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Southern Methodist University (Dedman School of Law)

The Dedman School of Law of Southern Methodist University was established in February 1925. The school is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is approved by the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association.

J.D. Degree. The J.D. (Juris Doctor) is the first law degree normally obtained in three years of study. The primary purpose of the J.D. program is preparation for the practice of law, private or public. The curriculum combines training in the science and method of law, knowledge of the substance and procedure of law, understanding of the role of law in society, and practical experience in handling professional problems. It also explores the responsibility of lawyers and their relations to other segments of society.

Most courses are national or international in scope, although emphasis on Texas law is available for those who plan to practice in Texas.

In addition to traditional academic study, the school sponsors several clinical programs that provide students with an opportunity to earn academic credit while engaging in the actual practice of law. For this work the school provides secretaries and offices conveniently located on the law school campus. All clinical programs are under the supervision of the assistant dean for clinical education, full-time faculty members, and a part-time staff of practicing attorneys. The clinics serve clients from Dallas County in civil, criminal, appellate, and tax cases. Students interview clients, prepare pleadings, and present cases in court with the associate of the clinic faculty and staff attorneys. Clinic students also attend classes dealing with techniques of the practice of law. This work is open to second- and third-year students.

Many graduates choose to practice in the Southwest, but 8,000 living SMU School of Law graduates are found in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and in more than 60 foreign countries. Similarly, although most students come from the Southwest, students are enrolled from all parts of the country.

J.D./M.B.A. Program. The School of Law and the Graduate Division of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business offer a joint program leading to the J.D. and the M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration) in four and one half years. Students must be admitted to both programs separately. The joint program is designed to prepare students for law practice with a business emphasis or for business careers with a legal emphasis.

J.D./M.A. in Economics Program. This program allows for joint study in law and economics following the first year of required legal study. Students must be admitted to both programs separately.

Advanced Degrees. Approximately 50 full-time and 30 part-time students are enrolled in advanced degrees: the LL.M. (Taxation) and LL.M. (General) degrees for U.S. law trained graduates, the LL.M. (Comparative and International Law) degree for non-U.S. trained law graduates, and the S.J.D. advanced research degree for both U.S. and non-U.S. law trained graduates.

Non-Degree Enrollment and Auditing. Attorneys holding valid U.S. law licenses or graduates from ABA-approved law schools may enroll in or audit courses offered at the law school on a space available basis.

The Law School Quadrangle, a four-building complex, occupies six acres on the northwest corner of the SMU campus. Storey Hall houses administrative offices, faculty library and offices, and clinical and other facilities. Florence Hall contains class and seminar rooms and a court room. Carr Collins Jr. Hall, completely remodeled in 1994, contains student services offices, student lounges, and specially equipped state-of-the-art seminar rooms. Underwood Law Library, completed in 1970 and partially renovated in 1993, 1994, and 1995, contains open stacks for its collection, computer facilities, and carrels and comfortable seating for all students. Consistent with the entire SMU campus, the buildings are modified Georgian architecture. Student housing is available on campus in areas close to the Quadrangle.

Participation in the legal profession requires knowledge and skill in the discovery and manipulation of information. Familiarity with the materials and services of a law library is essential to effective performance as a law student and as an attorney.

The Underwood Law Library, an open-stack library for students, containing more than 440,000 volumes, is one of the major legal information resources in the United States. American legal materials, federal and state, include constitutions, legislative compilations, administrative regulations, and the reported decisions of appellate courts of all jurisdictions. The treatise holdings cover all areas of the law with special strength in corporate, securities, and tax matters. Periodical titles, large numbers of Texas and United States government documents, appellate papers for cases in the Texas Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States in microforms, and all of the related digests, citators, encyclopedias, and indices round out a comprehensive current information resource.

The collection includes primary source material, treatises, and journals from Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations and selected jurisdictions from Western Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

International law materials are a strong resource that include documentation from the United Nations and relevant publications from a number of other international organizations.

The library also houses a student computing area and classroom, with access to word processing, the Internet, electronic mail, and programmed legal exercises.

Students are expected to conduct themselves as prospective members of the legal profession. A Student Code of Professional Responsibility, which was drafted by a student/faculty committee, approved by the faculty, and ratified by the student body, is in effect. By enrolling in the school, students are deemed to have notice of the code's contents, and therefore should familiarize themselves with its standards and disciplinary procedures. In addition, students are expected to comply with the policies and procedures established by the administrative offices at the School of Law and the University. Matriculation in the University constitutes a declaration of compliance with all University rules and regulations.

Full-time students may not work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year. Violation of this ABA standard may subject a student to penalties under the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Students are not permitted, without the written consent of the dean, either individually or collectively to use the name of the University or of the School of Law in any activity outside the regular work of the school.

Southern Methodist University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status. The Director of Institutional Access and Equity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be contacted at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275, 214-768-3601. This nondiscrimination policy applies to the activities of the law school in admission, placement, housing, facilities, scholarships, grants, and all other academic and nonacademic opportunities -- including those that are honorary. Further, the Office of Career Services is available only to employers who sign a statement of compliance with nondiscriminatory practices in hiring as defined by the AALS.

The School of Law established its graduate degree programs in 1950. They are intended to enhance careers in the private practice of law, in teaching, and in public service by providing the opportunity for graduate level education and training. The programs are designed to increase the student's understanding of legal theory and policies, broaden the student's legal horizons, and encourage the development of legal research and writing skills.

The Master of Laws degree programs are open to lawyers who are graduates of approved law schools and whose academic and professional records indicate a likelihood of successful graduate legal study. While most classes are scheduled during the day, selected courses (primarily in the tax, business, and international law fields) may be offered in the early morning and in the evening.

School name:Southern Methodist UniversityDedman School of Law
Address:Hillcrest Ave. & Daniel Ave.
Zip & city:TX 75275-0116 Texas

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