Texas Wesleyan University (School of Law)
Established in 1989, the law school was acquired by Texas Wesleyan University in 1992 and granted full approval by the American Bar Association (550 West North Street, Suite 349, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202; 317.264.8340) in August 1999.
The law school is located in downtown Fort Worth at 1515 Commerce Street, in close proximity to Fort Worth legal and judicial communities.
The law school has been one of the catalysts in southern downtown Fort Worth’s redevelopment. Located adjacent to the Tarrant County Convention Center and the Fort Worth Water Gardens, the law school is convenient to interstates 30 and 35W and is near the station for the light rail line between Fort Worth and Dallas.
In the October 1999 edition of the American Bar Association Journal, ABA president William G. Paul cited compelling data that stated 90 percent of lawyers in America today are white, and enrollment in law schools is about 80 percent white. This same data showed that people of color represent 30 percent of American society. Paul went on to say that this trend puts at risk “the historic role of lawyers as the connecting link between our society and the rule of law.”
Since its inception in 1989, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law has understood the importance of diversity. In fact, the school’s founders and its first dean, Frank Elliot, built the school with the mission of access in mind. At Texas Wesleyan, the word “diversity” denotes inclusiveness. Because of this, the school’s mission goes far beyond the scope of racial and ethnic diversity to include age, economic, traditional vs. non-traditional and international diversity as well.
To meet the challenge of ensuring institution-wide diversity, Texas Wesleyan has a number of faculty, recruiting, student and academic initiatives designed to reflect the diverse society in which we all live.
In support of overall efforts to enhance the diversity of the student body, the admissions committee is charged with evaluating each candidate as an individual. Among the factors addressed in admission decisions are previous professional and business experiences, public service, academic and other educational involvement, community leadership, history of overcoming disadvantages and cultural background. Accordingly, the admissions committee evaluates all applicants with respect to their potential contributions to the diversity of the student body and the legal profession.
The current faculty consists of 31 full-time professors, plus adjunct professors who provide a considerable range of academic and professional experience. Law schools represented by the faculty’s degrees include American University, Columbia, George Washington, Texas and the University of Southern California, with graduate law degrees from such schools as Chicago, Georgetown, Harvard, New York University, and the University of Virginia. Non-law doctoral and master’s degrees include Stanford, Michigan, Chicago, Columbia and Harvard.
In addition to their academic backgrounds, the faculty’s diverse professional and community interests are represented in their experiences and activities. Faculty members have held significant positions with the American Bar Association, American Association of Law Libraries, the Law School Admission Council, the National Judicial College, and the Southwestern Legal Foundation. They have served in a variety of governmental positions with the Department of Health and Human Services, the EEOC, the Judge Advocate General Corps, and in the judiciary, state legislatures and as state prosecutors.
The juris doctor degree is conferred on students who satisfactorily complete a 90-unit course of study and a 30-hour pro bono requirement. The curriculum is divided among lockstep courses (required courses that must be taken in a prescribed sequence), advanced required courses, core curriculum electives, and general curriculum electives. Beyond providing a solid grounding in the basics of the law, the school’s curriculum provides many opportunities for students to train in a variety of specialized areas.
In keeping with its mission to provide excellence in legal education and emphasizing service to its diverse student body, the legal profession, and its community, the School of Law requires each of its students to perform 30 hours of law-related pro bono service through the Equal Justice Program. Students must have completed their pro bono requirement by the end of their next to last semester of law school. It is, therefore, highly recommended that students complete their required 30 hours sooner, rather than later.
The program’s purpose is twofold. First, it ensures that all students will have the opportunity to practice lawyering skills in a real-world setting before they graduate. Second, it imparts to our students the importance of giving back to the community in recognition of the privileged status lawyers occupy.
The Externship Program enables students to work with practicing attorneys for academic credit and provides a supervised context in which students will be exposed to front-line practice through a variety of externships with trial and appellate courts, federal and state government entities, and public interest organizations. Students perform legal tasks and apply their academic studies to real cases, gaining valuable insight into the operation of legal institutions.
The program is coordinated by a professor who ensures students gain significant legal experience in areas such as interviewing, researching, drafting, negotiating, counseling clients, and or alternative dispute resolution.
