Texas Tech University (School of Law)
The Texas Tech School of Law was established largely through the efforts of attorney Alvin R. Allison, a former member of the Texas Tech University Board of Regents and a visionary who saw a need for a state-supported law school in the West Texas area. The Board appointed the Law School's first dean in 1966, and the first class of 72 entering students enrolled in 1967. By the fall of 2003, the enrollment had grown to 672.
At Texas Tech, you will prepare not only for your future, but also for the future of the world in a new day, a future that will depend increasingly on your ability to practice internationally and to operate at the cutting edge of legal technology.
Our curriculum and instruction are designed to develop the highest potential of all students, regardless of their reasons for studying the law. We train men and women for the practice of law in accordance with the highest traditions of professional responsibility, whether as an advocate, counselor, judge, or law teacher. At the same time, we recognize the use of law as a stepping-stone to a career in government, politics, or business.
Our primary objectives as a law school are to:
* provide state-of-the-art facilities and technology resources necessary to compete in a global environment,
* challenge the brightest minds through the instruction of nationally and internationally recognized scholars,
* inspire excellence and awaken in the mind and heart a passion for the highest standards of skill, merit, and eminence within the practice of law, and
* integrate rigorous academic curriculum with practical, hands-on experience.
The Law School was approved by the American Bar Association in August 1970 and is fully accredited by the Supreme Court of Texas (1968) and the Association of American Law Schools (1969).
In 1974 the Law School was elected to The Order of the Coif, which is the only national legal honor society in the United States. Institutional membership in this prestigious society is offered to only one-third of the nation's law schools. Individual members are elected annually from students graduating in the highest 10 percent of the class.
The Law School is firmly committed to the "open door" policy in faculty-student relations. From the first academic contact during orientation until graduation, the faculty is available for consultation with respect to the course of study, problems of general scholarship, other matters relating to the student's progress in school. With a low student-faculty ratio, each student has abundant opportunities for extensive personal contact with the faculty.
The mission of the Texas Tech University School of Law is to educate and train men and women for the practice of law in the 21st Century; to engage in productive effective scholarship, both within our academic community and the larger academic community throughout our state and nation; and to render public service.
LAW SCHOOL F A C I L I T I E S
* Six classrooms with stadium-style seating and numerous smaller classrooms and seminar rooms.
* Multimedia-capable courtroom featuring network ports
and power access to the judges’ bench and counsel tables. Students can use laptop computers with full Internet access during mock trials and trial presentations. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh District of Texas sits in the Alvin R. Allison Courtroom once each semester giving students the opportunity to see live oral arguments and real cases.
* A Career Services Center for job-search workshops and on-campus interviewing. The center includes a resource library with law firm and corporate resumes, employer directories, computer employer databases, and other materials.
* Spacious offices, interview rooms, and a conference
room for the Civil Practice Clinic, Criminal Justice Clinic,
Low-Income Tax Clinic, Alternative Dispute Resolution
Clinic, and the Innocence Project.
* Law Library with four floors, 300,000 volumes
(or equivalents), more than 200 study rooms, and
accessibility on a 24/7 basis. Free access for law students to multiple full-text legal databases and online legal services. Multimedia-equipped group-study rooms to review videotapes of client interviews; critique witness examinations and oral arguments; and prepare for mock trials, moot court, and client counseling.
* Excellent computer resources and one of the best studentto- computer ratios in the country: one computer for every three students. Nearly 400 computers and a laptop-lending program. Wireless network access throughout the building and power connections to all classroom desktops.
* Lounge area, snack area, student organization offices,
and faculty and administrative offices.
The Office of Academic Success Programs is dedicated to helping Texas Tech University law students achieve their full academic potential. All law students are encouraged to use the resources and services of the Office of Academic Success Programs. The office works with new law students (1L’s) as well as advanced law students (2L’s and 3L’s) and those students and graduates preparing for the bar examination.
The study of law is very different from the prior educational experiences of most law students. In order to assist students as they adjust to their legal studies, the Office of Academic Success Programs offers workshops on a variety of legal study skills: reading and
briefing cases, note-taking and outlining, exam writing, studying in groups, and using study aids effectively. In addition, workshops are offered on life skills that improve academic performance: learning styles, time management, stress management, and curbing procrastination. First-year students can also meet individually with the Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs to discuss specific study problems.
