile Crisis, our publication began as an offshoot of the Texas International Law Society. In January 1965, under the guidance of Professor E. Ernest Goldstein, we planted the Texas flag in the international arena with our first issue, entitled The Journal of the University of Texas International Society. Publications thereafter were biannual, taking the name Texas International Law Forum until the summer of 1971, when TILJ adopted its present title and became a triannual publication. Over the years, TILJ staff has made the most of its established heritage. We have developed international repute by forging close ties with numerous scholars and authors worldwide. As a result, we receive more than six hundred unsolicited manuscripts each year and are extremely selective in our publication choices. This position has helped us develop one of the largest student-published subscription circulations of any international law journal in the United States. TILJ's subscription base includes law schools, government entities, law firms, corporations, embassies, international organizations, and individuals from virtually every state in the United States and more than forty-five countries. With approximately thirty editorial board members and one hundred fifteen staff members made up of full-time J. D. and LL.M. students, TILJ maintains a refined and well-organized editing process. As economic integration accelerates and nations forge closer ties in the new millennium, we are confident TILJ will continue to provide a significant contribution to the burgeoning field of international law. In an increasingly complex world, TILJ is committed to promoting international legal understanding and debate. With your support, TILJ will continue to bring a critical perspective to the questions and dilemmas confronting public and private actors around the globe.
The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law (TJOGEL) is the newest serial publication at the University of Texas School of Law, and the only student-edited journal in the country focused on promoting scholarship in the energy legal field. TJOGEL was formally created and endorsed by the Dean in the summer of 2005. The Journal maintains a full staff of over 60 students. The Journal is published under the umbrella of the Texas Law Publications department, and joins the school's other stable of excellent legal periodicals. Each issue of TJOGEL features full-length articles touching some of the most important topics facing oil and gas attorneys today, ranging from upstream drafting and interpretation of instruments to downstream transactional and regulatory issues. TJOGEL hosts an annual energy law symposium, as well as several events throughout the year that give practitioners opportunities to network and interact with students interested in pursuing careers in energy law.
The Texas Journal of Women Gender and the Law will be on hiatus after the publication of Volume 24 Issue 2 (2014-2015). Please see the Back Issues information, below. Since the release of Volume 1 in 1990, the Journal has secured its place at the forefront of contemporary legal issues through the publication of articles, essays, notes, and reviews that enhance and maintain discourse on gender concerns. To this end, the Journal aims to expand feminist legal thought and inspire dialogue about legal, social, and political issues affecting women, ultimately enhancing the relationship between theoretical and practical perspectives of gender and law.
The Texas Journal On Civil Liberties & Civil Rights (TJCLCR) is a key source of information on current issues in civil liberties, civil rights, and constitutional law. The 2014-2015 academic year marks the 20th annual publication of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, formally the Texas Forum on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights. The Journal was formed in 1992 by a group of law students wishing to facilitate a scholarly discussion on the state of civil rights in America by publishing cutting edge articles at the intersection of law, politics, and society written by judges, lawyers, professors and fellow students. We receive funding, guidance and a healthy subscriber base from members of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the State Bar of Texas [www.IRRTX.com].
The Texas Law Review publishes seven issues throughout the year beginning each November. Each issue contains contemporary and compelling articles, essays, commentaries, and book reviews from leading legal scholars. In addition, the Review includes student notes on current legal issues. The seventh issue, published every June, traditionally contains papers submitted during annual symposia featuring particular legal topics. This combination of analysis, review, exchange, and opinion makes theTexas Law Review a valuable and increasingly cited legal resource. TheTexas Law Review is established as a legal resource of particular importance to the national and international legal community.
With The Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law (TRESL) mission statement as our guide, to “chronicle, comment on, and influence the shape of the law that affects the entertainment and sports industries, throughout the United States and the world,” we continue to provide an informative and compelling collection of articles by active attorneys, distinguished professors, and talented law students.
The Texas Review of Law & Politics, published at The University of Texas School of Law, is one of the nation's premier conservative law journals. Its mission is to be the prime forum for the discussion and debate of provocative legal issues such as criminal justice, federalism, affirmative action, constitutional history, and religious liberties. In its short history, the Review has caught the attention of the judiciary, legal scholars, and the popular media. Justice Scalia cited the Review in DC v. Heller and the Michigan Supreme Court cited the Review in a majority opinion calling for judicial restraint when courts are asked to modify legal rules. The Review has also been cited in briefs to the Supreme Court in many of the most influential cases of our time, including Grutter v. Bollinger, MGM Studios v. Grokster, and Kelo v. City of New London.
The Review of Litigation (TROL) seeks to advance legal scholarship through feature articles, essays, and notes relevant to a national and international audience of legal scholars and practitioners. As the first journal devoted exclusively to the topics related to trial and appellate advocacy, TROL publishes papers on evidentiary, procedural, and substantive issues. TROL addresses the needs of both academia and the practicing attorney with a pragmatic examination of current litigation issues.
The University of Texas School of Law is a nationally recognized center of training in advocacy and winner of the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Emil Gumpert Award. The school’s state-of-the-art facilities for the teaching of advocacy and dispute resolution include the John B. Connally Center for the Administration of Justice, the John L. Hill Trial Advocacy Center, and the Harry M. Reasoner Center for Trial Practice. The advocacy facilities also house a large, fully functional courtroom, complete with judicial chambers, jury rooms, and attorney conference rooms, as well as a number of teaching courtrooms and video review rooms.
