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

SMU Law Embraces Innovative Flash Mentoring

No other law school in Texas has something like Mustang Exchange, Baylor University comes closest with its Baylor Mentor Network, but it’s universitywide, rather than law school specific. Mustang Exchange is even unparalleled among law schools across the nation, said Abby Ruth, SMU Dedman’s director of alumni relations. In most mentoring programs, law schools take students’ information and match them with one mentor for a whole year. Instead, Mustang Exchange puts the power of finding mentors into the hands of students and allows them to choose as many mentors as they wish. The format of Mustang Exchange—running on private social networking software called Chronus—fits hand-in-glove with a generation of law students who grew up on Facebook and Twitter.

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PDF: SMU Law Embraces Innovative Flash Mentoring _ Texas Lawyer