University of Houston Law Center

University of Houston Law Center
University of Houston Law Center
UH LEX Seal.png
Motto "Lex"
Latin: "Law"
Parent school University of Houston
Established 1947
School type Public
Dean Ray Nimmer
Location Houston, Texas, USA
Enrollment 1103
Faculty 130[1]
USNWR ranking No. 56
Bar pass rate 89.19%[2]
Annual tuition In-State: $21,030
Out-of-State: $28,440
University of Houston Law Center logotype.png

The University of Houston Law Center is a law school located in Houston, Texas. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1947, the Law Center is one of 12 academic colleges of the University of Houston. The law school's facilities are located on the university's 667-acre campus in southeast Houston.

Awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence and Master of Laws degrees, the University of Houston Law Center is one of two top-tier public law schools in Texas and is the only top-tier law school in Houston—the nation's fifth-largest legal market. The law school ranks 56th among the "Best Law Schools" in U.S. News & World Report. The College of Law, the academic branch of the Law Center, has a chapter of the Order of the Coif—a national legal honorary scholastic society.



The University of Houston Law Center was founded in 1947 as the University of Houston School of Law, with an inaugural class consisting of 28 students and a single professor.[3] The law school was housed in several locations on campus in its first few years—including temporary classrooms and the basement of the M.D. Anderson Library.[3] The College of Law moved into its current facilities—located at the northeast corner of campus—shortly following its groundbreaking in 1969.[3]

In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison struck the University of Houston devastating its campus.[4] The O'Quinn Law Library, which lies underground, was decimated by the storm; losing over 174,000 books and its microfiche collection—when the entire lower level was engulfed under nine feet of water.[5] The entire loss has been replaced with the assistance of FEMA funds, and the library has reopened with the same size collection and expanded electronic resources.

In 2005, the University of Houston Law Center opened its facilities to Loyola University New Orleans College of Law after it was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina. The law center hosted 320 of the Loyola's 800 students, all taught by 31 Loyola law professors, allowing classes to continue at the Law Center, rather than canceling the semester and severely hampering the first-year students education.[6]


The O'Quinn Law Library entrance (center) and Bates Law Building (right)

The Law Center ranks 56th (top-tier) of nearly 200 ABA-accredited schools nationally in the U.S. News & World Report Annual Survey.[7] The Law Center is one of only 23 of the nearly 200 U.S. law schools offer multiple top-ranked specialty programs, and one of only eight public institutions on that short list.[8] The Law Center's Health Law concentration is currently ranked second in the nation.[9] The Intellectual Property concentration ranks number seven in the country. In 2010, Super Lawyers magazine ranked The Law Center No. 34 in the country based on the number of its graduates included among its Super Lawyers in 2009.[10] The National Law Journal ranked The Law Center No. 37 in the country based on the percentage of its graduates hired as first year associates at the nation's 250 largest law firms in 2009.[11] In 2008, Judging the Law Schools ranked the Law Center No. 30 in the country.[12] The Internet Legal Research Group ranked the Law Center No. 3 in the country based on "cost-benefit" analysis.[13]

Class profile

Class of 2007[14] Full-time Part-time
Applications 3009 317
Admitted 869 78
Entering Class Size Target 250 50
Median LSAT 162 158
Median GPA 3.59 3.43
25th/75th Percentile LSAT 159/165 154/162
Average Age 24 30


"The mission of the University of Houston Law Center is to build upon the strengths of the nation’s fourth-largest city by providing an affordable, top-quality legal education to the future leaders of a free society.

We will develop the professional lives of students and practicing lawyers through caring and challenging teaching of both theory and practice, cutting-edge research in a wide variety of disciplines, and active participation in the resolution of difficult issues facing the city of Houston, the state of Texas, the nation, and the world."[15]

Since 2004, 50 Law Center faculty members have published 79 books, 197 articles and 45 book chapters.[16]

J.D. program

The J.D. program encompasses 90 semester hours, divided into full-time and part-time sections. The full-time section starts in August and is a three-year course, while the part-time section begins in August and is a four-year course. Entering full-time students are placed into one of three sections with around 90 students each. Entering part-time students are placed into an evening section of about 60-75 students.[17]

The Law Center utilizes progressive and innovative approaches in its J.D. program.[18] The first year, 30 hours, introduces students to the study of law and includes traditional first-year subjects with a modern approach—incorporating practical skills to reinforce legal theory.[19] Students get to choose their three-hour elective course in statutory or regulatory interpretation.[19]

In their second and third years of study, J.D. students have only three course requirements—Professional Responsibility, a skills training or advocacy course, and fulfilling the senior writing requirement through either a seminar or participation on one of our student-run journals.

LL.M. programs

The University of Houston Law Center includes six distinct LL.M. programs to allow students to match their specific interests and career ambitions. Our specialized courses of LL.M. study include:

Faculty advisors work closely with individual LL.M. students, and all program requirements can be met in two semesters (fall and spring). LL.M. students have the option of attending on a part-time basis, which allows up to three years to complete the program. Students must be continuously enrolled every fall and spring semester, and foreign students are responsible for complying with all visa restrictions or requirements.

Joint degrees

The University of Houston Law Center offers three joint degrees programs combining a J.D with a M.B.A., Master of Arts, or M.S.W. Joint degrees are also available with other institutions: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health (J.D./M.P.H.); the University of Texas Medical Branch (J.D./PhD in Medical Humanities); Sam Houston State University (J.D./PhD in Criminal Justice); and Baylor College of Medicine (J.D./M.D.).


