Best Law Schools in Texas

Texas is home to nine law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. The best five are presented here. Schools were selected based on the quality of their academic programs, the opportunities for students to participate in clinics and internships/externships, bar passage rates, graduate employment rates, and selectivity/LSAT scores.

01
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University of Texas at Austin School of Law

University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin. Amy Jacobson
Admissions Statistics (2018 Entering Class)
Acceptance Rate 20.95%
Median LSAT Score 167
Median Undergraduate GPA 3.74
Source: American Bar Association Standard 509 Disclosure

The University of Texas Law School consistently ranks among the best law schools in the United States. Academics are supported by the school's impressive 4 to 1 student/faculty ratio, and Texas Law provides plenty of opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning. Students can choose from 15 clinics covering a wide range of legal areas, and they will also find plenty of internship and pro bono work options.

Texas Law takes pride in the environment they have created for legal study. The atmosphere is supportive rather than cutthroat, and the school has a first-year society and mentoring programs that help new students feel at home as they make the often difficult transition into law school.

Being part of UT Austin gives Texas Law the ability to offer dual degree programs and interdisciplinary study that might be difficult at smaller universities, and the law curriculum allows for flexibility so that students can craft their educations to their specific interests.

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Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University.

Corbis / Getty Images

Admissions Statistics (2018 Entering Class)
Acceptance Rate 47.19%
Median LSAT Score 161
Median Undergraduate GPA 3.68
Source: American Bar Association Standard 509 Disclosure

Located in Dallas, Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law is home to the largest collection of legal materials in the Southwest. Established in 1925, the school enrolls over 200 students every year and has a large alumni base representing all 50 states and 80 countries.

Students have plenty of opportunities to practice their legal writing and research through the school's five law journals, including The International Lawyer, SMU Science and Technology Law Review, and the Journal of Air Law and Commerce. The editorial staff of journals is chosen based on academic performance and a writing competition.

Students gain practical lawyering skills through both classroom simulations and participation in one of the school's ten clinics. Options for clinics include the Civil Clinic, Patent Law Clinic, Federal Taxpayers Clinic, and the Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women. SMU Dedman Law has a nationally ranked moot court program and several options for externships.

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University of Houston Law Center

M.D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston
M.D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston. Katie Haugland / Flickr
Admissions Statistics (2018 Entering Class)
Acceptance Rate 33.05%
Median LSAT Score 160
Median Undergraduate GPA 3.61
Source: American Bar Association Standard 509 Disclosure

The Law Center at the University of Houston has numerous strengths. U.S. News & World Report ranked the part-time law program ninth in the country—the school excels at making a law degree accessible to students with commitments that make evening and weekend study the only option. The Law Center also wins high marks for its programs in Health Care Law and Intellectual Property Law.

The Law Center's location in Houston puts it in close proximity to internationally recognized centers for health care and energy, as well as many corporate headquarters. Being part of the University of Houston, a large comprehensive university, the Law Center can offer dual degrees such as a J.D./M.B.A. or J.D./M.P.H. Students can even earn a J.D./M.D in collaboration with the Baylor College of Medicine.

As with all good law schools, the University of Houston Law Center makes experiential learning a central part of the legal curriculum. Students gain practical training through one of the schools many clinics, such as the Mediation Clinic, Consumer Law Clinic, and Immigration Clinic.

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Baylor University Law School

Baylor University School of Law
Baylor University School of Law.

HoverVan / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Admissions Statistics (2018 Entering Class)
Acceptance Rate 39.04%
Median LSAT Score 160
Median Undergraduate GPA 3.59
Source: American Bar Association Standard 509 Disclosure

Baylor Law frequently ranks among the top 50 law schools in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. The school has particular strength in its Trial Advocacy program. Roughly 170 law students matriculate each year, and in 2019, students came from 157 undergraduate colleges and universities spanning 39 states and countries.

Baylor Law is unusual among law schools in that it operates on a quarter system (Baylor University, however, operates on a semester system). Students will have 9-week classes rather than the usual 14- to 15-week classes. This allows students to take a greater breadth of courses, and the school argues that the quarter system is closer to the actual type of schedule a working attorney would have. The quarter system also allows students to earn their J.D. in 27 months if they choose not to take breaks between quarters.

The school takes pride in graduating students they call "practice-ready." Throughout the curriculum, students learn to work with clients, make opening statements, interview witnesses, conduct trials, and make closing arguments. They gain writing, research, and advocacy skills. Some of these skills are learned in clinics that include the Immigration Clinic, Estate Planning Clinic, and Veterans Clinic. The school also encourages its law students to do pro bono and volunteer work.

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Texas A&M University School of Law

Texas A&M Academic Building at the heart of the main campus in College Station
Texas A&M Academic Building at the heart of the main campus in College Station.

Denise Mattox / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0​

Admissions Statistics (2018 Entering Class)
Acceptance Rate 30.22%
Median LSAT Score 157
Median Undergraduate GPA 3.51
Source: American Bar Association Standard 509 Disclosure

If you haven't heard of Texas A&M University School of Law, that might be because until recently the school was part of Texas Wesleyan University. In 2013, Texas A&M University purchased the school. The transition was relatively smooth, and the school's American Bar Association accreditation transferred with the school.

The school's Fort Worth location places it within a bustling legal community, and 24 Fortune 500 companies are a short drive away. The school has many strengths, and U.S. News & World Report ranked its Intellectual Property program #8 in the country, and Dispute Resolution ranked #13.

The Texas A&M University Law School has a curriculum that is both flexible and rigorous. First-year students take twice as many legal writing credits as most law programs. The school supports its students through a student mentor program and the Professionalism and Leadership Program, in which students can train with drama coaches and practice public speaking in the Toastmasters Club. In the second year, students can focus on breadth of knowledge or follow a specialized path for becoming a business lawyer, regulatory lawyer, or litigation and dispute resolution expert. The third year is all about experiential learning through clinics, externships, and simulations.