Dannye Holley 2015-10-26 13:07:47
Thurgood Marshall School of Law is well positioned to effectively respond to the challenges faced today by the legal academy given the law school’s rich history, strong base of support, and added emphasis on experiential learning and students’ development of key lawyering skills. The school’s historical and current niche in the legal academy and market and its significant contributions to legal education are captured in the 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, which was crafted and approved by our dedicated faculty in collaboration with our students, alumni, and friends. It highlights the law school’s position as the most diverse in the country and our proud legacy as a historically black university. In recent years, the law school graduated its 1,000th Hispanic student, and over a recent five-year period, it has graduated more than 40 percent of all newly licensed African-American attorneys in the state (among those who graduated from Texas law schools). There are eight goals identified in the strategic plan, most of which are specifically focused on enhancing student learning outcomes, including the quality and quantity of experiential learning opportunities. To strengthen its offerings, the law school hired its first director of experiential learning, who is a tenure-track faculty member. Additional experiential learning placement sites have been established with multiple courts—both federal and state—as well as with prosecutor and other government offices. Summer externship placements have been established with judges and other government offices in various cities throughout Texas; more than 50 externship sites for our students are now in place. This new and improved experiential learning program is supported by detailed guidelines for placements, the roles and responsibilities of site supervisors, and uniform student learning outcomes. These significant developments in our experiential learning program complement our continuing commitment to students’ participation in Texas Sen. Rodney Ellis’s Texas Legislative Internship Program. TLIP provides an opportunity for many of our second-year students to spend a semester in residence in Austin, earning academic credit while serving as legal assistants to legislators, judges, and public officials. Through our participation in TLIP, the law school has produced outstanding public servants. Goal two of the strategic plan includes action focused on enhancing our students’ sense of professional identity. The law school has appointed an ad hoc committee, consisting of faculty, alumni, professionals from across a broad spectrum of legal work, and community leaders, to further the development of its students’ professional identities. To enhance a robust sense of professional identity, our students have significantly increased their engagement with multiple bar associations, participating in projects and activities of the American Bar Association, the Houston Bar Association, the Houston Lawyers Association, the Mexican American Bar Association, and the State Bar of Texas. Additionally, our students have been appointed or elected to integral leadership positions in some of these professional associations. To support our students in their many endeavors, the law school continues to play an active role in bar association activities. This past February, for example, it accepted an invitation to host a judicial panel on increasing diversity in the judiciary at the ABA’s national midyear convention in Houston. The law school also cosponsored and provided speakers for the ABA’s CLE program on indigent criminal defense. TMSL believes that its commitment to increasing student opportunities for experiential learning, as well as their development of an in-depth sense of professional identity, is a core element in producing competitive, civil, and empowered graduates. FOUNDED 1947 ENROLLMENT 510 ANNUAL TUITION AND FEES $19,971 NUMBER OF GRADUATES IN 2000 155 NUMBER OF GRADUATES IN 2015 150 PERCENTAGE OF 2014 GRADUATES WHO HAD JOBS BY FEBRUARY 2015 60 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 $106,500, no increase from 2013 DANNYE HOLLEY has served as the dean of Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University since 2009. He received his B.A. and J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his LL.M. from the University of California, Berkeley. This is his 43rd year of law school service, research, and scholarship. He has served as a faculty member for each of the first three Texas Center for the Judiciary’s Evidence Summits for sitting Texas judges. His most recent publication focuses on the confrontation clause and the impact of the Crawford decision on state supreme courts, academics, and the practicing bar.
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