Texas A&M University School of Law
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, originally Dallas/Fort Worth School of Law, was founded in 1989 and moved to Forth Worth in 1997. The law school, while relatively young, boasts many student organizations and over 2,000 alumni working throughout the Dallas/Forth Worth area. It seeks to train students by "providing a strong theoretical foundation and the practical skills necessary to traverse the dynamic legal landscape of the 21st Century."
Admissions & tuition
In 2009, matriculating full-time students at Texas Wesleyan had a median LSAT of 153 and a median GPA of 3.21. Matriculating part-time students had a median LSAT of 152 and a median GPA of 3.03. Texas Wesleyan, in 2009, admitted 47.1 percent of its 1,606 full-time applicants and 30.9 percent of its 371 part-time applicants. Of the 872 people admitted, 233 enrolled. Current students say the admissions process focused on the applicant's LSAT score, GPA and personal statement. Because scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, it is prudent to apply as soon as possible.
Texas Wesleyan is a private school, so tuition does not vary by state of residency. For a full-time student, the cost comes to $26,000 for the academic year, while a part-time student pays $18,650. Texas Wesleyan, in 2009, offered about 44 percent of its full-time students and about 40 percent of its part-time students some form of grant aid. The median amount of grant aid was $7,500 per full-time recipient and $5,000 per part-time recipient. While this aid is generous, the average graduate in 2009 had $82,913 in debt. Texas Wesleyan does not offer its students a loan repayment assistance program.
The law school typically teaches its first-years in sections of 95 students. The law school has 47 teaching faculty members and a high student-to-faculty ratio of 24.3 to 1. 1Ls at Texas Wesleyan all take the same courses, including civil procedure, legal writing, contracts, property, torts and criminal law. Professors are described as highly knowledgeable and helpful. Students describe the workload as intense and the grading curve as harsh. Due to these factors, academic attrition after the first year is approximately 7 percent, though this number is respectable for a tier 4 school.
Quality of life
There is no exclusive on-campus housing for law students, but students may live in undergraduate housing and off campus, throughout Fort Worth. Students say the facilities at Texas Wesleyan are great, citing a newly renovated library and wireless Internet access throughout campus. Students also seem to enjoy Fort Worth's unique amenities. Whether it's because of the theater, restaurants, bars, shopping or pleasant weather, Fort Worth seems to offer a perfect blend of big city appeal and small town comfort.
Employment prospects & bar passage
In 2008, about 76 percent of Texas Wesleyan law students were known to be employed within nine months of graduation. Of those, 89 percent were working in the state of Texas, earning a median amount of $61,000 in the private sector and $50,000 in the public sector. Students say there are plenty of employment opportunities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and that the career services department is actively forming relationships with Texas-area employers. The top Texas law firms only recruit from the top 5 percent of the class, so if a big law firm is your goal, you will certainly have your work cut out for you.
Recently, Texas Wesleyan students passed the Texas state bar at an average rate of 77.6 percent, roughly 7 percentage points lower than Texas' overall bar passage rate. By this standard, Texas Wesleyan still has quite a way to go to distinguish itself.
While the school is relatively new and has a Tier 4 ranking, Texas Wesleyan offers average tuition rates, below average bar preparation and solid employment statistics for graduates in Texas. The average debt is par for the course for law students, but that is hardly a good thing these days. If you want to live and study in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, however, Texas Wesleyan can be an acceptable choice.
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: Tier 4
LSAT Median: 153 (FT), 152 (PT)
GPA Median: 3.21 (FT), 3.03 (PT)
Application Deadline: March 31
Application fee: $55
Entering class size: 170 (FT), 63 (PT)
Yearly Tuition: $26,000 (FT), $18,650 (PT)
Bar passage rate in Texas 77.8%:
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 76%
Median private sector salary: $61,000