Externships are unpaid positions assigned to each student after a prescreening process to make certain each student is in good standing with the law school. Students must have completed at least three semesters (44 hours) of credit and have at least a 2.33 (C+) GPA to be eligible for placement.
In order to implement a curriculum that allows students to develop necessary practical lawyering skills, the law school has developed a series of "practicum" courses in discrete substantive areas of law and practice skill sets. These term courses involve the supervised practical application of previously studied theory. Link to the Practicum Courses section of the Course Description page for more information on these courses.
The School of Law also promotes active mock trial and moot court programs, with a required intramural program in the first year, voluntary intramural competitions for upper division students, and participation in several interschool competitions.
The law clinic is an actual law office operated by law students and a faculty supervisor. The clinic provides students the opportunity to earn class credit while representing indigent clients in court under the direction of the faculty supervisor.
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law supports and encourages a variety of student activities. Student organizations provide professional contacts, social activities and exposure to legal specialties.
The current faculty consists of 31 full-time professors, plus adjunct professors and legal writing instructors, who provide a considerable range of academic and professional experience.
Law schools represented by the faculty’s degrees include American University, Columbia, George Washington, Texas and the University of Southern California, with graduate law degrees from such schools as Chicago, Georgetown, Harvard, New York University, and the University of Virginia. Non-law doctoral and master’s degrees include Stanford, Michigan, Chicago, Columbia, and Harvard.
In addition to their academic backgrounds, the faculty’s diverse professional and community interests are represented in their experiences and activities. Faculty members have held significant positions with the American Bar Association, American Association of Law Libraries, the Law School Admission Council, the National Judicial College, and the Southwestern Legal Foundation. They have served in a variety of governmental positions with the Department of Health and Human Services, the EEOC, the Judge Advocate General Corps, and in the judiciary, state legislatures, and as state prosecutors.
The Office of Career Services at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law provides students and alumni with career development and counseling services and resources from the first year of law school throughout their careers. The proximity of the law school to a large and diverse legal community in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex offers students a wide variety of career opportunities, and the Office of Career Services teaches students how to take advantage of those opportunities.
Career Services’ philosophy is that virtually all students seeking a job can find one. Career Services can teach a student how to do so. Career Services begins establishing relationships with the students after November of their first year so that students might better take advantage of the resources and tools the office can provide students throughout their careers.
The Dee J. Kelly Law Library's primary mission is to support the educational, instructional, curricular and research needs of the faculty, students, and staff of the School of Law. The law library will be the Wesleyan law student's "lab" during his/her law school career. It is in the law library where students will learn the tools of the trade: where to find and how to use the law sources that will be applied in legal dispute resolution. The library's collection is also available to alumni of the School of Law and the University community at large.
The library's collection may be accessible to secondary patrons including members of the bench and bar, other librarians and libraries and the general public. When financial resources and academic priorities allow, limited services and materials may be provided to secondary patrons.
Legal information storage, access and delivery encompass various media including paper, microform, and electronic formats. The law library's collection is comprised of these various formats so students may become familiar with each media to better prepare them for the practice of law.
In addition to its law book collection, the library subscribes to major online electronic information services. After attending training, students will have access to some of these electronic services from their home computers. The library also permits authorized users access to various legal and non-legal internet information services through its proxy server, expaning the access to information beyond the library walls.
In addition to online services, the law library subscribes to several sources of law published in CD-ROM format. CD-ROM servers provide networked access to these resources. Complementing book and electronic sources is an extensive collection of U.S. Congressional documents available on microfiche, including the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Treatises, AALS Law Books Recommended for Libraries, and full transcripts of all congressional hearings since 1970.
The law librarians will help educate the students in using the library’s resources efficiently. Several law librarians have juris doctor degrees and all full-time librarians have earned a master’s degree in library science. The law library’s regular operating schedule, in effect when classes are in session, provides more than 110 hours per week of access, 85 of which reference services are available.
School name:Texas Wesleyan UniversitySchool of Law
Address:1515 Commerce Street
Zip & city:TX 76102-6509 Texas
Address:1515 Commerce Street
Zip & city:TX 76102-6509 Texas
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