Two recent law graduates in Houston have joined a national trend by launching a new nonprofit law firm to serve low- and middle-income clients.
Access Justice Houston, founded by 2017 University of Houston Law Center graduates MacKenzie Dunham and Doug Evans, has become the fourth Texas-based nonprofit firm—along with DiFilippo Holistic Law Center in Austin, Legal Access Texas in Dallas, and Greater Waco Legal Services in Waco—that are targeting modest-means clients in an effort to close the justice gap. The other Texas-based nonprofit firms were launched by veteran lawyers; Dunham and Evans are the first recent law graduates to take the plunge.
PDF: New Nonprofit Firm the First Founded by Baby Lawyers _ Texas Lawyer
In the past few years, some of the country’s most elite law reviews have elected students of color as editors-in-chief, a signal that yearslong diversity efforts might finally be paying off.
Historically speaking, law reviews have struggled to represent students of color and women equally among their editors—jobs that can open doors to prestigious judicial clerkships and Big Law employment. It’s been even harder for underrepresented students to win the coveted editor-in-chief role, as statistically, leadership posts at law reviews have overrepresented white male law students.
Are the times changing?
PDF: At Elite Law Reviews, Diversity Efforts May Be Paying Off _ National Law Journal
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.
PDF: Three Texas Schools Among Top 50 Go-To Law Schools _ Texas Lawyer
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.
PDF: Texas Law School Enrollment Outpaces National Percentage Growth _ Texas Lawyer
Starting on New Year’s Day, California’s newest public law school will welcome its second dean since its founding.
L. Song Richardson on Jan. 1 will become dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, which became the first public law school in California in nearly 50 years when it opened in 2009. Richardson has already been leading the school as interim dean since July, when founding dean Erwin Chemerinsky left to become dean at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
PDF: UC Irvine School of Law Gets New Dean _ The Recorder
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.
PDF: Law School Enrollment Edges Up, with Surprise Spike in Non-JD Programs _ Law
Just in time for the new year, law schools have cause to celebrate.
As of Dec. 1, the number of law school applicants was up by 12 percent to 16,784, compared with this time last year, while the number of applications was up by 15 percent to 93,932, according to the Law School Admission Council.
Granted, it might be too early in the application season to declare a definitive upward trend for the next academic year, since around this time last year, only 27 percent of the total applicants had submitted their applications.
PDF: Law School Applications on the Rise _ Law