The Office of Academic Success Programs coordinates the weekly tutoring program for 1L students through which upper-division students hired by the faculty provide group sessions and office hours for individual assistance. All 1L students are encouraged to
participate in the tutoring sessions for their classes in order to gain a deeper understanding of the course material and to practice applying the legal concepts to new fact patterns.
Advanced law students are encouraged to attend workshops designed to increase their academic success through more efficient and effective use of study and life skills. Advanced law students can also meet individually with the Assistant Dean for Academic
Success Programs for focused sessions on specific study problems.
The Office of Academic Success Programs provides an extensive library for short-term loans of the major supplemental study aids from a variety of legal publishers. The library includes study aids for the required courses in the curriculum as well as for many elective courses. All Texas Tech law students are eligible to use the library.
Preparation for the bar examination is another area in which assistance is provided. A workshop is held for graduating students to discuss preparation strategies. A faculty member works part-time with the Office of Academic Success Programs to assist students and graduates with bar preparation.
The Doctor of Jurisprudence ( J.D.) program is designed to provide a general background in law. Although concentration or specialization is neither required nor encouraged, the law school curriculum is broad enough that students may, through their choice of electives, emphasize a particular area of the law. These areas include the following: Property and Estate Planning, Tax Law, Litigation, Judicial Administration and Procedure, Environmental and Natural Resource Planning, Public Interest Law, Commercial Law, Business Association, Criminal Law, International Law, and Administrative Law.
To be recommended for the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree by the faculty, a student must successfully complete a minimum of 90 semester hours, normally accomplished in six semesters or five semesters and two summer sessions. A cumulative average of 2.0 is
required for graduation. Other academic requirements for graduation and for maintaining good standing are contained in the “Rules and Regulations of the School of Law” .
The average academic attrition rate for first-year students during the past five years is about 9 percent. The Law School only offers a full-time program. Part-time enrollment is not permitted, and classes are offered only during the day. A student may not take
more than 17 or less than 13 hours in any semester without special permission. Twelve hours is considered full time. There is no minimum course load requirement for students during a summer session, although 8 hours is considered full time and students may not register for more than 10 hours.
Normally students must complete six semesters in residence as a full-time student to meet graduation requirements. A student may graduate a semester early—at the end of the fall semester of the third year— by taking at least 12 hours over two summers (the
equivalent of the sixth semester of residency). Regular attendance and preparation by students are required. Students should be aware that the Law School must certify to the various boards of state bar examiners that each student has attended classes regularly. A professor may exclude a student from the course
or from the final examination in the course if that student has accumulated an unreasonably large number of absences or instances of being unprepared. The Law School faculty reserves the right to change the schedule of classes, the program of instruction, the requirements for degrees, and any other similar
rules or regulations. This right will not be exercised, however, to impose substantial detriment upon students enrolled at the time of the change.
Legal education differs significantly from the undergraduate and even graduate experiences of most students. First, the goal in most classes is not for students simply to memorize information but for them to be able to analyze that information, apply it, and
manipulate it. Towards that end, professors employ a number of teaching methods. Each approach starts with the typical law school text: a casebook. Students learn about the law by reading the law—cases decided by courts, statutes passed by legislative bodies, administrative regulations, constitutions, and treaties. Some professors teach by the Socratic method, a scheme of guided questioning designed to lead the student to recognize the existence of certain ideas of knowledge. Some professors use lecture or discussion, but all approaches rely on students’ having prepared for class by reading and considering the material to be
covered. The amount of material to be covered and the depth of thought required to learn the law offer deep and continuing intellectual challenges to students as they progress through the three years of law school.
The Legal Practice Program under the direction of Associate Dean and Professor Nancy Soonpaa offers first-year law students a two-semester sequence of courses designed to let them apply the law they are learning in their other first-year courses.
Although learning the rules, principles, and doctrines of law is fundamental to a law education, that knowledge alone is not enough to prepare law students to practice.
A course that asks students to apply that knowledge in a variety of ways serves to introduce students to the practical skills they will use in their professional lives.
Because the Law School and its faculty recognize the importance of students developing practice skills, the Texas Tech School of Law differs from many other schools by offering a full six hours of credit during the first year for courses that introduce practice skills.
Legal Practice I and II introduce first-year students to a variety of skills, including research, objective and persuasive writing, client interviewing and counseling, ethical responsibilities and professionalism, alternative dispute resolution, and oral advocacy. These skills are taught in the context of client-centered representation.
