Texas, a state located in the South Central Region of the U.S., is the second-largest both in population and area. The “Lone Star State” was once an independent republic after its separation from Mexico. Its rich history, majestic landscapes, and small towns, along with Texas’ uniqueness, attract people from different parts of the world.
Beyond its diversity that can make anybody feel at home, Texas is also home to some of the country’s top-performing schools and universities. Its high-quality education, along with its large population, natural resources, and thriving cities, brought the economy to an advantage. With its flourishing industries such as tourism, agriculture, electronics, and biomedical science, professionals in the legal services enjoy an above-average annual income compared to most states in the U.S. Job opportunities do not seem to run out for Texas lawyers either.
The quality education, along with the vast job opportunities and financial gains, as Texas lawyers are among the highest-paid in the country, provide more than enough reasons for success-driven individuals to study and live in Texas. As a significant part of a career plan, many students prefer to attend the top law schools in Texas.
Best Law Schools in Texas
1. The University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Degree offered: J.D., L.L.M.
The University of Texas at Austin, established in 1883, is the best law school in Texas. It focuses on providing knowledge and skills that bring students to the highest positions in the legal profession. Its academic mission looks beyond the professional training of students in improving the overall justice system. With over 23,000 alumni, graduates have the advantage of having networks within the legal services and its related industries.
Aside from its Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degree programs, the school offers dual programs which allow students to take a Master of Arts degree simultaneously with their Law degree. Some of the programs available in dual degrees are Business Administration, Information Studies, and Latin American Studies. Furthermore, students have hands-on training through the school’s advocacy programs, clinics, and internships.
With the school’s Legal Writing program, students build a strong foundation in legal writing, analysis, and research, fundamental skills for a successful career. Meanwhile, the school’s Pro Bono program allows students to acquire real legal experience and hone their skills while extending a helping hand to people in need of legal services.
2. Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
Degree offered: J.D., L.L.M., S.J.D.
The Dedman School of Law, located in Dallas, is another top law school in Texas. Founded in 1925, the school provides high-quality education, targeting successful career outcomes in the future. Country-renowned faculty deliver innovative ways for students to acquire legal experiences in relevant areas of the school’s curricular strengths, such as international law and business and corporate law. Students have access to the most extensive private law library in the west of the Mississippi River, the Underwood Law Library, making research and course preparation manageable.
The school offers varied degree programs, including the Doctor of Juridical Science, for students seeking a legal career in the academe or a high-level government position. Also, the Dedman Law School has centers and institutes which provide additional learning opportunities. The school delivers experiential learning through its legal clinics, externships and internship programs, mock trial and moot court competitions. Students are also required to engage in public service by helping provide free legal services in the community. Through these activities, students are guaranteed exposure to real-life legal issues and build their confidence, knowledge, and skills to solve such problems.
3. University of Houston Law Center
Degree offered: J.D., L.L.M., S.J.D.
The University of Houston Law Center, instituted in 1947, is undoubtedly among the best law schools in Texas. Besides providing excellent legal education, the center sees its mission to serve as a hub for ground-breaking research and scholarship that inspires policy decisions at multiple societal levels. While its exceptional faculty deliver theoretical and practical legal background, over 13,000 alumni offer additional support as graduates start their careers.
On top of the J.D. programs, the Law Center offers dual degrees for students to study other disciplines together with their Law degree. Some of the various programs for dual degrees are Medicine, Social Work, and Public Health. While the school’s numerous programs and courses already take legal education to a higher level, students experience more through its clinic and skills training, externship programs, and centers and institutes.
4. Baylor University Law School
Degree offered: J.D., L.L.M.
Baylor Law, located in Waco near the beautiful Brazos River, is one of the country’s smallest law schools. It offers practice-ready education, where students are taught fundamental skills and character development crucial for success in their careers. Established in 1857, Baylor was the first official law school in Texas and contributed distinguished legal professionals in critical government and state offices.
Along with Baylor’s degree programs, students have the opportunity to take a broader academic background in less time through the dual degree programs. Some of the programs available to take with a Juris Doctor degree are Masters in Business Administration, Masters in Taxation, and Masters in Divinity. Students also receive practical experience through several clinics such as the Estate Planning Clinics, Veterans Clinics, and Immigration Clinics, representing clients with real-world legal issues.
5. Texas A&M University School of Law
Degree offered: J.D., L.L.M., M.J.
We end our list of best law schools in Texas with Texas A&M University Law School. Founded in 1989, the school currently has almost half a million alumni worldwide, known as the Aggies, establishing a vast network of dedicated and loyal former students ready to help each other in various ways.
While students have a great start in their legal careers through the school’s degree programs, more in-depth and hands-on legal studies are available through Texas A&M School of Law’s centers and institutes. Some of the experiential learning programs available to students are Contracts Laboratory, Equal Justice Program, and Professionalism and Leadership Program.
I hope that this article on the best law schools in Texas was helpful.