Thurgood Marshall School of Law

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Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Parent school Texas Southern University
Established 1946
School type Public HBCU
Dean Gary L. Bledsoe (Interim Dean)
Location Houston, Texas, U.S.
Enrollment 600

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL) is an ABA-accredited law school in Houston, in the U.S. state of Texas, that awards Juris Doctor and Master of Law degrees. It is part of Texas Southern University. Thurgood Marshall School of Law is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Association of American Law Schools.


Its history can be traced back to a 1946 lawsuit implicating protections for racial minorities under the U.S. Constitution, Sweatt v. Painter, brought by Heman M. Sweatt, and tried by Thurgood Marshall.[1] The Texas Constitution mandated separate but equal facilities for whites and blacks. Mr. Sweatt was refused admission to the University of Texas School of Law because he was black. In order to pre-empt the possibility of Mr. Sweatt obtaining a successful court order, the legislature passed Texas State Senate Bill 140, which established a university to offer courses of higher learning in law, pharmacy, dentistry, journalism, education, arts and sciences, literature, medicine, and other professional courses. It opened in 1946 as the "Texas State University for Negroes," and later changed its name in Texas Southern University in 1951.

Thurgood Marshall School of Law has been consistently ranked among the best in the nation for achieving diversification in its student body. TMSL has produced over 1,000 Hispanic lawyers and is responsible for 17% of African-American lawyers nationwide. At least 40% of licensed Texas African-American lawyers are TMSL alumni.[2][3]

On the February 2015 Texas Bar Exam, TMSL reached a performance milestone with its first time bar exam takers passage rate exceeding the national average and nearby University of Houston Law Center rates.[4]

In 2016, TMSL began to offer a Master of Laws in Immigration and Naturalization Law. The program is the first Masters of Law program in the nation to focus on immigration law.[5]

Student demographics and statistics[edit]

Gender: 43% Male, 57% Female.

Age: average 26. 60% younger than 30. 32% over 30.

Race: 54% African-American, 7% Asian-American, 17% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 1% Foreign Nationals.

Average LSAT score: 147

Average GPA: 3.00.

The overall bar passage rate for TMSL for the past five years is 77.43%.

All demographics and statistics are based on 2011 figures. The figures changes annually.[6]


The Class of 2019 had 1,883 applications and only 35% (660) were offered admissions into the school. 238 students enrolled for the fall semester . [7]

TMSL Library[edit]

The TMSL Library housed within the law school building has over 350,000 volumes and volume equivalents.[8] In 2010, the National Jurist ranked the TMSL Library 31st out of 198 law libraries in the nation for resources, service, and space. TMSL also had the distinction of being the only Houston law school ranked, the only historically black law school ranked, and one of only two Texas law schools ranked.[9]

TMSL Legal Clinics[edit]

  • Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Justice, Inc.: An institute dedicated to identifying potential implementable solutions to legal and social issues disproportionately impacting minority communities
  • Center for Legal Pedagogy: It serves as a study and creation center of instructional design for legal education
  • Institute for International and Immigration Law: An institute dedicated to providing specialized academic and practical legal training for students planning a career in international or immigration law[10]


  • Thurgood Marshall Law Review - The law review was established in 1970 and is a legal research and writing forum for legal scholars and practitioners from around the world.
  • The Thurgood Marshall School of Law Gender, Race, and Justice Law Journal - A student-run organization whose primary purpose is to publish a journal of legal scholarship.


According to Thurgood Marshall's official 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 52% of the Class of 2016 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[11]


The total estimated cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Thurgood Marshall for the 2013-2014 academic year is $38,235.50 for residents and $43,185.50 for nonresidents.[12] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $150,715 for residents and $171,397 for nonresidents.[13]

Notable alumni[edit]

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law alumni network consists of thousands of lawyers. Some notable graduates includes the following:

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "About Texas Southern University and Thurgood Marshall School of Law". Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Best Law Schools - Graduate Schools - Education". US News and World Report. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  3. ^ "TSU'S Thurgood Marshall School of Law continues unique mission". 
  4. ^ "TMSL Graduates Pass Bar Exam at Astonishing Rate". 
  5. ^ LLM, Immigration and Naturalization Law, TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
  6. ^ "Admissions, Frequently Asked Questions". Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Archived from the original on June 8, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Texas Southern University Law School - Law School Numbers". 
  8. ^ "Alumni and FriendsThurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas". 
  9. ^ TSU’s Law Library One of the Best in the Nation, Press Release, April 14, 2010.
  10. ^ "Institute for International and Immigration Law at Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas". 
  11. ^ "Recent law grads doing better on getting lawyer jobs". 
  12. ^ "Cost of Attendance". 
  13. ^ "Thurgood Marshall's LST Profile". 
  14. ^ "Stephanie Anne Flowers". Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr". Ninth Judicial Circuit. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Craig Washington". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Brian C. Wimes". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Dallas County District Attorney". 
  19. ^ "The City of Edinburg Meet the City Council". 
  20. ^ "James M. Douglas - The HistoryMakers". 
  21. ^ "Judge Paul Womack". Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.