Baylor Law School

Baylor Law School is the oldest law school in Texas. Baylor Law School is affiliated with Baylor University and located in Waco, Texas. The school has been accredited by the American Bar Association since 1931, and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1938. The program offers training in all facets of law, including theoretical analysis, practical application, legal writing, advocacy, professional responsibility, and negotiation and counseling skills.

Established in 1849, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,000 living alumni. Among alumni of the school are two Texas governors, members or former members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Baylor Law School is ranked No. 51 in the magazine's 2012 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." Above the Law ranked Baylor Law School at No. 32 in 2016.

In 2016, Baylor secured the top overall job placement rate for the state of Texas, tied with one other school. Other statistics show:

• 92.6 percent of the class members were employed as of March 15, 2016, which represents a 7.6 percent increase compared to 2014.

• 85 percent of graduates are employed in full-time, long-term positions that require a bar license or prefer a J.D. degree, an 18 percent jump.

• As noted by The Texas Lawbook, Baylor also fared the best in job placements for lawyer-only positions (bar passage required), placing nearly 82 percent of its 2015 graduates in such positions.

• Baylor Law School graduates garnered higher salaries this year, averaging $82,146 in 2015.

Baylor University School of Law
Baylor Law School logo
Established 1849 (original), 1920 (re-establishment)
School type Private
Dean Bradley J.B. Toben
Location Waco, Texas, U.S.
Enrollment 381 [1]
Faculty 28 (full-time)[1]
USNWR ranking

No. 50 (2019) [2]

No. 32 Above the Law


Baylor Law School at Dusk
Baylor Law School at dusk.

Baylor originally established the law school in 1849; at that time it was the second law school established west of the Mississippi. Law classes continued until 1883 when the school was discontinued. In 1920, the Board of Trustees reestablished the law school (called the Law Department at that time) under the direction of Dean Allen G. Flowers. The school was temporarily suspended from 1943–1946 as a result of World War II. Bradley J.B. Toben currently serves as Dean of the Law School.


Baylor University School of Law
Baylor Law School on the banks of the Brazos River.

Unlike the rest of Baylor's programs, the Baylor Law School operates on a quarter system; a student may begin classes in either February (spring quarter), May (summer quarter), or August (fall quarter). The Law School also has four graduating classes per year (coinciding with the end of each quarter including the winter quarter). Each matriculate class has a separate application pool, and applicants are required to apply to the quarter in which they would like to begin (if a student wants to be considered for admission in different quarters a separate application package is required for each).

A typical academic year consists of three quarters, with students choosing to take off the fourth quarter of the year to complete a clerkship or internship. However, students may elect to complete the program in only 27 months by attending every quarter.

  • First-year students are required to take 13 mandatory courses (41 credit hours) with no electives permitted. The required courses are in appellate advocacy and procedure; basic taxation principles for lawyers; civil procedure; contracts (I and II); criminal law; criminal procedure; legal analysis, research and communication (LARC, I and II), legislation, administrative power and procedure (LAPP); property (I and II); and torts (I and II).[3]
  • The second-year program consists of a mix of mandatory and elective courses. The four mandatory classes (which must be taken in the student's fourth and fifth quarters) are business organization (I), constitutional law, remedies, and trust and estates (I). At this point students can choose to concentrate in one of nine specialized areas of law (administrative practice, business litigation, business transactions, criminal practice, estate planning, general civil litigation, healthcare law, intellectual property, and real estate and natural resources), though a concentration is not required for graduation.[3]
  • The third-year program consists primarily of the School's Practice Court Program. Practice Court traces its roots to the original School, and was returned in 1922 shortly after the School was reinstituted. Though Practice Court is designed primarily for students who will practice law before the courts; it is mandatory for all students. Practice Court consists of four classes. The first three classes (Professional Responsibility, Practice Court I: Pre-Trial Practice and Procedure, and Practice Court II: Trial Evidence, Procedure, and Practice) must be taken as a package within a quarter (and students cannot be enrolled in any other courses during that quarter); Practice Court III: Trial and Post-Trial Practice, Procedure, and Evidence must be taken immediately thereafter in the following quarter (and though students may take electives, any elective cannot be in a class scheduled after 2:15 pm).[3] The Practice Court program covers not only mock trials but all aspects of the law and procedure process from pre-trial preparation to post-verdict motions.[4]

In addition to the standard Juris Doctor degree, Baylor Law students can obtain a combined JD with either the Master of Business Administration (both traditional and with an emphasis in healthcare administration), the Master of Taxation, the Master of Public Policy and Administration, or the Master of Divinity degree.


According to Baylor's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 67.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[5] Baylor's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 17%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[6]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Baylor for the 2013-2014 academic year is $69,113.[7] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $262,761.[8]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b "Baylor University School of Law, ABA Law School Data" (PDF). LSAC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  2. ^ "U.S. News & World Report, Rankings – Best Law Schools". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Employment Statistics" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Baylor's LST Profile".
  7. ^ "Baylor Cost of Attendance".
  8. ^ "Baylor's LST Profile".
  9. ^ "Phillip Benjamin Baldwin". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Charles Barrow". Baylor University Waco, Texas. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Beau Boulter". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Bob Bullock". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Tim Curry". Justia. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Leonard Davis". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Jack Fields". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Sidney A. Fitzwater". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Louie Gohmert". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Sam B. Hall". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Andrew S. Hanen". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Morris Harrell, 80, an Influential Texas Lawyer". New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  21. ^ Vertuno, