Message from the Dean

Welcome from the DeanWelcome. Texas Southern’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law welcomes students from all backgrounds to one of the most important law schools in the United States.

Our goal. The goal of our law school is to prepare students for professional excellence and to protect, improve, and pass on our legacy of social progress. We want students who share our vision and strive to attract them with transition programs and merit scholarship awards.

Our history. Established over six decades ago during a crucial period of American civil rights history, the school was a critical factor in a Supreme Court decision regarding equal protection and equal rights. We proudly carry the renowned name of Thurgood Marshall, whose distinguished career as a civil rights attorney during turbulent times was followed by appointment to the United States Supreme Court. The school was honored to have Justice Marshall participate in our 1978 formal naming ceremony.

Our diversification. Since its founding, our law school has been an engine for diversification of the legal profession as well as governing bodies in both Texas and the nation. Thurgood Marshall School of Law is a national leader in educating minority lawyers. We are currently firmly established as one of the nation’s most diverse law schools, ranking in each of the last ten years among the top three law schools on national index of diversity published by U.S. News and World Report. Currently, our students represent a dynamic mix of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Anglo cultures and perspectives. In the five-year period ending in 2012, forty-three percent of newly licensed Texas attorneys of African-American lineage who graduated from Texas law schools were Thurgood Marshall graduates.

Our programs. We empower our students with high quality academics and experiential learning programs. Our academic courses are designed to enable our matriculants to become excellent critical thinkers, evidence evaluators, rulemakers, problem solvers, and authors of well-crafted legal documents. To enable our students to experience 21st century legal practice, we sponsor clinics, externships, institute scholars, and inter-school mock and moot court competition training, and other experiential learning opportunities. We have instituted procedures to measure improvement in student acquisition of lawyer-related skills and student learning outcomes

Our faculty. Thurgood Marshall faculty members are invested in both teaching and scholarship. They provide high quality legal instruction, devoting considerable time and creative energy on intentional teaching and meaningful assessment of student learning outcomes. Their teaching covers not only doctrinal legal subjects –from basic law courses to specialized topical seminars—but also preparation of pleadings, briefs, memoranda, and other standard legal documents.
Our faculty members make wide ranging scholarly contributions to the local, state, national, and international conversations on legal doctrine and policy, often taking controversial positions on race, class, and the scope of government authority. A common subject of our faculty’s scholarship is promotion of legal policies that aim to bring people together and uplift the disenfranchised. Current faculty scholarship reflects recent and significant increases in both the quality and quantity of our research and its influence. Faculty members also work with practicing attorneys in developing theories for representation of clients in complex cases and in formulating solutions for frequently recurring legal problems.

Our alumni. Law School Alumni represent the best traditions of equal justice under law throughout the nation, the State of Texas, and the region. Our alumni include office holders at all levels -- members of Congress, both branches of the Texas Legislature, and administrative and local government positions. Many alumni have served as judges, federal and state, at various levels of the judiciary. Our alumni who actively practice law include partners and associates in major law firms and founders of their own thriving law firms. The legal services TMSL alumni provide for their clients cover a wide range, including corporate, real estate, criminal, and family law. Some of our alums serve as agents for sports and other celebrities.

Our commitment. Our academic programs, new initiatives, and our faculty support our commitment to give engaged law students from diverse backgrounds opportunities to embrace the law fully. We are dedicated to improving the education of our students so that they may enhance their professional choices and enrich their lives.

Dean Holley
Dean and Professor of Law