The great state of Texas has given the nation some of the best business schools, respected religious colleges, and, of course, world-class football programs. But the Lone Star State is also home to some of America’s finest law schools.
That may come as a surprise with those who associate law school with the entertainment industry in California, the world of high finance in New York, or the tony old Ivy League schools along the East Coast. But when one considers the history of Texas, it becomes clearer that the state would be a prime place to study the law. With its diverse population, proximity to the Mexico border, and history of turmoil and progress, Texas offers students a myriad of topics to explore.
Accordingly, future lawyers can every type of law school in Texas, from private universities to state schools, from religious colleges to tier-one research universities.
Which one is right for you? That’s where College Gazette comes in to help. Using the rankings published in U.S. News & World Report, we’ve provided this list of the ten best law schools in Texas. We’ll take a look at their history, attributes, and even some of their most famous alumni.
With this list, you’ll be prepared to take the next step in your educational journey by studying law in Texas.
10. University of North Texas Dallas College of Law (Dallas, TX)
All law schools prepare their students to become lawyers, even if they become agents, politicians, or businessmen. But UNT-Dallas Law takes it one step further by explicitly teaching law to train public servants.
A relatively new school established in 2014, UNT-Dallas Law is the only public law school in the major Texas city. The school prides itself on its achievements in diversity and its real-world approach to instruction. Rather than spend time only in classrooms, students move quickly into gaining experience in negotiation and management, thanks to their lab-based approach and award-winning mock trial teams.
All of these elements advance the school’s larger goal to make law school affordable and accessible to students who might feel left out from traditional programs. In every aspect, UNT-Dallas Law strives to serve the community by finding new voices and helping them become public servants.
9. Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Houston, TX)
One can get a good idea of Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law by looking at the legendary Supreme Court Justice for whom the school is named. The law school of the state’s premier HBCU, TMSL offers a first-class legal education to its largely African-American student body.
TMSL has made its name on its commitment to social justice, taught to students through the Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Justice and the Institute for International and Immigration Law. The school also has the distinction of offering the nation’s first Masters of Law program focusing on immigration law.
With these resources, TSML prepares its student body to continue the tradition established by its namesake, breaking boundaries and creating a more equitable society for all.
8. St. Mary’s University School of Law (San Antonio, TX)
The School of Law at the private Catholic institution St. Mary’s University prides itself in its award-winning advocacy teams. Over the past twenty years, the school’s Moot Court team has won several championships, including two at the state level and a 2010 national championship in the Civil Rights and Liberties Moot Court Competition.
Success in these programs demonstrates the quality of the students at St. Mary’s Law, who count among their alumni U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Elma Salinas Ender, the first Hispanic woman to serve on a Texas state district court.
St. Mary’s Law students hone their skills while studying at the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, San Antonio’s largest legal information center. The library also houses two legal journals, the St. Mary’s Law Journal, and The Scholar.
With such a rich foundation, it’s no wonder that St. Mary’s Law regularly creates legal winners.
7. South Texas College of Law Houston (Houston, TX)
Established by the YMCA in 1923 with the goal of offering night classes for future lawyers who worked day jobs, ST College of Law Houston is the city’s oldest law school. Attracting non-traditional students has proven to be a winning strategy for the school, which regularly receives national recognition for its success in Moot Court competitions. ST College of Law Houston has brought home more national championships than any other American law school, public or private.
Today, the school continues its commitment to non-traditional students, earning a top 50 spot from U.S. News & World Report for its part-time program. The magazine also ranked ST College of Law Houston 7th for its trial advocacy program.
As these accolades demonstrate, ST College of Law Houston brings into the legal field some much-needed perspective from those already living and working in the real world.