Darby Dickerson 2015-10-26 13:06:16
Texas Tech University School of Law prepares students to meet the challenges they will face not just upon graduation but for their entire careers. In addition to a rigorous required curriculum and many traditional opportunities—such as live-client clinics, externships, journals, and advocacy competitions—Texas Tech Law has added innovative programming to help students become creative problem solvers and leaders who can excel in whatever field they choose to enter. Three unique programs are the Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training program, the Academy for Leadership in the Legal Profession, and the Caprock Regional Public Defender Office. SMART Brain Training. This year, Texas Tech Law partnered with the Brain Performance Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas to offer SMART to students during orientation. Based on more than 30 years of scientific study, SMART uses cognitive strategies to improve brain efficiency. BPI developed for Texas Tech Law a version of its program used for Navy SEALs and corporate executives. During orientation, students were introduced to pivotal brain processes to help them think about issues strategically, deeply, and creatively. As one example, students engaged in exercises to improve strategic attention. It is harder to sift through information than block what is irrelevant. With the SMART program, students learned how to focus on the tasks and decisions that matter, better understand root issues, and separate relevant and extraneous information—all crucial skills for successful lawyers. BPI will continue working with students during the fall semester. Academy for Leadership in the Legal Profession. ALLP prepares students to become effective leaders in the profession and community through various programs and activities. At least once each month, students can attend a lecture on a leadership topic presented by an individual who has excelled in his or her chosen field. Past speakers have included Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, legal writing expert Bryan A. Garner, and D. Casey Flaherty, former assistant general counsel to Kia Motors America Inc. Upper-level students participate in interactive workshops that cover topics such as ethical and effective use of social media, financial planning, and how to run effective meetings. Students also read an assigned book each semester and then network with local alumni during an evening discussion group. Judge Les Hatch of Lubbock County’s 237th District Court hosted an event in March to discuss Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship with Those Above You, by Rosanne Badowski, the longtime assistant to General Electric Chairman and CEO Jack Welch. Students who advance to the final phase of the program design and implement leadership projects, which have included establishing the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program Angel Tree, planning a CLE program on Ebola, and establishing a student organization to provide pro bono service in the Rio Grande Valley. Caprock Regional Public Defender Office. Since 2010, Texas Tech Law has operated the Caprock Regional Public Defender Office with funding from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. Dickens County has played an active role in creating and operating the program, which provides indigent-defense representation in areas where individuals often lack access to local attorneys willing to accept court appointments. With new legislative authority to serve all counties in the South Plains, Texas Tech is the only law school in the country to house an actual defender’s office. Supervised by Chief Public Defender Donnie Yandell, clinic students represent indigent clients from the start of criminal cases through trial. Recently, they have also been appointed to handle an appeal before the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland. The program has achieved a dismissal rate that well exceeds 50 percent and helps ensure that low-income Texas citizens accused of crimes have access to counsel and can exercise their constitutional rights. In addition, students receive significant criminal defense training that they can continue to use for the public good after graduation. FOUNDED 1967 ENROLLMENT 577 ANNUAL TUITION AND FEES $22,992 NUMBER OF GRADUATES IN 2000 181 NUMBER OF GRADUATES IN 2015 189 PERCENTAGE OF 2014 GRADUATES WHO HAD JOBS BY APRIL 2015 81.7 percent PERCENTAGE OF 2014 GRADUATES WITH FULL-TIME, J.D.-REQUIRED/J.D.-ADVANTAGE JOBS THAT WERE SUBSIDIZED BY THE LAW SCHOOL 0 percent AVERAGE DEBT LOAD OF A 2014 GRADUATE $82,165, an increase from 2013 DARBY DICKERSON became dean at Texas Tech University School of Law in July 2011. She also holds the W. Frank Newton Endowed Professorship. She previously served as interim dean and dean from 2003 to 2011 at Stetson University College of Law in Florida. Dickerson serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and is a past chair of the Section on Institutional Advancement. Dickerson received her B.A. and M.A. from the College of William and Mary and her J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the Darby Dickerson Award for Revolutionary Change in Legal
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