Houston College of Law

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Not to be confused with University of Houston Law Center.
Houston College of Law
Houston College of Law Logo.png
Former names
South Texas College of Law
Motto Justitia et Veritas Praevaleant (Latin)
Motto in English
Let Justice and Truth Prevail
Type Private Law School
Established 1923
President and Dean RADM Donald J. Guter, USN (Ret.)
Academic staff
Students 1048
Location Houston, Texas, United States
Colors Crimson and Gold
Affiliations NAICU
Website www.hcl.edu
Houston College of Law
The rear of Houston College of Law, with the law library enclosed in glass

The Houston College of Law (formerly South Texas College of Law) is a private law school located in Downtown Houston, Texas. Founded in 1923, the college is the oldest law school in Houston and the third-oldest in Texas. The college is the largest law school in Texas by enrollment and the only law school in Texas unaffiliated with a university. Houston College of Law has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1959 and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).[1] On June 22, 2016, the college changed its name to the Houston College of Law citing low recognition of its previous name, South Texas College of Law. [2]

Houston College of Law has a faculty of 59 full-time professors and 40 adjunct professors and a student body of approximately 1,000 full and part-time students.[3]

US News consistently ranks the Houston College of Law in the top ten programs nationally for Trial Advocacy.[4] The law school dedicates significant resources to promoting and cultivating its trial advocacy program which has given the law school a reputation for producing exceptional trial lawyers.[5] Houston College of Law holds over 121 National and International Advocacy Championships, more than any other law school in the nation and close to three times as many as the next runner up.

According to Houston College of Law's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 61.7% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[6]

Student programs[edit]

Houston College of Law offers a "3 and 3" program with Texas A&M University. This program makes it possible to obtain a Bachelor's degree and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) in six years. Houston College of Law is also part of a consortium of four independent ABA and AALS accredited American law schools—California Western School of Law, New England School of Law, and William Mitchell College of Law. The Consortium for Innovative Legal Education (CILE), combines resources designed to enhance and strengthen the educational mission of each school separately and all of them collectively. This partnership provides access to educational programs on a national and international basis. Students at Houston College of Law can study abroad in London, Ireland, Malta, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Turkey, Chile and Mexico.


In 2005, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Trial Advocacy Program at Houston College of Law number one in the nation, and it consistently ranks among the top 10 every year.3 4 In 2006, Houston College of Law won the Association of Trial Lawyers of America national mock trial competition, beating over 260 schools. In 2007, Houston College of Law won the National White Collar Crime Invitational Mock Trial Competition hosted by Georgetown Law School.[7] As of August 2011, Houston College of Law has won 108 national titles. The school's most recent win was at the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Tournament in 2011.[8]

As of 2016, Houston College of Law is not ranked in the US News Rankings of Best Law Schools.[9]

Houston College of Law publishes several student-edited journals of legal scholarship, including Corporate Counsel Review, Currents: International Trade Law Journal, and South Texas Law Review.


According to Houston College of Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 61.2% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[6] Houston College of Law' Law School Transparency under-employment score is 13.6%, 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.[10]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Houston College of Law for the 2016-2017 academic year is $52,500.[11] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $186,530.[12]

Average student loan debt[edit]

The average Class of 2009 graduate had $104,862 of student loan debt.[13]

Community resources[edit]

Houston College of Law sponsors the "Direct Representation Clinics," which provide legal representation to low-income residents of Harris County, Texas in the areas of family law, probate, estate planning, and guardianship cases. Houston College of Law is also the first Texas law school to provide $400 each month toward student-loan indebtedness for its alumni working for non-profit legal-aid organizations that provide services to the poor.

Appeals courts[edit]

The Texas First Court of Appeals and the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals were located in the 1307 San Jacinto Building on the campus of the Houston College of Law; the first court occupied the 10th floor while the 14th court occupied the 11th floor.[14][15] Since September 3, 2011, the courts are now located in the 1911 Harris County courthouse.[16][17]

Attempt to merge with Texas A&M University[edit]

In 1998, Texas A&M University tried to merge with South Texas College of Law under a public/private partnership. Under the proposal, the law school would have remained a private school, but would have been branded as the Texas A&M Law Center and would have awarded law degrees under the A&M seal.[18] The deal went sour after a lengthy legal fight with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the governing body of the state's public institutions. The courts ruled that the schools had failed to obtain the Board's approval before entering into the agreement.[19] The University of Houston and other institutions voiced concern about the partnership.[20] In 2013, Texas A&M University entered into a similar arrangement with the Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas, thereby creating the Texas A&M University School of Law.[21]

Litigation over name change[edit]

