Three Texas Law Schools Continue Upward Climb in US News Ranking

The latest law school rankings by U.S. News & World Report might be causing three Texas law schools to jump for joy, and three others to shake their heads.

Three schools have enjoyed an upward trend in the rankings over the past three years. They include Baylor University School of Law in Waco, Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth and Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock.

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PDF: Three Texas Law Schools Continue Upward Climb in US News Ranking _ Texas Lawyer

Three Texas Schools Among Top 50 Go-To Law Schools

Three Texas institutions are among the top 50 law schools feeding the most graduates into Big Law.

The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas and the University of Houston Law Center all ranked on an exclusive listing of Go-To Law Schools by Law.com, a website by ALM Media, Texas Lawyer’s parent company. The list shows the top 50 schools based on the percentage of 2017 graduates who took associate jobs at the 100 U.S. firms with the most lawyers.

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PDF: Three Texas Schools Among Top 50 Go-To Law Schools _ Texas Lawyer

State’s Disciplinary Rules Now Allow for Subpoena of Lawyers Under Investigation

The Texas Supreme Court has changed the state’s disciplinary procedural rules to give attorney disciplinary counsel the power to subpoena lawyers who are under investigation, and create new guidelines for imposing sanctions.

The Texas Legislature called upon those changes to the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure last year when it passed the State Bar of Texas’ Sunset review bill. The changes are slated to become effective for any grievance filed on or after June 1.

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PDF: State’s Disciplinary Rules Now Allow for Subpoena of Lawyers Under Investigation _ Texas Lawyer

One Texas Law School Is Doing the Heavy Lifting When It Comes to Diversity Efforts

Texas legal educators are striving to recruit racially and ethnically diverse law students, but there’s one law school that’s excelling hand-over-fist compared to the others.

With 91 percent of its current students hailing from minority racial and ethnic backgrounds, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law takes the top spot when it comes to a diverse student body.

Texas Lawyer analyzed demographic data from the 10 Texas law schools and ranked them based on the percentage of minority students. Schools submit data annually to the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which is responsible for accrediting law schools.

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PDF: One Texas Law School Is Doing the Heavy Lifting When It Comes to Diversity Efforts _ Texas Lawyer

Here’s What an Attorney Discipline Case Against Texas Sen. Carlos Uresti Might Look Like

Disbarment might be on the horizon for Texas state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, because of his criminal conviction on 11 felony fraud-related charges.

Uresti, a personal injury attorney, fraudulently steered his clients to invest in FourWinds Logistics, a hydraulic fracking business that turned out as a Ponzi scheme. He pleaded not guilty, claiming he didn’t know about the scam until it was too late. One of Uresti’s lawyers has pledged to appeal Uresti’s convictions for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and securities fraud violations.

Texas Lawyer spoke with Wayne Paris, managing member of Gillis Paris & Heinrich in Houston, who’s practiced legal ethics law for 40 years, about what an attorney disciplinary case against Uresti might look like and the possible outcome. Here are his answers, edited for brevity and clarity.

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Women Lawyers Join #MeToo Movement with Hashtag of Their Own

The legal profession’s own #MeToo movement is playing out on Twitter.

Under the hashtag #LadyLawyerDiaries, the discussion over the last year has evolved to tackle serious and pervasive issues surrounding women in the law. It’s become a movement that enables female attorneys to speak out collectively about gender bias and sexual harassment in the legal profession.

We talked with Greenberg Traurig partner Kendyl Hanks of Austin, one woman—along with Goodwin associate Jaime Santos of Washington, D.C.—among a core group of about 15 female attorneys who have joined forces to tweet as one under the @LadyLawyerDiaryhandle. The group ranges in age from 20 to 40, coming from diverse legal backgrounds—law clerks, court staff attorneys, law firm associates and partners, law professors, in-house counsel.

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PDF: Women Lawyers Join #MeToo Movement with Hashtag of Their Own _ Law

Open Records Reveal Personality Clashes, Power Struggle at Thurgood Marshall

One of Texas’s public law schools has reeled during the past year under the stress of a censure from the nation’s law school accreditor, exacerbated by personality clashes between leaders of the law school and central university.

A series of bad publicity has unveiled problems within Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The first problem became public in July 2017, when the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, which accredits law schools, issued censures against the school for violation of an anti-discrimination accreditation standard, as well as multiple academic standards. Another round of negative press hit in October 2017, when TSU President Austin Lane abruptly canceled a law student organization’s event, which drew rowdy, disruptive protesters. The fiasco—participants said the university violated their free speech—was quickly followed by the resignation of interim law school dean James Douglas.

Documents obtained through a Texas Public Information Act Request reveal details pertaining to personality clashes and power struggles between Lane and Douglas. Interviews with Douglas and former dean Dannye Holley provide more insight about what happened behind the scenes, before and after the ABA’s censures.

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PDF: Open Records Reveal Personality Clashes, Power Struggle at Thurgood Marshall _ Texas Lawyer