The Law Center also has various specialized institutes

Blakeley Advocacy Institute

The Blakely Advocacy Institute is a national leader in improving the efficacy of the legal profession and justice system by merging substantive law and lawyering skills to enhance the local, national and international legal communities.[21] The Law Center’s advocacy teams have earned top honors in major international, national and regional competitions, including: International Champions at the 2006 International Commercial Mediation Competition; National Champions and Best Speaker at the 2006 John R. Brown Admiralty Competition; Regional Champions at the 2006 National Trial Competition; Best Speaker at the 2006 HNBA National Moot Court Competition; and National Champions at the 2004 National Trial Competition.[22]

Center for Children, Law & Policy

The Center for Children, Law & Policy is a legal think-tank engaged in legal and interdisciplinary scholarship, advocacy and teaching to advance the interests of children through public policy.

Center for Consumer Law

Sponsors annual conferences on teaching consumer law, semi-annual "People Law School" programs for members of the Houston community, a consumer help line for the Houston region, and a consumer clinic. Publishes a journal on consumer, commercial and related law.

Criminal Justice Institute

Health Law & Policy Institute

The Health Law & Policy Institute, established in 1978, is one of the top health-law programs in the country—ranked among the top three in the country for the last ten years Health Law programs were ranked.[23]

Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Institute

A unique blend of academic disciplines and private sector support studying the various interactions between environmental issues, energy and natural resources, and the law.

The Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources at the University of Houston Law Center links energy issues with impacts on environment and natural resources. Building on the academic excellence of the faculty in these areas and the complex and multi-faceted energy and environmental issues in Houston, the Center provides a forum for education and discussion of the most important issues of the day, such as climate change, air pollution, clean coal and renewable energy. The Center is the proud sponsor of the Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal, the first law review devoted to the intersection of environmental and energy law and of the University of Houston Environment and Energy Law Society UHEELS. Law Center students have many opportunities to network and attend programs related to energy, resources and the environmental in the Houston area.

Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance

The IHELG's purpose is the stimulation of an international consciousness among higher education institutions concerning issues of higher education law and the provision of documentation and analysis relating to higher education development.

Institute for Intellectual Property and Information Law

The IPIL is recognized worldwide for the strength of its faculty, curriculum and students. Its contributions to the study of law have earned both respect and an enduring reputation for quality. The intellectual property law specialty at UHLC is currently ranked 7th by U.S. News & World Report.[24]

O'Quinn Law library

The O'Quinn Law Library is one of the region's leading legal research facilities. As a U.S. government depository, the library receives and makes available all federal government publications in selected subject areas. Special subject libraries for health law and higher education law, along with the Frankel Rare Books Library, round out the UH Law Center’s hard-copy collections. The law library has also emerged as a model of receiving, processing, and serving the rapidly increasing number of materials available only in digital form.[19]

In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison struck the University of Houston devastating its campus.[4] The O'Quinn Law Library's holdings were decimated—over 174,000 books and its microfiche collection—when the entire lower level was engulfed under nine feet of water.[5] The entire loss has been replaced with the assistance of FEMA funds and the library has reopened with the same size collection and expanded electronic resources.

Student life


The total enrollment for the Law Center is 1007 students.[1] Minority students comprise 26.5% of the student population[1] The student/faculty ratio is 15.9:1 and 93.2% of students are employed within nine months of graduation[1] The median starting salary is $85,215 a year.[25] 55.8% of the law students receive grant assistance to pay for their education.[1]


Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b c d e Official ABA Data Sheet. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  2. ^ [1] Retrieved on 2009-09-16.
  3. ^ a b c UH Through Time - Colleges - UH Law Center
  4. ^ a b After Allison: UH overcomes the wrath of Tropical Storm Allison. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  5. ^ a b University Of Houston O'Quinn Law Library Eligible For $21.4 Million In FEMA Funds To Replace Books. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  6. ^ The Compassion of Neighbors, The Devotion of Community: Exiled School of Law Thrives During Challenging Times. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  7. ^ US News & World Report 2011 Law School Rankings. Retrieved on 2011-3-26.
  8. ^ Welcome from Dean Raymond T. Nimmer. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  9. ^ US News & World Report 2008 Law School Rankings: Healthcare Law. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  10. ^ [2] Retrieved on 2010-6-12.
  11. ^ [3] Retrieved on 2010-6-12
  12. ^ [4]
  13. ^ [5]
  14. ^ Why Choose UH Law Center? Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  15. ^ The University of Houston Law Center: Strategic Plan. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  16. ^ 2004-2007 Faculty Scholarship Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  17. ^ J.D. Program Overview Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  18. ^ Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  19. ^ a b c 2007 Law Center Admissions Brochure Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  20. ^ [6] Retrieved on 2009-09-16.
  21. ^ Blakeley Home Page. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  22. ^ Law Center Award Banners. Retrieved on 2007-11-15.
  23. ^ Health Law & Policy Institute Brochure. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
  24. ^ US News & World Report 2008 Law School Rankings: Intellectual Property Law. Retrieved on 2008-10-23.
  25. ^ Welcome from Dean Raymond T. Nimmer. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
  26. ^ [7] Retrieved on 2008-08-25.
  27. ^ Washington & Lee Law School Law Journals Ranking Database, retrieved on 2008-08-26.
  28. ^ Washington & Lee Law Journal Rankings. Retrieved on 2011-05-05.

External links

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