Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

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TLS_user
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Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby TLS_user » Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:27 pm

Law School Programs >> Texas Law Schools

tsu.edu/academics/law
Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (LinkRemoved) is located in Houston, TX.

Please "post a reply" and add any comments you have about TSU Law. Many generations of prospective law students will benefit by the information you share.

jt403
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:02 pm

Postby jt403 » Tue May 15, 2007 10:07 pm

Okay this below is just a long long rant. But in short, why the heck would u want to go to a school that does not even allow you to register for classes online anyway? You still have to go to the school in person to do it (& we are in the year 2007 now... yeea, freakin cmon)

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As many of you have seen in the news, TSU’s administration has not had any positive publicity recently. All the news about TSU are reports of corruption & fraud. My concern that I would like to get some feedback on is regarding their law school & how the college of law operates. And just to state my position, I am the student of a medical program in Houston (purposefully not going to mention specifics) & my boyfriend who lives with me is finishing up his first year at TSU law school.

Whether you are a student, working professional, retiree, you name it, I believe it would be easy for all of us to come to the consensus that when a student attends a professional graduate program (such as law school!), it is a critical point in the student's educational career, where he must work for his points, pass his own licensing exam, & establish himself as an individual. Simple right? With this in mind, I'd like to bring to the table the points about TSU's law school that are so shady that it makes me lose sleep at night. [Just a quick warning, I anticipate that the rest of this message will come out as a long rant.]

First, each class of roughly 200 students (i.e. 1st year students) is divided into 4 separate groups. Each group has its own set of different professors & exams. Sounds fair so far, BUT here’s where it gets strange. The student averages of each group are averaged together, then each of the 4 group averages are compared to each other at the very end. Somehow, they adjust the grades accordingly, to where the group with the highest average will get extra points & the group with lower averages get even more screwed. This also means that each individual student, whether he earned himself a really high or really low grade, will not receive a final grade that reflects what he earned but rather will receive a grade reflecting what his classmates earned. The grades are ultimately adjusted according to other students’ progress. What is the point of being in a graduate program when you don’t even earn your own grade? And to top that off, when asked, the professors could not even tell the students exactly how the grading system works.

I know that race is always a controversial issue that is difficult to discuss, but I do acknowledge that TSU is known for being one of the first big black colleges in this area. If most of the students & faculty are black, cool. My problem is, I don’t believe that students are treated fairly academically. Bad enough, nobody seems to know where or how final grades are calculated. And even worse, the faculty show more interest in helping the black students succeed by bumping up scores, playing favorites, & selectively choosing which students to focus more attention on. I’m not just pulling this out of my ass, we have black friends who went to speak to a professor about disagreement over an exam question & was able to scrape extra points. On the other hand, when “others” approached the same professor with the same concerns & explanations, the professor was buried in a magazine, didn’t really care what the students’ concerns were, & ultimately made no grade adjustments. If you spend enough time in the program, you will quickly realize that whether you are a student or faculty member, your progress in this institution is based on how much they like you, who you know, & what ethnicity you are. It’s shady actions like that (actions that lack any compliance with any honor code, that is, if there is one that exists at TSU at all), that make it no surprise that many students actually make it to the end to take the BARR exam, yet 20% of students fail.

Now as if the grading system wasn’t enough to discourage, most of the professors just don’t seem qualified to teach the program. I know I’m not one to say who should or shouldn’t, but it is quite obvious that something is not right, when at the end of the year right before the comp exams, the Properties professor has only gotten as far as February’s lecture topic (on the syllabus). And the professor who teaches “Lawyering Process,” a class that should teach the students critical writing skills to be used in practice, was so ineffective that at the end of the school year, she was heatedly confronted by a guest judge at a “mock trial” after students continually presented weak & incorrectly written arguments/briefs. In addition, how could someone (particularly the lawyering process professor) become head of the department, when she has never taught before, has had her BARR revoked, & has only been with TSU for a very short time? Once again, there doesn’t need to be logic & any type of protocol involved in her step up the ladder. Of course, it’s based on who she knows. There is no integrity to uphold in this law school program when even the students are pessimistic about their future as graduates from a school with such a reputation.

It is disappointing to watch students in the top percentages of the class consider withdrawing from TSU to lose a year & start over at another law school just because they have no desire for any affiliation with TSU’s name in the future. The few professors that have actually been reported by students to have made a positive impact on their education, are distraught & leaving for better jobs. What is left for this school besides the hopelessly hopeful students who will fall behind others who obtain their J.D. from a different school? Nothing? …probably.

Now what’s most infuriating is that this has been going on for years & nobody has been able to bring it to the attention of someone with the authority to make it an official issue desperately seeking changes. Sure, everyone can bitch about it all they want in the student evaluations at the end of the school year, but what good does that do? The same professors have been getting slammed year after year about their teaching modalities & still, nothing has changed.

