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Texas Southern University—Thurgood Marshall School of Law


Office of Admissions, 3100 Cleburne
Houston, TX 77004
Phone: 713.313.7114 or 713.313.7115; Fax: 713.313.7297
E-mail: erene@tmslaw.tsu.edu; Website: www.tsulaw.edu

Enrollment/Student Body

A majority of the students are from Texas, but all parts of the country are represented at Texas Southern University—Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Approximately 49 percent of the students are black, 23 percent Chicano, 17 percent Caucasian, and 6 percent Asian and Native American. The median age range is between 26 and 36 years.

Introduction

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law, a state institution founded in 1947, seeks to provide a legal education and an opportunity to students from a wide range of backgrounds, including those who otherwise would not have an opportunity for legal training. The law school is accredited by the ABA. The student body is very diverse both ethnically and culturally. The law school is housed in a tri-level structure that is located just outside of downtown Houston. Near-campus housing is available in the form of modern apartments for single and married students. The school makes extensive use of legal facilities in Houston through its clinical programs.

Library and Physical Facilities

Students receive individual or group orientation and intensive training in the use of the library. The law school has undergone approximately $16 million in renovations, expanding the available space from 103,000 to 108,000 square feet.

Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library has received recognition as one of the best libraries in the nation by the National Jurist in their March 2010 issue. The law library was noted particularly for its resources, service, and space. It provides a variety of study spaces, including four new group study rooms, a dedicated writing lab, and over 100 carrels.

In June of 2011, the law library joined the short list of law schools that acquired Encore Synergy, a technologically advanced library system that allows users the ability to quickly find what they need by providing discovery tools. In addition, the library was one of four law libraries that purchased Sierra Services Platform from Innovative Interfaces, which will allow total customized ILS functionality.

Curriculum

Upon entry to the School of Law, all students in the first-year class are required to attend a week-long orientation program. Attention is given to examinations, briefing cases, outlining, and an overview of law school life and expectations.

The law school offers a three-year, full-time JD program. The minimum courseload is 12 hours per semester. Required courses for the first year include Lawyering Process I and II, Civil Procedure, Property, Contracts, Torts, and Criminal Law. Second-year students must take Constitutional Law, Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Trial Simulation, Business Associations, Commercial Law, Professional Responsibility, and Wills and Trusts. Second- or third-year students are required to take Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure, a seminar/independent research project, and Basic Federal Taxation. Third-year students are required to take Consumer Rights and Texas Practice. The remaining hours required to complete the degree may be selected from a number of areas of interest.

The law school operates a full-time, in-house clinic in which students work under the supervision of faculty and adjunct faculty members. Internships are available with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, the Federal Magistrates, the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation, the US Bankruptcy Court, the Harris County Attorney's Office, the Internal Revenue Service, and the US District Court. The school operates a number of clinics, including advanced skills, basic skills, civil and criminal externships, environmental justice, family law, and housing law. A judicial externship with state and federal judges is available to academically outstanding third-year students.

Admission

The admission decision is based primarily on the applicant's motivation and intellectual capacity as demonstrated by his or her undergraduate records and his or her aptitude for the study of law as measured by the LSAT. Leadership ability, prior community service, work experience, the student's background, extracurricular activities, and graduate study in another discipline are all considered.

No particular undergraduate major is preferred; however, the school looks for applicants with broad backgrounds in the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and business sciences. Newly admitted students must send two seat deposits ($150 upon due date and $100 in June), which are refundable upon matriculation. The law school's student body represents one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse student bodies in the country. Transfer applications are accepted. Students seeking a transfer must submit a transcript and letter from the dean of his/her former law school stating that he or she is in good standing. All newly admitted students must submit an official transcript from the baccalaureate degree-granting institution as well as all law schools attended. No application will be evaluated by the admission committee until the LSAC Credential Assembly Service law school report has been received.

In order to ensure complete review, applications must be received by the Office of Admissions no later than April 1, although earlier submission is encouraged. Entering students are admitted only in August (fall semester). Students are notified of acceptance after the admission committee has reviewed the complete file. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University is located in the third largest city in the United States. Each fall semester, the School of Law matriculates approximately 210 students into its full-time program. The law school only has a full-time program.

TMSL has been committed to diversity throughout its history, which has been documented in periodicals and national magazines.

Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University embraces equal opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or veteran's status in the admission to, participation in, or employment in the programs and activities that the university operates.