The Advocacy Program began more than 30 years ago as a response to concerns expressed by many distinguished graduates. The critics were judges and legal professionals at work in the field; their targets, the influx of new law graduates who, while well-versed in the theory and history of the law, had little or no idea how to function in a courtroom. Through a series of trial tactics courses and the initiation of the student advocacy organization, the program began to flourish. Today, the Advocacy Program is producing winning national teams and top honors for its excellence.
The University of Texas now has a unique Advocacy Program that links the academic and competitive aspects of advocacy. The program focuses on all areas of advocacy by building on the rich tradition already established and assisting students in developing a core set of skills that will make them persuasive advocates no matter who their audience.
A variety of courses are offered combining basic theory and techniques, client and case management skills, practical interdisciplinary experiences, and the philosophy behind the art of persuasion. The Advocacy Program includes not only a full-time faculty, but also an adjunct faculty comprised of talented and experienced attorneys and judges. Students work in small groups with faculty in classes designed to provide realistic advocacy experiences. As such, students are afforded the opportunity to practice voir dire before real jurors, utilize focus groups for various courtroom techniques, depose witnesses before student court reporters and even to have motions heard at the courthouse before state and federal court judges.
The Advocacy Program also sponsors several interscholastic mock trial competition teams such as the Peter James Johnson National Civil Rights Trial Competition, Georgetown White Collar Crime Invitational, John L. Costello National Criminal Law Advocacy Competition, AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition, National Trial Competition, and the Capitol City Challenge. Participation on an interscholastic team requires not only talent and skill, but also tremendous commitment. The students competing for the University of Texas have achieved and continue to maintain a level of excellence rarely matched. In just the last ten years, the University of Texas mock trial and moot court teams brought home twelve national titles, a host of regional championships and advanced in almost every interscholastic competition they attended.
The goal of the University of Texas School of Law Advocacy Program is to produce the best advocates in both the state and the nation. Through the innovative academic courses, competitive advocacy tournaments and the instruction of many dedicated attorneys and judges who participate in the program, our students are provided the well-rounded education necessary to achieve this goal.
Interscholastic Moot Court
Each year, the School of Law sponsors students with a proven commitment to oral and written advocacy as they participate in selected interscholastic moot court competitions. The competitions are held in simulated courtroom, arbitration, policy and transactional settings across the country.
The competitions require students to integrate theory, doctrine, strategy and skills in intensive contests that build on the practical and analytical skills developed during the first-year legal research and writing course. These competitions function as dynamic laboratories in which students hone an array of skills needed to excel in law practice.
Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition
The Honorable John R. Brown served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit as one of the nation’s most prominent admiralty judges from 1955 until his death in 1993. Shortly after his death and in his honor, The University of Texas School of Law established the “Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition,” an interscholastic appellate advocacy competition. Each year, the Competition is held under the joint sponsorship of The University of Texas School of Law and a local host school.
Major funding each year is provided by the Houston law firm of Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams L.L.P. (where Judge Brown practiced from 1932 to 1955) and the Maritime Law Association of the United States.
As in years past, last year we were privileged to have distinguished judges serving as judges for the Championship Round. For the semi-final rounds, we were pleased to have as judges prominent members of the maritime bar, presidents and past presidents of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, and admiralty professors.
Texas Law offers extensive clinical education opportunities, with sixteen clinics covering a range of legal issues and numerous internships in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, domestic and international courts, and the legislature. These exciting and challenging courses allow students to gain meaningful real world experience while still in school. The low student-to-faculty ratios and small size of the clinics ensure that students work closely with experienced faculty and their classmates. Students often describe working on clinic cases and projects as highlights of their time at Texas Law.
Clinical courses are valuable for all students, whether they are interested in litigation or transactional practice. The intensive nature of clinical work helps develop analytical and advocacy skills, and offers hands-on practice in factual investigation, research and writing, trial advocacy, problem solving, client relations, and professional responsibility. Students gain useful work experience through regular interaction with clients, attorneys, judges, and other professionals. Many students also have the rewarding opportunity to assist needy clients and communities.
Clinic students provide legal services directly or work closely with faculty members on complex cases. They represent clients during the preparation, trial, and appeal of cases in litigation or in law-related transactions and projects. Each clinic consists of a classroom component and a casework component. Student work is closely supervised by the clinical faculty. All clinics are graded on a pass/fail basis, and there is no final paper or examination. Clinic students must pay a $100 fee. All clinics require an application.
Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$100,000-$160,000|
|Median in the private sector||$160,000|
|Median in public service||$52,632|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||65%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||81.4%|
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||8.2%|
|Public Interest Organizations||6.6%|
Internships present great opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience, explore areas of practice, improve their knowledge and skills, and build their professional networks. Student interns work closely with experienced attorneys and judges in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, domestic and international courts, and legislative offices. Each internship consists of closely supervised work at an approved field placement and an academic component taught by faculty. Field supervisors are experienced attorneys and judges committed to helping educate students, and they provide challenging and interesting professional experiences to interns in their offices.
All internships require an application. Internship courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, and there is no final paper or examination. No salary may be received for an internship (although a student may be able to accept a limited stipend for unusual living or educational expenses).