University of Texas School of Law
|University of Texas School of Law|
|Parent school||University of Texas at Austin|
|Location||Austin, TX, US|
|Faculty||89 (full time)|
74 (part time)
|Bar pass rate||93%|
|Undergrad. GPA 75th%||3.84|
|Median Undergrad. GPA||3.71|
|Undergrad. GPA 25th%||3.57|
|Annual tuition (subsidized)||$28,669|
|Annual tuition (unsubsidized)||$44,638|
|Basis for tuition subsidy||State residency|
|Outlines||1039 (See List)|
The University of Texas School of Law, also known as UT Law, is an ABA-certified American law school located on the University of Texas at Austin campus. The law school has been in operation since the founding of the University in 1883. It was one of only two schools at the University when it was founded; the other was the liberal arts school. The school offers both Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees. It also offers dual degree programs with the JD, such as an MBA, MPA, and PhD.
The law school is consistently ranked among the top twenty law schools in the United States and has a reputation for turning out graduates who become high-profile lawyers and public servants. The school is ranked #14 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
The school has 19,000 living alumni, over 4,000 of whom practice law outside of Texas.
Admissions[edit | edit source]
UT Law is among the most selective law schools in the nation. For the class of 2010, 5,815 students applied and 24% were accepted with a class median LSAT score of 167. Although the minimum GPA to apply is 2.2, the median GPA for the admitted class is 3.71. The average age of admitted students is 24, and women make up 46% of the class. UT Law admits students from over 30 US states. The youngest member of the 1L class of 2013 was nineteen year old Gordon M. Griffin, a civil engineering graduate who started UT at the age of 15.
Emphasizing its role as a public institution, UT Law reserves 65% of the seats in each first-year class for Texas residents.
History[edit | edit source]
Prior to the US Civil Rights Movement, the school was limited to white students, but the school's admissions policies were challenged from two different directions in high-profile 20th century federal court cases that were important to the long struggle over segregation, integration, and diversity in American education.
Sweatt v. Painter (1950)[edit | edit source]
The school was sued in the civil rights case of Sweatt v. Painter (1950). The case involved Heman Marion Sweatt, a black man who was refused admission to the School of Law on the grounds that substantially equivalent facilities (meeting the requirements of Plessy v. Ferguson) were offered by the state's law school for blacks. When the plaintiff first applied to the University of Texas, there was no law school in Texas which admitted blacks. Instead of granting the plaintiff a writ of mandamus, the Texas trial court "continued" the case for six months to allow the state time to create a law school for blacks, which it developed in Houston.
The Supreme Court reversed the lower court decision, saying that the separate school failed to offer Sweatt an equal legal education. The Court noted that the University of Texas School of Law had 16 full-time and three part-time professors, 850 students and a law library of 65,000 volumes, while the separate school the state set up for blacks had five full-time professors, 23 students and a library of 16,500 volumes. But the Court held that even "more important" than these quantitative differences were differences such as "reputation of the faculty, experience of the administration, position and influence of the alumni, standing in the community, traditions and prestige." Because the separate school could not provide an "equal" education, the Court ordered that Hemann Sweatt be admitted to University of Texas School of Law.
Sweatt v. Painter was the first major test case in the long-term litigation strategy of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund that led to the landmark Supreme Court decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Marshall and the NAACP correctly calculated that they could dismantle segregation by building up a series of precedents, beginning at UT Law School, before moving on to the more explosive question of racial integration in elementary schools.
Hopwood v. Texas (1996)[edit | edit source]
In 1992, plaintiff Cheryl Hopwood, a White American woman, sued the School of Law on the grounds that she had not been admitted even though her grades and test scores were better than those of some minority candidates who were admitted pursuant to an affirmative action program. Texas Monthly editor Paul Burka later described Hopwood as "the perfect plaintiff to question the fairness of reverse discrimination" because of her academic credentials and personal hardships which she had endured (including a young daughter suffering from a muscular disease).
She won her case, Hopwood v. Texas, in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the school "may not use race as a factor in deciding which applicants to admit in order to achieve a diverse student body, to combat the perceived effects of a hostile environment at the law school, to alleviate the law school's poor reputation in the minority community, or to eliminate any present effects of past discrimination by actors other than the law school." The case did not reach the Supreme Court.
However, the Supreme Court ruled in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), a case involving the University of Michigan, that the United States Constitution "does not prohibit the law school's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body." This effectively reversed the decision of Hopwood v. Texas.
Publications[edit | edit source]
Students at the University of Texas School of Law publish twelve law journals.
