Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 12 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.Tax (Juris Doctor/Master of Taxation), and J.D/M.P.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy Administration).
The School of Law offers concentrations in criminal law, litigation, business transactions, administrative law, estate planning, and business litigation. In addition, the 2-quarter Practice Court Program is required in the third year and includes rigorous hands-on training. Students are required to complete at least 4 mini trials and 1 large trial along with several other exercises. There are real-life client opportunities for pro bono divorce cases and other client opportunities for penalty cases. A Supreme Court seminar is available. Internships are available in the District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Texas Attorney General’s Office-Child Support Division, Legal Services Office, and others for 2 hours of credit, and the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals for 5 hours of credit. Independent studies for 1 or 2 hours of credit are available for second- and third-year students under faculty supervision. Field work opportunities are available in a number of offices such as General Counsel for Texas Life Insurance Co. Special lecture series include the Frank Wilson Memorial, W.R. White Memorial, R. Matt Dawson Lecture Series, and the John William Minton and Florence Dean Minton Endowed Law School Lecture Series. Students may study in Guadalajara, Mexico and earn up to 5 credits during a 2-week program in August. A faculty-conducted tutorial program is available for students placed on academic probation as well as for other interested students. There is a designated faculty Minority Student Adviser and a Diversity in Law Students Association. There is an Environmental Law program once a year and various speakers throughout the year. The most widely taken electives are Client Counseling, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Administration of Estates, Appellate Procedure, Trusts and Estates II, and Secured Transactions.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 126 total credits, of which 78 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Introduction to Law and Lawyering, Legal Analysis, Research, and Communication I, II, and III, Legislative, Administrative Process and Procedure, Property I and II, and Torts I and II. Required upper-level courses consist of Business Organization I, Constitutional Law, Consumer Protection, Evidence, Federal Income Taxation, Practice Court I and II, Professional Responsibility, and Trusts and Estates I. All students must take clinical courses. The required orientation program for first-year students is a 2-day program that covers introduction to the legal profession and life as a law student.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 3807 applied, 1159 were accepted, and 171 enrolled. One transfer enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 78; the median GPA was 3.59 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 157; the highest was 162.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA, and general background. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, LSDAS, a nonrefundable application fee of $40, 2 letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Notification of the admissions decision is 4 to 6 weeks after the application deadline. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is December. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 90% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $34,473; maximum, $51,308. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the CSS Profile. The aid application deadline for fall entry is May 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include a limited number of scholarships ranging from one-third to one-half of tuition for students who have overcome educational and/or emotional disadvantages or other personal hardship experiences. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application before enrollment.
About 40% of the student body are women; 12%, minorities; 1%, African American; 5%, Asian American; 5%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from Texas (74%). The average age of entering students is 23; age range is 18 to 46. About 76% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 3% have a graduate degree, and 21% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 9% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 91% remain to receive a law degree.
The primary law review is the Baylor Law Review. Moot court competitions include the Dawson and Sodd Fall Moot Court and the Strasburger and Price Spring Moot Court. Intrascholastic competitions are the Naman, Howell, Smith and Lee Client Counseling Competition and the Bob Wortham Mock Trial Tournament of Champions. Interscholastic competitions include the National Trial, National Moot Court, National Appellate Advocacy, Texas Young Lawyers Moot Court, National Negotiations, and National Client Counseling. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus clubs and organizations include Women’s Legal Society, American Constitution Society, Civil Rights Society, Baylor University Student Bar Association, Diversity in Law Association, Civil Rights Society, R.E.B Baylor Chapter of Phi Alpha, James P. Alexander Senate of Delta Theta Phi, and the Hemphill Inn Chapter of Phi Delta Phi.
The law school operates on a quarter basis. Courses for full-time students and part-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 5 years. New students are admitted in the fall, spring, and summer. There is an 11-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.