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Texas Southern University (Thurgood Marshall School of Law)




Texas Southern University was established in 1947 under Texas State Senate Bill 140, which granted the University the authority to offer courses of higher learning in pharmacy, dentistry, journalism, education, arts and sciences, literature, law, medicine, and other professional courses. The University, established by the Fiftieth Texas Legislature, was originally known as "Texas State University for Negroes." However, the name was changed by the legislature in 1951 to Texas Southern University.

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law, as well as the University at-large, was undoubtedly created as a consequence of a 1946 lawsuit brought by Heman M. Sweatt. Under the Texas Constitution, which required separate but equal treatment, Mr. Sweatt was refused admission to the University of Texas School of Law because he was black. As a result, the legislature provided for an interim and separate law school for Negroes. During its first academic year, the law school was housed in Austin, Texas, and was subsequently transferred to the new university campus in Houston.

It is appropriate to note that Justice Marshall, chief counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, successfully argued Heman M. Sweatt's case before the United States Supreme Court.

Since its move to Houston, the School of Law has become an integral part of the Texas Southern University campus. Prior to 1976, the law school was housed in Hannah Hall - the University's administrative complex. On February 14, 1976, the school was formally named The Thurgood Marshall School of Law in honor of the distinguished former U.S. Supreme Court Justice and was moved to its present location.

The Law School has been greatly enriched by the contributions of its culturally diverse students and faculty. Moreover, Thurgood Marshall School of Law is proud that it has produced numerous attorneys and judges of all ethnicities - thereby, significantly impacting the diversity of our nation's legal representatives.

The mission of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law is to expand opportunities for the underserved in the legal profession; prepare a diverse group of students for leadership roles in the legal profession, business and government; and offer leadership in teaching, research and service with special emphasis on a historically black heritage and tradition.

The strength of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law lies in its ability to attract a diverse student body and faculty. This strength has enabled the Law School to rank among the top five producers of African American law graduates each year. The Law School also produces a significant number of Mexican American law graduates. The highly competent faculty includes many "superior teachers" who are well suited to the Law School's mission. The institution also represents an important part of the Texas African American community as a legal and intellectual resource. The strengths are as follows:

* A diverse student body, faculty, and staff.
* A local, regional, and national leader in the production of minority law graduates.
* The largest producer of African-American lawyers to the Texas Bar.
* One of four approved law programs at a historically black college/university.
* One of the largest pools of African-American law professors at any law school.
* A large variety of funding sources.
* Second largest application pool for historically black law schools
* The creation of several institutes for specialized learning.
* A highly-credentialed administrative staff (6 non-faculty JD's on the administrative staff).
* The creation of several faculty support programs - annual sabbaticals, summer releases, research assistants, teaching assistants, and travel allowances.
* Association with a parent university with a large group of scholars in various disciplines.
* The provision of a community resource in the Environmental Justice area.

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law is a mission-driven institution dedicated to nurturing a special group of law students into leadership roles in the legal profession, business and government. The law school has nearly sixty years of experience in bringing students into the legal profession.

The faculty is a diverse group of teachers and scholars who emphasize teaching excellence, especially in the first year of law school. Our full-time faculty teaches an overwhelming majority of our classes, while adjuncts teach specialized courses such as Trial Practice, and furthermore, fulltime faculty members teach all legal writing and research courses.

The law school facility will be completely renovated by June 2004. The renovated facility will feature new classrooms, state-of-the-art technology, and additional computer labs.
The academic program has been recently revised to place greater emphasis on a traditional core while at the same time offering greater specialization opportunities. The law clinic offers students opportunities for actual practice experience in Civil Law, Criminal Law, Housing Law, Immigration Law and in several governmental agencies.

Students can receive certification in International and Immigration Law from the Immigration and International Law Institute. The Earl Carl Institute on Urban and Social Policy also gives students the opportunity to do research on various social policies in conjunction with their law studies. Other programs include joint degrees with the Jesse H. Jones School of Business and the Jordan-Leland School of Public Affairs.

Since 1947, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law has transformed the lives of many students, initiating them into legal professionals serving in various legal positions in the United States and abroad. It is a place where nearly 5000 graduates have made their dreams a reality.

Thurgood Marshall School of Law students who desire a greater degree of specialization may select from a number of interdisciplinary opportunities. In a dual degree program, a student can pursue concurrently a
Juris Doctor and a graduate level degree from one of the sister schools or colleges here at Texas Southern
University. Presently, formal dual degree programs exist in Business Administration and Public Affairs.
The Thurgood Marshall School of Law will also assist students in tailoring other dual degree programs to
fit particular career objectives. Dual degree programs are structured so students can earn both degrees in
substantially less time than would be required to earn each degree separately.

Students enrolled in a dual degree program must complete their first year of study in the School of Law.
Students may apply to both programs before enrolling in law school, but most students are likely to elect to apply during their second semester of law school. Regardless, students must apply and be admitted to both
programs separately. Admissions requirements, including submission of standardized test scores, will vary by program. Therefore, applicants must check with individual schools or colleges about that school or college’s admissions requirements. Because a dual degree program involves the reciprocal application of electives, students are not awarded either degree until the requirements for both degrees are completed.