- American Journal of Criminal Law
- Texas Environmental Law Journal
- Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy
- Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal
- Texas International Law Journal
- Texas Journal of Oil, Gas & Energy Law
- Texas Journal of Women and the Law
- Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights 
- Texas Law Review 
- Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law
- Texas Review of Law and Politics 
- The Review of Litigation 
Notable alumni[edit | edit source]
- Linda L. Addison — Partner-in-Charge, New York, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
- William R. Archer — United States Representative from Texas (1971–2001)
- James Baker — former Secretary of State
- Paul Begala — political consultant, commentator and former advisor to President Bill Clinton
- Lloyd Bentsen — former Secretary of the Treasury and United States Senator
- Samuel T. Bledsoe — President of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway 1933-1939
- Robert Lee Bobbitt — Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives (1927-1929), Attorney General of Texas (1929-1930), state court judge (1935-1937), chairman of the Texas Highway Department (1937-1943)
- C. C. Bridgewater – Judge of the Washington Court of Appeals, Division II
- J. E. "Buster" Brown (Class of 1972) - Texas Senator, District 17 from 1981 to 2002
- William C. Bryson — United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- George P. Bush — son of Florida Governor Jeb Bush, nephew of President George W. Bush
- Orville Bullington (1882-1956, Class of 1906) — Wichita Falls lawyer; Republican gubernatorial nominee in 1932
- Kent Caperton — lawyer, lobbyist in Austin and former state senator from Bryan
- Tom C. Clark — former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and United States Attorney General
- John B. Connally, Jr. — former Governor of Texas, former Secretary of the Navy, former Secretary of the Treasury
- Tom Connally — former United States Senator from Texas
- William C. Conner (1920–2009) — federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Dick DeGuerin — prominent criminal defense attorney based in Houston
- Lloyd Doggett — member, U.S. Congress
- David Frederick — successful appellate attorney; has argued over 21 cases before the United States Supreme Court
- Kathryn S. Fuller — Chair of the Ford Foundation and former President of the World Wildlife Fund
- Orlando Luis Garcia — United States District Judge, Western District of Texas
- Bryan Garner — editor in chief of Black's Law Dictionary and author of numerous books and articles on language and writing, including "A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage"
- Mike Godwin — first attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and current general counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation
- Leon A. Green — long-time dean at Northwestern University School of Law and professor at UT and at Yale Law School; authored pioneering works in tort law
- Rick Green — former state representative, District 45; motivational speaker
- Timothy Hall — current President of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, former law professor at The University of Mississippi
- Grady Hazlewood — district attorney from Potter County, and state senator from District 31 in Amarillo (1941–1971)
- Hayden W. Head, Jr. — Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- Robert Scott Horton — prominent Human Rights attorney, columnist for Harper's, and adjunct professor at Columbia Law School
- Herbert Hovenkamp — Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law; prolific author and expert in Antitrust law; member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Kay Bailey Hutchison — senior United States Senator from Texas
- Joe Jamail — billionaire litigator and philanthropist
- Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. — noted Houston lawyer, former Harris County judge, former federal prosecutor and former federal judicial nominee
- Edith Jones — Chief Justice of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- William Wayne Justice — Senior United States District Judge, Western District of Texas, United States District Judge, Eastern District of Texas, storied civil rights judge
- George P. Kazen — Senior United States District Judge, Southern District of Texas;
- W. Page Keeton — 1931 graduate and Dean from 1949 to 1974; expert in Torts
- Ron Kirk — former mayor of Dallas, Texas
- Cyndi Taylor Krier (Class of 1975) — former state senator and county judge from San Antonio
- Debra Lehrmann — former 360th District Court Judge in Fort Worth; Texas Supreme Court Justice (2011- )
- William S. Lott — retired Texas state Judge
- Oliver Luck — former NFL player; former executive with NFL Europa and the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer; current athletic director at West Virginia University
- Earle Bradford Mayfield — former United States Senator from Texas
- Walter Mengden — 1954 graduate; former member of both houses of the Texas Legislature from Harris County
- Thomas Mengler — dean of the law school at University of St. Thomas (Minnesota); former dean at the University of Illinois College of Law
- William T. "Bill" Moore — 1949 graduate; state senator from Bryan known as the "Bull of the Brazos" and the "father of the modern Texas A&M University"
- Steve Munisteri — retired Houston attorney and chairman since June 12, 2010, of the Republican Party of Texas
- Gene Nichol — law professor at the University of North Carolina; former professor and President of the College of William and Mary; former dean of the law schools at North Carolina and Colorado
- Federico Peña — former Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Energy
- Colonel Alfred P.C. Petsch (1887-1981) — Lawyer, legislator, civic leader, philanthropist, member of Texas House of Representatives 1925-1941
- Sam Rayburn — longest-serving Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and United States Representative from Texas
- A.R. "Babe" Schwartz — former Texas State Senator, helped author the landmark Texas Open Beaches Act
- Robert Schwarz Strauss — former United States Ambassador to Russia
- Kristen Silverberg — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
- Morris Sheppard — former United States Senator from Texas
- Max Sherman (Class of 1960) — former state senator and former president of West Texas A&M University
- Ray Thornton — former United States Representative from Arkansas and Arkansas Supreme Court justice
- Sarah Weddington — represented Jane Roe in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade
- Bill White — former Mayor of the City of Houston
- Harry Whittington — Texas attorney famous for getting shot by Dick Cheney in a hunting incident; professionally known for eminent domain cases
- Diane Pamela Wood — Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, considered potential candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court during the Obama administration
- Ralph Yarborough — former United States Senator from Texas
- John Andrew Young — former United States Representative from Texas
References[edit | edit source]
- History of the Law School, The University of Texas School of Law
- Quick Facts, University of Texas School of Law
- Best Law Schools Ranking, US News & World Report
- Admissions, University of Texas School of Law
- Julius L. Chambers, "A Tribute to Justice Thurgood Marshall," Stanford Law Review, Vol. 44, Summer, 1992, p. 1249
- Burka, Paul. "Law - Cheryl Hopwood." Texas Monthly (Sept. 1996)
- Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F.3d 932 (5th Cir. 1996)
- See Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) (stating that the Supreme Court's purpose in deciding Grutter's case was "to resolve the disagreement among the Courts of Appeals on a question of national importance: Whether diversity is a compelling interest that can justify the narrowly tailored use of race in selecting applicants for admission to public universities. Compare Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F.3d 932 (CA5 1996) (holding that diversity is not a compelling state interest) with [another case] holding that it is."
- (1950).Steel Trails to Santa Fe. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press.
- Robert Lee Bobbitt,
- Martin, Douglas. "William Conner, Judge Expert in Patent Law, Dies at 89", The New York Times, July 19, 2009. Accessed July 20, 2009