Alvin R. Allison 2013-08-27 03:02:02
Earlier this month, the eighth School of Law to be located within the boundaries of the State of Texas opened its doors on the sprawling campus of Texas Tech at Lubbock. With the avowed objective of training young men and women for the practice of law anywhere in the United States, whether it be as advocate, counselor, judge or law teacher, in accordance with the highest traditions of professional responsibility, the new school opened its classes on a note of optimism. On July 15, 1963 a motion was made at a Texas Tech Board meeting that Tech contact the Commission on Higher Education and apply for permission to create the law school. The next February, Commission staff members journeyed to the Tech campus, where college officials were ready and waiting. Every question was answered; every query was satisfied. The staff then, on April 13, 1964, recommended approval to the Commission. After Commission staff members went on record, other law school officials throughout the state soon lined up behind the project. Said Dean W. Page Keeton of the University of Texas Law School: “… There is definitely a need for another Class A law school in Texas, and it should be at Texas Tech.”With such support pouring in from all sides, the Commission rapidly came to its decision, and, on July 13, 1964, it gave permission for creation of the new school. A report issued several months later by the Association of American Law Schools’ Committee on Guidelines for New Law Schools points up the justification for the Commission’s decision. In the report, the committee pointed out two factors of outstanding importance in the establishment of new law schools: The rapid growth of population, and a sharp rise in demand for legal services. Texas, and especially the booming agricultural area of the Panhandle-Plains, certainly fits into the rapidly-expanding population category. As the state continues to expand, both in population and economy, the need for more legal services is obvious. There were three state-supported and four independent law schools existing in Texas when approval was given for the new facility at Texas Tech. In 1961, these law schools had a combined total enrollment of 2,158 and by the Fall of 1963 the figure had increased some forty percent. That rate of growth is continuing, giving still another indication of the ever-increasing need for new law schools. The search for the dean of the proposed new law school was to be conducted nationwide. Prospects were checked from New York and Illinois, Washington and California, and Texas and Florida. It immediately became apparent that there was some top-flight talent interested in creating the new school. After months of searching with the Board committee and the administration working closely, Richard B. Amandes, Associate Dean of Hastings College of the Law, University of California, in San Francisco was named as the man to bring the new law school to life. At 38, Dean Amandes already could look back on an impressive career. He holds an A.B. degree from the University of California, at Berkeley, an LL.B. from Hastings College and an LL.M. from the New York University School of Law. His professional experience ranges from private practice in San Francisco to service on law school faculties at the University of Washington, New York University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Wyoming. Amandes also has been widely published with works ranging from “The Defense of Indigent Persons Accused of Crimes in Washington,” to a paper entitled “From Voir Dire to Verdict Through a Juror’s Eyes,” which was reprinted in the Missouri Bar Bulletin in June, 1965. One of his former deans called Amandes a “low pressure individual who gets things done, efficiently, with a minimum of fuss, and in the absence of the furor so frequently encountered in a busy office.” He also was called “thoroughly familiar with the problems of running a law school, from the applicants through the faculty and the legislature to the alumni.” Another former associate termed Amandes “one of the best young administrators that I have encountered in recent years.” Amandes fitted into the “big picture” at Texas Tech from the start. He told officials “a law school is a professional school, one designed to inculcate professional attitudes as well as exchange or convey information.” He declared he would seek a faculty “that would be interested in law students first and research and other service to the community second.” “I would hope,” he told Tech officials, “that the school could be kept small enough that this interest could be conveyed by extensive personal contact.” Amandes outlined a program calling for a first-year class of 75, and second-year class of 60 in 1968. Enrollment in future years is planned for 270 by 1970; 300 by 1971; 390 by 1972 and 585 by 1975. One of the first things Amandes did after accepting his appointment was to begin assembling a top-flight faculty. First to be appointed was U. V. Jones, the Librarian of the Lamar School of Law at Emory University. Jones was named Law Librarian and Associate Professor in the new law school. A native of Snyder, Oklahoma, Jones