From the early 1950s, the Thurgood Marshall School of Law has provided clinical education to students and services to the community through its Clinical Legal
Studies Programs. The legal clinics have been designed to provide each participating student with a quality clinical experience firmly grounded in the idea that clinical education and community service must work together to help the underrepresented in our society. The legal clinics and their programs are sometimes
partially supported by grants from organizations that value the goals and service that our clinics provide. The clinical programs are divided in categories to include
externships, live-client representation, and other in-house international and community based clinics.

The Clinical Legal Studies Program provides many opportunities for students to work on real cases as part
of their legal education. During their third year, students have an opportunity to participate in a variety of
clinical programs. Students will be able to provide legal services directly to individual clients in one of our
live-client clinics; or by close observation and hands-on participation in one of our externship clinics.
Second year law students may participate in the practice skills courses as an elective, but priority is given first, to third year law students who are actually enrolled in one of the clinical projects; and second, to third year law students not actually enrolled in one of the clinical projects.

Students in the Clinical Legal Studies Program:
* Develop professional and problem-solving skills;
* Learn the law in a real-life context;
* Engage in critical reflection on the lawyer’s role in relation to clients and society;
* Serve traditionally underrepresented clients; and
* Become aware of public interest and government.

Our mission is to provide a real-life lawyering experience for the law student, to provide high quality legal services to a community that has been historically underrepresented and to create positive awareness of Texas Southern University and Thurgood Marshall School of Law within the community.

Clinical Legal Studies will teach specific areas of law utilizing the practical application method and/or
simulated method in the classroom; allow students an opportunity to experience the real practice of law from
the perspective of courts, agencies, quasi-governmental agencies, governments, or law office environment;
and expose the operations of the agency from client intake to trial, or from law office management to teaching
law, whether the area of law is criminal or civil. Clinical Legal Studies will serve as a legal resource for the
deprived, minority, low income and underrepresented communities, in addition to providing resources to the
legal community.

The law library is open over one hundred hours each week and, on the average, sixteen hours per day. Reference hours are provided daily and during peak days until nine in the evening. The law library’s mission is to provide law faculty and students with all of the
resources needed to conduct the highest quality legal research. Our goals are directed toward providing assistance to anyone conducting research for legal
research and writing projects. The library meets these goals in four distinct ways: 1) a competent and professional library staff, 2) a comprehensive collection and access to other collections, 3) legal research training for first year students and organized opportunities for second and third year students to develop their skills and 4) new library facilities.

Eight professional librarians are available to assist students. The professional library staff is highly trained
and skilled in legal research. Although the library staff is relatively young, they have ninety years of collective professional experience. Four librarians have both Law Degrees and Master’s Degrees in Library and Information Science. Three librarians have Master’s Degrees in Library and Information Science.
One librarian has a Law Degree. Three librarians, individually, have more than twenty years of library
experience; and three librarians, collectively, have more than twenty years of experience in the practice of
law.

The library houses approximately 350,000 volumes and volume equivalents. The library has an annual budget of approximately one million dollars to purchase library resources. The library subscribes to electronic legal resources including the Lexis and Westlaw services that are only available to law faculty and law students who have completed the first year legal research class. Students and faculty are able to access these electronic services from home via the Internet. The library also participates in a statewide consortium called TexShare, which permits our patrons to borrow materials directly from other TexShare libraries. Interlibrary loan is also available. Finally, the library is a partial government depository. We select federal government materials that assist law library patrons and the general public in accessing information from the federal government. The library provides computers for patrons to access the Internet and other online resources.

The Career Services Office (CSO) is responsible for the
organization and administration of on-campus interviews, off-campus recruitment programs, career counseling for legal and alternative careers, individual assistance in preparing resumes, cover letters and interviewing techniques, legal employment searches and seminars featuring practicing attorneys.
Graduates of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law
secure employment throughout the country. The majority
of our graduates enter private practice and government;
while the remainder chooses positions in corporations,
public interest groups, legal service corporations, judicial
clerkships, and the military.

Throughout the year, the Law School participates in nine (9) annual recruitment programs. The fall roster of recruitment programs include the Equal Justice Works Public Interest Career Fair, the Texas in Washington, D.C. Recruitment program, the Southeastern Minority Job Fair, and the Sunbelt Minority Job Fair. During the spring semester, the Law School participates in the Houston Bar Association Minority Clerkship Program, Public Service Career Day, DuPont Legal Minority Job Fair,
Texas Off-Campus Recruitment program and the National Black Prosecutors Job Fair.



School name:Texas Southern UniversityThurgood Marshall School of Law
Address:3100 Cleburne St.
Zip & city:TX 77004 Texas
Phone:713-313-4455
Web:http://www.tsu.edu/academics/law
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