In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 12 to 15 hours depending on the program may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in history), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Medicine), J.D./M.P.H. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work), and J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in medical humanities and in Criminal Justice).
The Law Center offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, intellectual property law, international law, labor law, litigation, tax law, and health law. In addition, students may choose among 7 clinics, including Civil Practice, Consumer Law, Immigration Practice, Mediation, Transactional, Criminal Practice, and Health Law externships. Seminar courses are available in all areas. Research programs include the Health Law and Policy Institute, Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law, Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law, Center for Children, Law and Policy, Blakely Advocacy Institute, Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance, Texas Innocence Network, and the Criminal Justice Institute. Lecture series include the Baker Botts Lecture and Katz-Kiley Lecture. A student exchange program is conducted through the North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE). The Academic Enrichment Program provides tutors to each first-year section to assist with study and test-taking skills and to help students understand the course material. The One-L Mentoring Program provides first-year students with a ready resource of advice from the faculty and upper-division law students who volunteer as mentors. The most widely taken electives are Commercial Transactions, Business Organizations, and Evidence.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 34 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: a statutory elective, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Procedure, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Professional Responsibility and the senior writing requirement. The required orientation program for first-year students is 3 days of general information.
To graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.5 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 3321 applied, 950 were accepted, and 318 enrolled. Thirty transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 87; the median GPA was 3.59 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 15; the highest was 99.
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 February 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $70, optional (no more than 3) letters of recommendation, a r
About 80% 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 $22,926; maximum, $34,364. Awards are based on need and merit; need-based financial aid is handled by the Universitys Director of Financial Aid. Scholarships are handled by the Scholarship Committee. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 1. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application on a rolling basis as their financial aid file is complete, but no earlier than mid-April.
About 43% of the student body are women; 25%, minorities; 6%, African American; 10%, Asian American; 9%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The majority of students come from Texas (89%). The average age of entering students is 24 (30 for part-time students); age range is 20 to 63. About 31% of students enter directly from undergraduate school and 13% have a graduate degree. About 5% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons.
Students edit the Houston Law Review, Houston Journal of International Law, Houston Journal of Health Law and Policy, Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, Journal of Consumer and Commercial Law, and the Environmental and Energy Law and Policy Journal. Additional publications include Health Law News and the student newspaper, Legalese. Intrascholarship competitions include the Blakely-Butler Moot Court Competition, Hippard Mock Trial Competition, Newhouse Mediation Competition, and the Hofheinz Tournament of Champions. Law student organizations include Advocates, Corporate and Taxation Law Society, and the Energy and Environmental Law Society. The Law Center hosts local chapters of the ABA-Law Student Division, Phi Delta Phi, and Order of the Coif. Other organizations include the Student Bar Association, Black Law Students Association, Hispanic Law Students Association, Asian Law Students Association, Public Interest Law Organization, Outlaw (GLBT), and the Society on Law and Politics.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening (first-year courses are offered days only) and must be completed within 4 years. For part-time students, courses are offered both day and evening (first-year courses are offered evenings only) and must be completed within 6 years. New full-time students are admitted in the fall; part-time, summer. There is a 5-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.