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

Texas Law School Enrollment Outpaces National Percentage Growth

The size of this year’s entering class at Texas law schools rose by 4 percent this year compared to last, but total enrollment numbers for 2017 still dropped by 0.3 percent.

Legal educators closely watch the size of the first-year class, since it has financial implications for a law school for the next three years. There were 2,199 first-year law students at the 10 Texas law schools in the Fall of 2017, which is 89 students more than the Fall of 2016.

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PDF: Texas Law School Enrollment Outpaces National Percentage Growth _ Texas Lawyer

Law School Enrollment Edges Up, with Surprise Spike in Non-JD Programs

Enrollment in law school J.D. programs dipped a tad this year, but some unexpected good news provided a counterbalance.

While J.D. enrollment fell by 0.7 percent compared with last year, the numbers of non-J.D. students—studying for LL.M., masters or certificate degrees—grew by a whopping 20.5 percent, compared with last year, according to data from the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which accredits U.S. law schools.

That means overall law school enrollment edged up by 1.6 percent to 126,638, which is 2,010 more students than last year. That total is made up of 110,156 J.D. students plus 16,482 non-J.D. students.

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PDF: Law School Enrollment Edges Up, with Surprise Spike in Non-JD Programs _ Law

GRE or LSAT? ABA Council’s Latest Move Could Nix Tests Altogether

Future law school applicants could avoid taking the Law School Admissions Test—or any other admissions test, for that matter—if a proposal by the nation’s law school accrediting body passes. The key word, however, is “if.”

After 90 minutes of discussion on Friday afternoon and a split vote, the council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved a recommendation from one of its committees to delete an accreditation standard that requires law schools to test students using a “valid and reliable” admissions test.

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PDF: GRE or LSAT_ ABA Council_s Latest Move Could Nix Tests Altogether _ Law

ABA Fines, Publicly Censures Law School

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law was publicly censured and must pay $15,000 for not complying with an American Bar Association standard that prohibits schools from discriminating against faculty members.

In the public censure, the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar also found Thurgood Marshall Law violated an ABA standard requiring schools to file complete, accurate, and not misleading information to the ABA each year. In a second matter, the ABA section ordered remedial actions that raise questions about the school’s legal education program, academic support for students and its admissions practices.

James Douglas, interim dean of Thurgood Marshall Law, denied that there is sex discrimination or sexual harassment happening at the school.

Published on TexasLawyer.com on July 21, 2017.

PDF: ABA Fines Publicly Censures Law School for Noncompliance With Anti Discrimination Standard _ Texas Lawyer