holds a Bachelor’s and LL.B. degree from the University of Oklahoma and the Master of Law Librarianship from the University of Washington. At 49, he is a former county attorney, practiced law in his hometown and was Assistant General Counsel for Anderson-Prichard Oil Corporation in Oklahoma City. With arrival of Jones, Amandes had one-third of the planned faculty for the new school. Soon to arrive on the scene were Professors Justin Smith from the National College of State Trial Judges at the University of Nevada; Glen W. Shellhaas, formerly of the University of North Carolina Law School; Maurice B. Kirk, former Law School Dean at Drake University; and Martin A. Frey, former Assistant Professor of Law at Drake. Acquisition of books for the law library is progressing through both gift and purchase. One of those gifts was a contribution of forty-six cartons of law volumes, channeled through the Tech Ex-Students Association and donated by the American Liberty Oil Company of Dallas. The Association’s Board also has voted to provide at least four law school scholarships. They will be financed through gifts to the Tech Loyalty Fund. Tech’s new law school will not attempt to prescribe a definite prelegal curriculum for its applicants. Dean Amandes and his colleagues have said they feel the wide range of a lawyer’s tasks and the difference in offerings from school to school preclude such an approach. However, students are urged to obtain, besides the basic undergraduate training, some preliminary work in accounting. Applicants for the law school must possess a baccalaureate degree or an equivalent degree from a college or university of approved standing prior to the time they begin work at the law school. An applicant’s record must be of sufficiently high quality to demonstrate that he is qualified for the study of law. Applicants also must achieve a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test, administered four times a year throughout the United States and in many foreign countries by the Educational Testing Service. Students, who are urged to devote their entire time to the study of law, are admitted only on a full-time basis in the fall. Those who are engaged in outside employment must report the number of hours worked each week, and they may be asked to withdraw from the school if the amount of time spent in outside employment is deemed excessive or appears to interfere with the fulltime study of law. The usual $50 per semester entrance fee is charged for all Texas residents and non-resident fees are $200 per semester. All students are expected to have approximately $35 additional fees plus between $75 and $100 for books and supplies. Dean Amandes and the College have described the course of professional study as requiring six semesters or five semesters and two summer sessions. There are seven first-year courses to provide the foundation for study in the second and third years. Those first-year courses include: Business Associations I, 2 hours; Civil Procedure, 4 hours; Contracts, 6 hours; Criminal Law and Procedure, 4 hours; Legal Research and Writing, 2 hours; Property, 6 hours; and Torts, 6 hours. While planning for the school opening, the initial curriculum and a thousand other details, Dean Amandes and his associates also have given careful consideration to the final, permanent home of the new facility. Amandes was on the Planning Committee for a new law building at the University of Washington. That experience has proven of great value in his new job, because he and his faculty will literally build “from the ground up.” A number of former barracks buildings have been acquired from Sheppard Air Force and have been converted into temporary quarters. The barracks complex, located on the north campus adjacent to Sixth Street, will house the law school until such time as a permanent building, now in the planning stage, can be designed and built—scheduled for completion in 1969. The award-winning architectural firm of Harrell and Hamilton of Dallas has been selected as architects for the new building. The firm received the American Institute of Architects Award of Merit and the Texas Society of Architects Honor Award in 1963. Credits include banking facilities in Beaumont, Dallas and Denton and the Temco Aircraft Corporation facility at Garland. Texas Tech’s Law School, from the day it opens, will be as fine a law school as can be found anywhere. Headed by a dean who already has demonstrated his ability to train lawyers, and with the quality of instruction to be offered, Tech’s school within a very short time will become one of the outstanding legal institutions in the nation. Mr. Allison has been a member of the Board of directors of Texas Tech since 1961, and this year was reappointed by Governor Connally for another six-year term. He practices law in Levelland, where he is a partner of the firm of Allison, Mann & Allison and where he has practiced since he was admitted to the bar in 1934. He holds his B. A. degree from Texas Tech. Mr. Allison is a former state Representative, former county judge of Hockley County and a former president of the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.