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University of Texas-Austin School of Law
by Carina Zaragoza
The University of Texas-Austin School of Law is ranked 15th in the nation, according to the 2004 BCG Attorney Search Guide: America's Top Law Schools. The 2003 entering class consisted of slightly more than 500 students. Although the school is one of the largest in the nation, with an enrollment of 1,400 J.D. candidates, being accepted isn't as easy as doing the electric slide. On average, the law school admits about 16% of applicants, a percentage comparable with some top-five law schools. Once admitted, students will be expected to pay for the quality education they'll receive. Residents will pay $24,000 per year, and non-residents will pay $8,000 more than that. Just one more way it pays to be a Texan. But it'll be worth it after graduation, when students won't have to wait long for their rewards. More than 99% of graduates have jobs nine months after graduation. Of this 99%, more than 60% are placed in private firms. So the moral of the story is go to U Texas School of Law, and you'll get a good job. And don't think you'll be stuck in the sticky Texas weather. More than 60% of those who are employed are working out of state. There are numerous options for U Texas law students.
In addition to the renowned Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree, the school offers two distinct Master of Laws programs. The U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers program is for students who received their first law degrees in another country. Students can choose to focus on one area of law or receive a standard education of general U.S. law. The University of Texas-Austin School of Law has joined with the nation's preeminent center for the study of Latin America, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS). This partnership offers the unique and innovative program in Latin American and International Law. The program focuses on relations between the U.S. and Latin American countries, as well as the legal practices and political climates of Latin American countries. The goal is to provide a base of knowledge to work in the transnational legal environment of the Americas. In addition to courses in international trade and investment, international human rights, international environmental law, and NAFTA, students can take courses through the LLILAS in anthropology, history, literature, art, etc., and thus earn a Certificate in Latin American Studies along with their LL.M. degree. This program is truly unique and interdisciplinary in nature and will appeal to students with an interest in Latin America The law school is also unique in that it offers 11 different clinics in a wide range of legal issues. The aim is to provide students with real-world experience in social issues. Students can elect to deal with womens' issues in the Domestic Violence Clinic. As part of the southwestern region of the country, the law school fittingly offers the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic and the Immigration Law Clinic. If interested in children and the law, students can opt for the Children's Rights Clinic or the Juvenile Justice Clinic. Most clinics offered lean toward advocacy and social change, a program and ideology that answers the need for the law to actively assist those who often get lost in the American legal system.
The University of Texas-Austin is one of the nation's top 15 research universities. In addition to a number of resources, the law library is one of the nation's most prestigious. As part of the Jamail Center for Legal Research, the Tarlton Law Library is distinguished in a number of ways. As everyone knows, everything is bigger in Texas, and the law library is no exception. The actual facility is the largest in the nation. The Tarlton Law Library is the seventh largest in the country. Students, faculty, staff, and the pubic have access to a physical collection of millions of volumes. The state-of-the-art electronic database provides millions more documents. The library boasts some of the nation's best and rarest collections. The Aztec/Mayan Law collection is a tribute to indigenous culture and has been recognized nationally. Students will no doubt gain more than just a legal education at U Texas.
Year after year, The University of Texas-Austin School of Law is recognized by numerous organizations and authorities for its diversity. The school has been named the number-one law school for Hispanics three years in a row by Hispanic Business Magazine. The African-American and Hispanic student population has jumped more than 50% in recent years. Time Magazine has ranked U Texas as the number-one law school in attracting students of all backgrounds. The student population of U Texas mirrors its location and its education in diversity and excellence. U Texas is definitely the place to go for a solid legal education, a diverse environment, and the experience to do what the law is supposed to do: help people.
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