Texas Tech University School of Law
Academics & Programs: Students dole out praises for Texas Tech’s rigorous and practical JD program, which really “teaches you what you need to know to be a good lawyer.” From day one, real-world principles are incorporated into the learning experience, and throughout the program “the instruction [features] a good balance of the Socratic Method with practical advice.” During the 1L curriculum, “emphasis is put on legal writing and research so that we are able to go straight into practice during the summer of our first year.” 1Ls have a “year-long legal practice requirement,” which “gives you a fantastic foundation before you step your foot in the real world.” In addition to curricular offerings, the school offers an incredible breadth of “opportunities to gain practical experience through procedure classes, barrister competitions, clinics, and national competitions.”
While the JD curriculum is “rigorous and demanding,” it would be very difficult to slip through the cracks at Texas Tech. When they start the program, students are grouped into sections that serve as a support network during 1L, and “all of the first-year classes have upper-level students as tutors to supplement your classroom hours.” The teaching staff is also committed to student success, and maintains consistent office hours so that students “can stop by and talk to professors at any time.” A totally user-friendly experience, “the resources provided by the school are top-notch and they’ve designed everything to revolve around the student and their schedule.” To top it all off, the school has completed the construction of the Lanier Professional Development Center building, which added 34,000 square feet to the law school building. The school is already equipped with a first rate library, and “the library staff is amazing and always available.”
When it’s time to start looking for a job or clerkship, Texas Tech maintains “a great reputation in the Texas legal markets as producing hard-working, effective lawyers.” Students choose Tech precisely for this reputation and are proud of the results. A third year student asserts, “I’ve been told on several occasions that a firm would rather pick up a Tech Law graduate who knows what to do when he steps foot in the office than some Ivy League grad who knows more about theory and less about how to get the job done.” While career placement is highly successful in Texas, many students feel that the school could improve its national reputation and help “out-of-state students find jobs in their home states.” In general, students would like their top school to take a more leading role in the national legal community, urging the administration to “spend more money to attract more nationally known, rather than regionally known, guest speakers and employers.”
Campus Life/Facilities: The surprisingly friendly and open atmosphere at Texas Tech is all due to students who aren’t afraid to “help one another, encourage one another, and be kind to one another.” No need for first-year jitters. You’ll quickly feel at home at Texas Tech, thanks to a “tremendous student-run mentoring program for incoming students.” Within the law school, there are a number of students clubs and organizations—plus many more in the larger university—and if you’re married, there are “resources and social networking opportunities for students with spouses and their families.” Conservative politics predominate, but students reassure us that “you can survive as a liberal.” In fact, “the Tech democrats are more active than the republicans,” and everyone listens to and respects different opinions.
If you’ve never been to West Texas, a student dryly describes it for us as “a vast, treeless, invariably flat expanse of dirt…They even have tumbleweeds here—like out of a John Wayne movie or Looney Tunes.” Although it sounds a bit inhospitable, students say the advantage to Lubbock’s small city environment and arid landscape is that there are fewer distractions, which makes it easier to focus on your homework. More importantly, “Lubbock is a great environment for law students to partner with local lawyers and learn the ropes.” “The Lubbock legal community is extremely strong and polite, and the relationship is emphasized over the case,” one student says.
If you are looking for nightlife and social outlets, “Lubbock is not the most exciting town on the universe.” However, students guarantee us that the lively campus community can make life surprisingly entertaining. For sports fans, “There is a very good football team on the field,” and the basketball team isn’t too shabby either. On top of that, the law school’s friendly students “have managed to carve out a pretty decent social life. The bars here are okay, but the law students will sponsor various events and they are typically very fun.”
* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.