As the only state to have been its own nation before joining the U.S., Texas is known for its independent spirit -- and pride. These are also two attributes often found in the legal profession, so it's no surprise that Texas is home to the self-proclaimed greatest lawyer who ever lived, Houston litigator Joe Jamail.
Along with its powerhouse litigators, the Texas bar has also produced attorneys like H. Louis Nichols whose example set the professional standard for his peers. Although not a criminal law attorney, Nichols decided on his own initiative to meet with the accused assassin of President Kennedy after he was arrested in 1963. Nichols was the head of the Dallas County Bar Association at the time and believed it was his responsibility to ensure that the rights of the accused, and the process itself, were protected. Talk about fidelity to one's oath.
There are a number of reasons why you may want to consider Texas law schools when deciding where to start your legal career. Below you'll find information to help you plot your course.
Finding Your Law School Springboard
Having unique experiences in law school or specializing your education can help set you apart from the competition when you enter the job market. In some cases, students land their first jobs because of their extracurricular activities in law school. All of this is made even more important when the job market is tight, as has been the case in since the Great Recession. Fortunately, students in Texas law schools aren't lacking for opportunities to distinguish themselves.
For example, the University of Texas School of Law, which has been ranked among the top 20 law schools in the nation, offers a wide variety of dual degree programs and also administers several law clinics, including a Supreme Court clinic. Imagine going to your first interview out of law school being able to talk about your joint master's degree in community and regional planning or the petition for certiorari you drafted in a Supreme Court case, emphasized with a little Texas swagger of course.
In addition, Baylor University School of Law, which has also been ranked as a top-50 law school, allows students to specialize their J.D. in areas such as:
And for those students interested in practicing international law, the Southern Methodist University School of Law offers a number of international externships. These include positions with institutions like The Hague, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the U.S. Mission to the EU, among others.
Professional Opportunities for New Lawyers
Going to law school in Texas doesn't necessarily mean you'll take the bar and practice in the Lone Star State. Although if you do settle down to practice in Texas, there are a number of support resources available for entry level attorneys which may not exist in other jurisdictions.
The State Bar of Texas, for example, has a transition to practice program in which experienced attorneys volunteer to mentor newly-licensed attorneys. This kind of training can be invaluable, especially for recent law school graduates, and is another reason why going to law school in Texas may make sense for you.
Texas Law Schools Approved by the ABA
To learn more, a list of ABA-approved law schools in Texas is provided in the chart below.
|Baylor University School of Law||
|SMU Dedman School of Law||
|South Texas College of Law||
|St. Mary's University School of Law||
|Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law||
|Texas Tech University School of Law||
|Texas A&M University School of Law||Fort Worth|
|University of Houston Law Center||
|University of Texas School of Law||
Texas Law Schools: Your Next Steps
When it comes to the legal profession, planning and strategy are always essential to success. As you begin your legal career, whether in Texas or any other jurisdiction, what you need are relevant and effective resources to help you plan for the future. What's even better is if those resources come without a price tag. That's where the FindLaw can help. Stay connected with FindLaw for Law Students to learn more, free of charge.