Student Activities

Numerous law school organizations are active on campus. A student board edits the Thurgood Marshall Law Review. Moot court competitions are held in trial and appellate work, labor law, and client counseling.

Expenses and Financial Aid

About 90 percent of the students receive some form of aid. The law school administers its own competitive scholarship program. Scholarships may range up to full tuition. Between 10 and 15 percent of the students hold assistantships. The aid application deadline is April 1.

The scholarship program makes several awards (approximately 60) each year. The awards have enabled out-of-state residents to qualify for resident tuition rates. In addition, a number of law students qualify for the federal work-study programs. An applicant in need of other financial assistance should make arrangements for financial aid through the law school financial aid counselor by either calling 713.313.7243 or e-mailing kepercival@tmslaw.tsu.edu.

Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs provides assistance for all TMSL law students. We assist with fostering the transition from undergraduate school to law school, coordinating the registration process, overseeing activities of more than 20 student organizations, overseeing the administration of the LSSSE survey, disseminating information about registering for bar examinations for all states, and assisting students as needed in other law school related activities.

Our office begins interacting with current law students at orientation and ends with graduation. During a student's matriculation into the law school, our office conducts registration for classes prior to the beginning of each semester, maintains records of academic history, honors awarded, and any academic or professional activities that affect the status of a law student.

The Office of Student Affairs assists law students in other areas such as academic counseling, wellness and fitness counseling, and students with disabilities counseling. If our office is unable to solve inquiries from students, we assist in directing them to the proper office, department, or agency that will assist them.

Career Services

The Career Services Office (CSO) prepares students for employment by introducing them to various traditional and non-traditional legal career options. The CSO provides extensive guidance in interviewing skills, resume building, cover letters, and networking tools. It presents employment opportunities through numerous resources that include: on-campus interview programs, off-campus recruitment events, job fairs and access to legal job sources that regularly announce available positions. Graduates of Thurgood Marshall School of Law are employed throughout the country. Most enter private practice and federal or state government; others work in large corporations, small businesses, public interest organizations, the judiciary, and the various military JAG Corps. The CSO also conducts a substantial national employer outreach effort yearly to encourage legal employers throughout the country to recruit students from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The CSO assists all students individually with their job search regardless of class rank or GPA, and the staff has a genuine interest and several years of experience guiding students through their self-directed job search.

Applicant Profile

Texas Southern University—Thurgood Marshall School of Law

This grid includes only applicants who earned 120–180 LSAT scores under standard administrations.

  GPA    
LSAT
Score
3.75+
Apps
3.75+
Adm
3.50–
3.74 Apps
3.50–
3.74 Adm
3.25–
3.49 Apps
3.25–
3.49 Adm
3.00–
3.24 Apps
3.00–
3.24 Adm
2.75–
2.99 Apps
2.75–
2.99 Adm
2.50–
2.74 Apps
2.50–
2.74 Adm
2.25–
2.49 Apps
2.25–
2.49 Adm
2.00–
2.24 Apps
2.00–
2.24 Adm
Below 2.00
Apps
Below 2.00
Adm
No GPA
Apps
No GPA
Adm
Total
Apps
Total
Adm
175–180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
170–174 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
165–169 0 0 0 0 2 2 4 4 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 7
160–164 1 1 4 4 4 3 2 2 1 1 4 4 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 18 16
155–159 8 6 11 10 21 19 12 12 18 12 10 8 9 6 4 3 2 0 0 0 95 76
150–154 9 8 28 27 43 35 53 41 53 42 50 32 35 19 19 3 8 2 5 3 303 212
145–149 21 19 34 32 79 59 96 65 99 48 96 21 59 4 22 2 7 0 19 7 532 257
140–144 9 7 41 28 79 27 109 22 116 4 98 3 64 2 45 1 14 0 22 2 597 96
135–139 6 2 16 4 22 1 38 0 46 1 50 0 33 0 15 1 7 1 6 0 239 10
130–134 1 1 2 0 7 0 14 0 10 0 13 0 14 0 6 0 5 0 4 0 76 1
125–129 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 0 3 0 2 0 5 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
120–124 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 55 44 136 105 259 146 333 147 346 108 324 69 221 31 115 11 43 3 56 12 1888 676

Apps = Number of Applicants
Adm = Number Admitted
Reflects 99% of the total applicant pool; highest LSAT data reported.