Dedman School of Law

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Dedman School of Law
SMU Dedman Law.png
MottoVeritas Liberabit Vos
Parent schoolSouthern Methodist University
School typePrivate
Endowment$1.633 billion (parent institution for FY 2019)
DeanJennifer M. Collins
LocationDallas, Texas, U.S.
32°50′47″N 96°47′10″W / 32.8464°N 96.7861°W / 32.8464; -96.7861Coordinates: 32°50′47″N 96°47′10″W / 32.8464°N 96.7861°W / 32.8464; -96.7861
Faculty50 full-time; 10 emeritus; 94 adjunct
USNWR ranking46 (Tier 1); A.T.L 29; N.L.J 21

SMU Dedman School of Law, commonly referred to as SMU Law School or Dedman School of Law is a professional graduate law school located in Dallas, Texas. It was founded in February 1925. SMU Law School is located on the campus of its parent institution, Southern Methodist University

SMU’s Law School was renamed SMU Dedman School of Law in February 2001 in honor of its late benefactors, Robert H. Dedman Sr. and his wife, Nancy Dedman. SMU Law School was the only law school in Dallas until UNT Opened it’s law school four years ago. The current dean of the law school is Jennifer Collins who is a Harvard Law School graduate (she attended Yale for her undergraduate studies). Dean Collins served on the Hardvard Law Review with former President Barack Obama.

SMU Dedman School of Law is consistently ranked among the top 30 law schools in America by the widely renowned legal publication “Above The Law” which focuses their case study and scholastic rankings on actual employment outcomes. Some of the Law School’s alumni include White House Counsel, Chairs of the House Judiciary Committee, Foreign Minister of India, Chief Justices of Indonesia and Thailand, and the Chief Legal Counsel of AT&T and Mark Cuban Companies.

SMU Dedman School of Law is one of ten law schools in Texas. The school had graduated five Fortune 500 Chief Executives (the most of any school according to Business Insider), justices of the Texas Supreme Court, federal and state judges, and several U.S. and state government officials, senators, and representatives.

Academic profile[edit]

SMU Dedman School of Law offers Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees.[1] The school offers two joint degree programs, a J.D./M.A. in Economics and a J.D./M.B.A. The J.D./M.A. in Economics is offered in connection with the SMU Department of Economics in Dedman College and the J.D./M.B.A. is offered in connection with the Cox School of Business.

For the 2016 graduate class, 91.1% passed the bar as first time exam takers compared to the state’s overall average of 77.6%. Dedman placed second in the state behind the University of Texas Law School and within the top 20 of all law schools in the U.S. in 2016. The July 2017 passage rate was 84.95% which was third in the state.

The SMU Dedman School of Law was one of the more selective law schools in the United States in 2008.[2] As of late, the School’s acceptance rate ranges from 38.7% to 43.6%.

According to 2016 ABA disclosures, the Law School had 77.4% of all graduates employed in positions that required passing the bar. Over 82% of all graduates had jobs that either required passing the bar or were considered “J.D. advantaged, ” the highest in Texas 8.9% of the 2016 graduating class were classified as underemployed by the ABA, which means that they are actively seeking employment.

Programs and resources[edit]

Dedman Law publishes five law journals: The SMU Law Review, The International Lawyer, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Law and Business Review of the Americas, and the SMU Science & Technology Law Review. Dedman Law offers a summer program at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, numerous international programs, and Underwood Law Library. Dedman Law offers several law clinics for upper-division students: the Child Advocacy Clinic, Civil Clinic, Criminal Justice Clinic, Federal Taxpayers Clinic, Consumer Advocacy Project, Small Business Clinic & Trademark Clinic, Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women, Innocence Clinic, Patent Law Clinic, and Vansickle Family Law Clinic.

Underwood Law Library[edit]

SMU’s Underwood Law Library is the largest private academic law library west of the Mississippi River .[3] Its collections include approximately 695,000 law-related volumes and equivalents, ranking the library among the top 20% of all law libraries in the United States.[3]


In 2016, SMU Dedman School of Law was ranked 45th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.[4]

In 2016, SMU Dedman School of Law was ranked 29th in the nation by Above The Law, which was slightly down from its 2015 spot at 22nd in the nation.

The National Law Journal has ranked SMU Dedman School of Law 28th in “go-to” law schools.

Business Insider ranked SMU Dedman School of Law 21st in Law schools that have the best alumni for networking and finding legal jobs and 32nd overall. SmartClass ranked Dedman between 24th and 37th in the nation from 2008 until today rising every year since the rankings inception.

The school was ranked 8th in the nation for Tax Law and 3rd in the nation for real estate law by Law Street Media.

SSRN ranked Dedman in the top 30 law schools utilizing a new methodology that assimilates bar passage rates, employment statistics, Professor access, and other actual performance metrics that accentuate output as opposed to input, such as LSAT scores or undergraduate GPA.

Among all publications, SMU Law places between 19th and 46th. Excluding their highest and lowest ranking they consistently rank within the top 20-30 institutions in America. The school boasts a strong alumni class, top regional placement, and consistently robust employment outcomes (employed 92% of 2018 class within 9 months of graduation and 24% in the NLJ 250).


According to SMU's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 69.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[5] SMU's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 14.2%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[6]

Dedman School of Law in 2014 ranked #1 among Texas law schools’ placement for permanent, full-time jobs requiring bar passage and professional jobs where a JD is an advantage, that were not funded by the law school.


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at SMU for the 2014-2015 academic year is $66,757.[7] The average amount borrowed for law school by members of the 2014 graduating class was $124,617.38. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $259,552.[8]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  2. ^ "PRELAW HANDBOOK - 100 Most Selective Law Schools". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-14. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-04. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  6. ^ "Southern Methodist University". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
  8. ^ "Southern Methodist University, Finances". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Raleigh Brown". Southern Methodist University. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Judge Jeff Cox". Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  11. ^ "Floyd D. Culbertson, Jr". Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "Todd Hunter's Biography". Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  13. ^ "Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Barbara M.G. Lynn". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  15. ^ "State Rep. Kenneth Sheets District 107 (R-Dallas)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  16. ^ "William Steger". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 16 May 2013.

External links[edit]