What I need your help on is… who do you go to, when the people “behind-the-scenes” are potentially involved & when the dean of the law school is not exactly a reliable person to attend to this matter? And who has the authority to help, who would not be culturally/racially biased? Accreditation? the BARR? But how should something like this be approached with them?

tsu2011
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby tsu2011 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:06 pm

what is the name of the Lawyering Process teacher you are referring to? Kelsaw or Hill? I go to TSU and ABSOLUTELY AGREE with you on how terrible the lawyering process class is there as well as the bogus section curve system they have.

Also, is there a website you can go to to find out if a lawyer had their license revoked? How did you find out that the teacher you are referring to had her license revoked?

signed,
concerned TMSL 1L

H3Bearkat
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:29 pm

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby H3Bearkat » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:41 pm

Just found out I've been accepted for Fall 09'. I'd like to visit with someone on what to expect, etc. Has anyone else been accepted for the class of 2012?

yeehaayall
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:33 am

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby yeehaayall » Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:08 am

Pros:
-ridiculously inexpensive tuition
-a few REALLY down to earth and helpful peers/professors
-a few amazingly intelligent and accomplished professors
-will teach you how to research the old fashioned way (books not Lexis or Westlaw)
-Houston cost of living is WAY below the national average (gas is always cheaper too)
-the school WILL teach you to be a better advocate for yourself and others through a constant critical eye from others
-generally nice building and facilities

Cons:
-terribly disorganized administration
-insanely cutthroat students, depending on which section you get (cutthroat being a kind term)
-some professors biased b/c of race
-some employers/other law students biased because of school reputation
-some incompetent professors
-kind of a bad location in town (happy to report no personal incidents yet!)
-ridiculously low bar passage rate (year after year after year)
-brutal grading curve (you will get at least 16 different explanations on how it works at the school)

if i think of others i will let you know. generally try and get into a school with a bit of a better rep. If you
decide to go and survive the curve, network your @$$ off and pass the bar. After all, a JD is a JD is a JD.

Thats all i can say for now. Hope this helps.

(The '07 post from above is a bit inaccurate: they do have online registration now, and the other post is a bit misinformed as well: prof Hill was still teaching at UCLA when the 07 post was written to which they replied to. This is a general theme among some students to cry about something w/o checking into facts beforehand. Just so you know.)

yuhsien
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby yuhsien » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:04 pm

when should 1Ls expect to receive information about orientation/financial aid?

H3Bearkat
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:29 pm

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby H3Bearkat » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:36 pm

Well...I enjoyed it while it lasted. I had a great year with a great section. Sadly I fell victim to the curve :( in one class I had a 90.41 and in another an 84 and they both curved to C's. I feel very confused and embarrassed. Where do i go from here? I learned so much and now I have no where to go to school. The good thing is I won three scholarships during the year and a great internship at a north Texas public interest firm...I hope to start school somewhere new in the fall.

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Grad_Student
Posts: 367
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:20 am

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby Grad_Student » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:47 pm

H3Bearkat wrote:Well...I enjoyed it while it lasted. I had a great year with a great section. Sadly I fell victim to the curve :( in one class I had a 90.41 and in another an 84 and they both curved to C's. I feel very confused and embarrassed. Where do i go from here? I learned so much and now I have no where to go to school. The good thing is I won three scholarships during the year and a great internship at a north Texas public interest firm...I hope to start school somewhere new in the fall.

Hey Bearkat, sorry to hear that. By falling victim to the curve, does that mean you were cut from school? Does the school have a re-admittance program?

imacpa
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:49 pm

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby imacpa » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:45 pm

H3Bearkat wrote:Well...I enjoyed it while it lasted. I had a great year with a great section. Sadly I fell victim to the curve :( in one class I had a 90.41 and in another an 84 and they both curved to C's. I feel very confused and embarrassed. Where do i go from here? I learned so much and now I have no where to go to school. The good thing is I won three scholarships during the year and a great internship at a north Texas public interest firm...I hope to start school somewhere new in the fall.


Sorry to hear about your experience. I was also a former student there many years ago and the same thing happened to me. I managed to get back into law school years later (at a different school and just finished my 1L year successfully). Getting back in is a bit tougher but it can be done. There's nothing to be ashamed of. Hit me up with a PM if you want to talk further.

yeehaayall
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:33 am

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby yeehaayall » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:54 pm

To Bearkat. Look. There is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. You can't say you didn't try it. To be honest with you I think the school might have done you a favor, with the job market the way it is (and it showing no signs of improving), coupled with the terrible reputation that the school has. It's better to be the amount of money youv'e spent so far in debt, than to keep adding to it. Although the school is making some changes, they are slow going and will take years to reverse the rep that it has. Wait a while, re-apply and try for a school w/ a better reputation. As a student at the school about to enter their 3L year, take what I am saying seriously. Sadly most of realize what we should've done, long after it has already happened. Like I said, don't feel ashamed, regroup, and try again if law is truly your passion. At least if you do get back into TSU you'll know which pitfalls and mistakes to avoid. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

anon1807
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby anon1807 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:52 pm

