Texas A&M University School of Law
|Dean||Thomas W. Mitchell|
|Location||Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.|
Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) is a public, ABA-accredited law school located in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. The law school is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and offers the juris doctor degree through its full-time, part-time, and evening programs.
Founded in 1989, the law school began as the Dallas/Fort Worth School of Law in Irving, Texas, then became the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 1992. On June 26, 2012, Texas A&M University reached an agreement with Texas Wesleyan University whereby it would take over ownership and operational control of the School, to be renamed the Texas A&M University School of Law. The agreement was finalized on August 12, 2013, with Texas A&M purchasing the school and all its physical and licensing assets for $73 million.
The school confers the Juris Doctor degree upon students who satisfactorily complete a 90-hour course of study, rigorous writing requirement, experiential learning requirement, and a 30-hour pro bono requirement. For February and July 2015, the school had a passage rate of 74.43% on the Texas Bar Exam, placing it fifth among Texas law schools behind University of Texas (87.13%), Southern Methodist University (84.48%), Texas Tech University (81.73%), and Baylor University (80.73%), while scoring ahead of University of Houston (73.76%), South Texas College of Law (70.64%), St. Mary's University (61.08%), and Texas Southern University (57.97%).
Since the school's acquisition by Texas A&M University, it has increased the size of the faculty by 30% while reducing the size of incoming classes for an 8.4:1 student-faculty ratio in the 2016-17 academic year. It also boosted the overall scholarship budget by 65%.
The Texas A&M Law Fellowship is devoted to raising awareness of legal work in the public interest sector. The student-run organization awards fellowships to deserving students who work in public interest organizations during the summer by raising money at the annual Law Fellowship Gala and Auction.
The clinics offered at the law school include the Community Legal Access Clinic, Criminal Defense Clinic, Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, Family Law and Benefits Clinic, Immigrant Rights Clinic, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic, Low Income Tax Clinic, and Wills and Estates Clinic. Students who are accepted into the clinic are supervised by practicing attorneys and a faculty supervisor.
In 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office approved a clinic at the law school after the school had shown a strong intellectual property program. The school has expanded that program, doubling that faculty in 2015.
As of 2017, Texas A&M University is ranked 92nd in the U.S. News Rankings of Best Law Schools, up from 111th in 2016. The school was also ranked 16th for its part-time program. The Intellectual Property Law program is ranked 7th by U.S. News. The school was unranked as recently as 2014.
According to Texas A&M's official 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 68.3% of the Class of 2016 obtained full-time, long-term employment for which bar passage was required or for which a J.D. was an advantage within 10 months of graduation. Texas A&M's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 22.9%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2016 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job 10 months after graduation.
As part of the transition from a private to a public institution, in 2015 the school announced that it would offer in-state tuition beginning in the 2016-17 academic year, resulting in a 15.39% reduction in tuition and fees for Texas residents. It also guarantees a locked tuition rate to all students for up to four academic years.
For the 2017-18 academic year, full-time resident tuition and fees are $28,504; for non-residents, tuition and fees are $34,498.
Class action lawsuit
On April 7, 2014, Texas A&M University Provost Karen L. Watson sent a letter to alumni of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law confirming that Texas A&M would not be re-issuing diplomas to Texas Wesleyan alumni as it lacked the necessary accreditation to do so. In August 2015, some Texas Wesleyan University School of Law alumni filed a class-action suit against Texas A&M University to resolve their alumni status. The lawsuit was dismissed by the judge for the Northern District of Texas on January 14, 2016.
- Monica S. Nagy, Regent gives $1 million to Texas A&M School of Law, Star-Telegram (Fort Worth), Apr. 2, 2014 (last visited on July 8, 2015); Reeve Hamilton, A&M's Law School Acquisition Differs From Original Plan, Tex. Trib., Aug. 13, 2013 (last visited July 8, 2015).
- "Standard 509 Reports". www.abarequireddisclosures.org. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
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- Law Clinic, Texas A&M University, n.d. (last visited July 8, 2015).
- Student Lawyers Get in on the Intellectual Property Boom, Wall St. J., Aug. 5, 2014 (last visited July 8, 2015).
- Dennis Crouch, Texas A&M University School of Law, PatentlyO.com, Apr. 10, 2015.
- Best Law Schools: Texas A&M University, U.S. News & World Report, n.d. (last visited July 8, 2015).
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- "Best Intellectual Property Law Programs". U.S. News & World Report.
- "Employment Statistics". law.tamu.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
- "Texas A&M". www.lstreports.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
- "Tuition". law.tamu.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
- "Provost Watson's Statement on School of Law" (PDF). 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
- Benjamin Wermund, Law school graduates sue A&M over alumni status, Houston Chron., Aug. 12, 2015 (last visited Aug. 12, 2015).
- "Courthouse News Service". oldarchives.courthousenews.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
- "Welcome to Texas A&M Law Review | Texas A&M Law Review". tamulawreview.org. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
- "Journal of Property Law". www.tamupropertyjournal.org. Retrieved 2017-08-20.