In the fall semester, students meet with a mock client, interview that person, and research the law related to the issues for which the client needs legal advice. Then students write an analysis of the law and facts in order to counsel the client about the best course of action.
During the spring semester, each student represents a new client.
Because the new clients have cases in litigation, students must learn to write to a judge and file various papers with the court. As they attempt to resolve the problems of their clients through negotiation and mediation, the students also must continue to represent
their clients on appeal to a higher court. This requires presenting the issue through writing and oral argument to a panel of judges.
The two-semester sequence offers additional exercises and assignments so that students leave their first year of law school ready to take a summer legal position and use their legal skills in a professional setting.
The emphasis on professional skills requires an experienced group of professors to teach Legal Practice I and II. Every member of the Legal Practice Program has significant practice experience that
ranges from practicing with a firm to serving as a military lawyer to clerking for an appellate judge. The breadth of experience that these professors bring to the classroom not only enriches the education of their students but also introduces students to the professional world and its expectations.
Students have the opportunity to represent clients and participate in real cases through a clinical program that includes a Civil Practice Clinic, Criminal Justice Clinic, and Low-Income Tax Clinic. In addition, an Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Clinic provides students with 40 hours of basic mediation training
as well as the opportunity to mediate actual cases through the Lubbock County Dispute Resolution Center. The Innocence Project allows second and third-year students the opportunity to perform all aspects of screening prisoner cases and investigating records of
inmates claiming their innocence.
The clinical program is optional for third-year law students who meet the requirements and priorities of the Clinic Selection Process. This process determines which students will receive realworld experience while providing free legal representation and counseling to qualified low-income individuals. Full-time faculty
members who have extensive trial experience at both the state and federal levels teach the clinical courses.
A crucial part of your legal education involves preparing you for all aspects of your professional commitment as lawyers.
Accordingly, we encourage all students to take part in the legal profession’s commitment to public service. The School of Law provides a multitude of opportunities to perform pro bono legal services for low-income and disadvantaged members of the Lubbock community and surrounding areas. Many of our public service programs are sponsored in conjunction with one or more local agencies equally dedicated to assisting individuals that often feel disenfranchised.
Although not required, an overwhelming number of our students take advantage of the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience. However, our student body recognizes that the primary purpose of our public service programs extends beyond skills training. Students participating in our public service programs embrace the concept of the role of the lawyer as a community servant.
The Law Library at Texas Tech is the largest legal information center in western Texas and the region covering eastern New Mexico and southern Oklahoma. Under the direction of Associate Dean Arturo Torres,
the library and its staff serve and support the educational, instructional, and research needs of the Law School. Students have 24/7 access to the library.
The Law Library is available to law students around the clock, year around. The library is a spacious facility that offers study areas, group study rooms, computer labs, and a reading/study lounge for leisurely reading and research. The library contains more than 200 study
rooms that provide small office-like settings for students to study and conduct research. Each study room is equipped with one or more state-of-the-art computers that allow students to write papers, perform legal research, send and receive electronic mail, and perform an array of other tasks.
The Law Library holds a substantial collection of materials in law, social sciences, and other subjects. The collection contains nearly 300,000 volumes (or equivalents) in books, treatises, periodicals, microforms,
government documents, and other multiple information sources.
The library also provides law students free access to multiple fulltext legal databases, including LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Loislaw. The Law Library also subscribes to many specialized online legal services. As part of a comprehensive research university,
the Law Library works closely with the University Library and the Health Sciences Center Medical Library to provide law students easy access to the collections and databases available at each of the libraries.
The Law Library provides nearly 400 computers that allow law students to access full-text legal databases (e.g., LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Loislaw). In addition,
the Law School provides wireless computer network access throughout the building, power connections to all classroom desktops, and multiple other features aimed at enhancing the technological experience of the student. The university is a member of the Microsoft Campus Agreement group and as such offers discounts to enrolled law students. Students are able to
download the software for free. The group study rooms in the library are multimedia equipped so that law students can review videotapes of client interviews, critique witness examinations and oral arguments, and prepare for mock trials, moot court, and client
counseling. All classrooms and the courtroom are equipped with full multimedia capability.
School name:Texas Tech UniversitySchool of Law
Address:1802 Hartford Avenue
Zip & city:TX 79409 Texas
Address:1802 Hartford Avenue
Zip & city:TX 79409 Texas
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