As the city’s oldest law school, South Texas College of Law Houston is still making history, offering students more opportunities to gain real-world experience and hone their legal interests – and legal skills – while they are still students.
The law school, which began classes in 1923, has earned a reputation for producing “practice-ready” graduates, giving them in-depth exposure to the skills needed to pursue various disciplines in the profession.
Alicia Cramer, assistant dean of admissions and student organizations, explained that prospective employers often seek law school graduates who have the skills and knowledge to start contributing to their firms right away.
“Attorneys who come prepared with optimal skills in research, writing, strategizing, contract drafting, presenting and more have an advantage,” she said. “That’s why we go above and beyond to make sure they have that experience.”
In fact, she said that judges often are able to recognize a South Texas graduate in their courtrooms. “They are well-prepared and able to handle their cases,” she said. “They’re also confident in their skills, which carries them forward in their career.”
Law firms, corporations and government agencies recruit South Texas graduates because of their strong legal foundation layered with real-world, practical skills.
For example, South Texas advocacy students learn to litigate by getting into the courtroom and testing their skills of persuasion in front of jurors and the bench in competition tournaments – not just from books and lectures. This program is so successful that South Texas holds 133 national advocacy championships. That’s more than twice as many as any other U.S. law school.
Similarly, transactional practice students learn by drafting and revising contracts and other documents, while students in the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics at South Texas gain real-world experience advocating on behalf of low-income clients with legal problems.
In fact, South Texas College of Law Houston is unique in both the amount and variety of experiential-learning opportunities available to students. The college offers 23 separate, specialized clinics — more than any other law school in the state.Each year students provide more than 35,000 hours of pro bono legal services – valued at more than $1.8 million – to underserved Houston residents.
“With these opportunities, our students are able to apply their classroom learning to actual cases with real clients,” Cramer said. “This helps them practice and gain confidence in the field. At the same time, they are able to hone their legal interests and future goals.” For more information on South Texas College of Law Houston visit stcl.edu/explore.