On June 22, 2016, the day on which South Texas College of Law announced a name change to "Houston College of Law," the University of Houston (which has its College of Law within the University of Houston Law Center, announced that the University was "concerned about the significant confusion this creates in the marketplace and will take any and all appropriate legal actions to protect the interests of our institution, our brand and our standing in the communities we serve."[22] The lawsuit was filed on June 27, 2016, in U.S. Federal district court in Houston.[23][24]

Notable alumni[edit]



  1. ^ "In Alphabetical Order | Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar". www.americanbar.org. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  2. ^ http://www.texaslawyer.com/id=1202760669767/Houston-Law-School-Changes-Name-in-Brand-Awareness-Bid?slreturn=20160522204652
  3. ^ http://www.stcl.edu/admissions/student_profile.html
  4. ^ http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/trial-advocacy
  5. ^ http://www.stcl.edu/advocacy/board_of_advocates.html
  6. ^ a b "Employment Statistics". 
  7. ^ Georgetown Law - White Collar Crime Mock Trial Competition
  8. ^ http://www.stcl.edu/hottopics/natl-win-108.html
  9. ^ http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/southern-illinois-university-carbondale-03051
  10. ^ "South Texas University Profile". 
  11. ^ https://www.stcl.edu/fao/cost_of_attendance.html
  12. ^ http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/southtexas/costs/2015/
  13. ^ http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=southtexas&show=charts&class=2009
  14. ^ "Contact Information." Texas First Court of Appeals. Retrieved on March 9, 2010. "Physical Location First Court of Appeals 1307 San Jacinto Street, 10th Floor (intersection of Clay and San Jacinto Streets) Houston, Texas "
  15. ^ "Contact Information." Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals. Retrieved on March 9, 2010. "Physical Location Fourteenth Court of Appeals 1307 San Jacinto, 11th Floor Houston, TX 77002 "
  16. ^ "Contact Information." Texas First Court of Appeals. Retrieved on September 12, 2011. "NEW ADDRESS EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 3, 2011 First Court of Appeals 301 Fannin Houston, Texas 77002-2066"
  17. ^ "Contact Information." Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals. Retrieved on September 12, 2011. "NEW ADDRESS EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 3, 2011 Fourteenth Court of Appeals 301 Fannin, Suite 245 Houston, Texas 77002"
  18. ^ "A&M lands a law school after many false starts". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  19. ^ cmaadmin (2007-07-13). "Texas A&M Affiliation With Law School Denied". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  20. ^ "South Texas School now A&M Law Center". archive.thedailycougar.com. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  21. ^ "Texas A&M plans to buy Texas Wesleyan's law school in Fort Worth". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  22. ^ Benjamin Wermund, "South Texas College of Law changes name to Houston College of Law," June 22, 2016, Houston Chronicle, at [1].
  23. ^ Benjamin Wermund, "UH files suit over Houston law school name change," June 27, 2016, Houston Chronicle, at [2].
  24. ^ Complaint, docket entry 1, June 27, 2016, The Board of Regents of the University of Houston System on behalf of the University of Houston System and its Member Institutions; The University of Houston System; and The Board of Regents of the University of Houston System, Plaintiffs v. South Texas College of Law, Defendant, case no. 16-cv-01839, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
  25. ^ "Richard H. Anderson". 
  26. ^ "Chris Bell". NNDB. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Briscoe R. Cain, III". The Cain Law Firm. Retrieved June 5, 2016. 
  28. ^ "CASEY, Robert Randolph, (1915–1986)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  29. ^ "John Culberson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Justice John Phillip Devine". Official Supreme Court of Texas Webpage. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ “ Mission: The moon (rocks), Joseph Gutheinz is the finder of lost lunar relics " By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, The Daily Tidings, February 13, 2012.
  32. ^ "Moon Rock Hunter”, by Michael Graczyk, Associated Press, The Bryan Times, May 13, 2012.
  33. ^ "Eva Guzman". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Joan Huffman's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  35. ^ / "Pat Lykos: Texas' Capital Punishment Avenger" Check |url= value (help). US News. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  36. ^ "South Texas College of Law Alumni Association". South Texas College of Law/Houston. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Airline pioneer Harding Lawrence dies". University of Houston–Downtown. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Judges - District Judge Reed O'Connor". United States District Court. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Madalyn Murray O'Hair". Notable Names Database. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Daniel Irvin Rather, Jr.". Notable Names Database. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Caldwell Attorney Leighton Schubert to Run for District 13 Seat". KWHI. November 24, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Robert Talton". taltonforchiefjustice.com. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°45′10″N 95°21′53″W / 29.7529°N 95.3648°W / 29.7529; -95.3648