Well, some of these posts are really old (2007). I'm currently a 3L at Thurgood Marshall; so I'll add my bit. There's no doubt that TMSL doesn't have a great rep. - alot of that is due to its traditionally low bar passage rates. The bar passage rates reflect (positively & negatively) on the school to a large degree. However, there has been some improvements in this regard in the last couple of years which is worth noting: TMSL's bar passage rate in July 2008 (1st time takers) was 59.71%, July 2007 = 65.32%, July 2006 = 56.56%, July 2005 = 59.38%, etc. (Not good.) But the rate in July 2009 was 71.11%, July 2010 was 75.76%, and Feb. 2011 was 76.47%. So, there's signs of improvement. But it will probably take many years of improvement on the bar passage rates for the overall rep. to improve. TMSL is still last of the 9 schools in Texas in its bar passage rates but only about 3% away from St. Mary's and Texas Wesleyan. Unless you're in the top 5% or 10% of your class, it will be really hard to get a job with "BigLaw" - but I believe you can still find a job upon graduation. There are plenty of TMSL alums working in law. Whatever the case may be, you're going to have to work hard during and after law school to find your job and prove to your employer that you can do the job just as good as anyone from the fancy schools. It's totally do-able to be employed after graduation from TMSL. Even though TMSL has its drawbacks, the reasons why I like the school are: (1) the low cost of tuition, and (2) the full tuition scholarship i was offered for my 2nd year because i got above a 3.0. (the scholarship is lowered to half-tuition for the 3rd year if you stay above 3.0)., and (3) I also like the diversity at the school (I'm white).

merc280
Posts: 627
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:52 am

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby merc280 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:59 pm

anon1807 wrote:Well, some of these posts are really old (2007). I'm currently a 3L at Thurgood Marshall; so I'll add my bit. There's no doubt that TMSL doesn't have a great rep. - alot of that is due to its traditionally low bar passage rates. The bar passage rates reflect (positively & negatively) on the school to a large degree. However, there has been some improvements in this regard in the last couple of years which is worth noting: TMSL's bar passage rate in July 2008 (1st time takers) was 59.71%, July 2007 = 65.32%, July 2006 = 56.56%, July 2005 = 59.38%, etc. (Not good.) But the rate in July 2009 was 71.11%, July 2010 was 75.76%, and Feb. 2011 was 76.47%. So, there's signs of improvement. But it will probably take many years of improvement on the bar passage rates for the overall rep. to improve. TMSL is still last of the 9 schools in Texas in its bar passage rates but only about 3% away from St. Mary's and Texas Wesleyan. Unless you're in the top 5% or 10% of your class, it will be really hard to get a job with "BigLaw" - but I believe you can still find a job upon graduation. There are plenty of TMSL alums working in law. Whatever the case may be, you're going to have to work hard during and after law school to find your job and prove to your employer that you can do the job just as good as anyone from the fancy schools. It's totally do-able to be employed after graduation from TMSL. Even though TMSL has its drawbacks, the reasons why I like the school are: (1) the low cost of tuition, and (2) the full tuition scholarship i was offered for my 2nd year because i got above a 3.0. (the scholarship is lowered to half-tuition for the 3rd year if you stay above 3.0)., and (3) I also like the diversity at the school (I'm white).


have you been able to get a decent job last summer?

jc3971
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby jc3971 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:37 am

Well...I enjoyed it while it lasted. I had a great year with a great section. Sadly I fell victim to the curve in one class I had a 90.41 and in another an 84 and they both curved to C's. I feel very confused and embarrassed. Where do i go from here? I learned so much and now I have no where to go to school. The good thing is I won three scholarships during the year and a great internship at a north Texas public interest firm...I hope to start school somewhere new in the fall.



This happened to me due to the irrational and unfair section/curve system installed at this school. Our section ranked the lowest of the 4 sections (mostly due to the fact that half of our professors were visiting professors and did NOT receive the comprehensive exam until the end of April). One of those visiting professors was terrible and the school knew this. . . it smells of laziness and no due diligence.

That prof is jumping from one law school to the next and leaving a trail of destruction behind. TSU was this prof's THIRD law school in THREE years. Because of this prof, our section lost MANY people. The other 3 sections only lost maybe 1 or 2. So this system with dividing us into 4 sections is severely flawed. It's true that if you're stuck in a bad section, you BETTER be at the top in your section to survive.

All of us who curved out AND those who lost scholarships/money because of this professor petitioned for a review of our grades in this class and the dean/academic standards committee denied ALL of us. (Note: we all filed petitions back in May/June and did not hear from ANYONE until one week BEFORE the next Fall semester started in August)

(Also Note: our section of 52 students filed numerous complaints officially and unofficially against this professor and nothing was done about it until she was let go in late April. Not only that, this prof taught a 2L course and she received complaints from that class as well!) When all of us ask to see our exams to review the accuracy of our grades, the school will not let us . . . and we STILL have not been given the opportunity to see our final exams and review it. Essentially they denied us any access to these exams. Wonder why?


Not sure what to do now. We are officially branded. No other law school will want to take us (especially UH and South TX) if they know were "dismissed" from TSU.

dipedric
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:55 am

Re: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Postby dipedric » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:20 pm

Always make sure you check with your preferred school early, they could really establish some classes or specific areas you can focus on when preparing the undergraduate level.




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