South Texas College of Law
|Houston College of Law; South Texas College of Law|
|Motto||Justitia et Veritas Praevaleant (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Let Justice and Truth Prevail|
|Type||Private law school|
|President and Dean||RADM Donald J. Guter, USN (Ret.)|
|Colors||Crimson, Gold and Navy Blue|
South Texas College of Law is a private law school in Houston, Texas. It was founded in 1923—the oldest law school in Houston and the third-oldest in Texas.12 It is accredited by the American Bar Association and employs 59 full-time professors and 40 adjunct professors.
According to South Texas' 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 61.2% of the class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.
South Texas 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, 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 South Texas 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 South Texas number one in the nation, and it consistently ranks among the top 10 every year.3 4 In 2006, South Texas won the Association of Trial Lawyers of America national mock trial competition, beating over 260 schools. In 2007, South Texas won the National White Collar Crime Invitational Mock Trial Competition hosted by Georgetown Law School. As of August 2011, South Texas has won 108 national titles. The school's most recent win was at the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Tournament in 2011.
As of 2016, South Texas College of Law Houston's rank is unpublished in the US News Rankings of Best Law Schools.
South Texas College of Law Houston publishes several student-edited journals of legal scholarship, including Corporate Counsel Review, Currents: International Trade Law Journal, and South Texas Law Review. It is currently not ranked on the U.S. News Report for Best Law Schools in the nation.
According to South Texas' official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 61.2% of the class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. South Texas' 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 nonprofessional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at South Texas for the 2017-2018 academic year was $56,000.
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South Texas 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. South Texas is also the first Texas law school to provide $400 each month toward student-loan indebtedness for its alumni working for nonprofit legal-aid organizations that provide services to the poor.
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 South Texas College of Law; the first court occupied the 10th floor while the 14th court occupied the 11th floor. On September 3, 2011, the courts relocated to the 1911 Harris County courthouse.
Attempt to merge with Texas A&M University
In 1998, Texas A&M University tried to merge with South Texas College of Law Houston (at that time, called 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. 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. The University of Houston and other institutions voiced concern about the partnership. 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.
Litigation over name change
Until mid-2016, the law school was called "South Texas College of Law". 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." The University of Houston System filed a lawsuit on June 27, 2016, in U.S. Federal district court in Houston. On October 14, 2016, the U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction requiring that South Texas College of law stop using the name "Houston College of Law," pending further developments in the case.
On November 7, 2016, the dean of the law school announced that the name would be changed to "South Texas College of Law Houston".
- Chris Bell, former US Congressman
- Briscoe Cain, incoming Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 128 in Harris County; attorney in Deer Park, Texas
- Robert R. Casey, former US Congressman
- John Culberson, US Congressman
- John P. Devine, Texas Supreme Court Justice, Place 4, since 2013
- Robert Eckels, former state representative and Harris County county judge
- Joseph Gutheinz, attorney who has investigated stolen and missing moon rocks
- Eva Guzman, Texas Supreme Court Justice
- Charles Holcomb, judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 2001 to 2010
- Joan Huffman, member of the Texas State Senate from Harris County since 2008; former state district court judge
- Patrica R. "Pat" Lykos, former Harris County District Attorney
- David M. Medina, former Texas Supreme Court Justice
- Sam Nuchia, former Chief of the Houston Police Department
- Reed O'Connor, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas
- Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Founder of American Atheists, did not pass the bar exam and never practiced law
- Dan Rather, former CBS News anchor (Did not graduate)
- Leighton Schubert, member of the Texas House of Representatives since 2015 for District 13; attorney in Caldwell, Texas
- Jim Sharp, state court judge in Houston, 2009-2014
- Robert Talton, member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1993 to 2009; candidate for Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court in Republican primary on March 4, 2014
- Austin Walton, certified NBA agent and owner of Walton Sports Management Group
- ^1 Source: Cambridge Study Abroad Program
- ^2 Source: The Handbook of Texas Online
- ^3 Source: South Texas College of Law, "News and Events"
- ^4 Source: U.S. News and World Report: Americas Best Graduate Schools: Law Specialties: Trial Advocacy
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- Georgetown Law - White Collar Crime Mock Trial Competition
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- 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.
- Gabrielle Banks, "Federal judge to law school: Hold off on name change for now," October 14, 2016, Houston Chronicle, at .
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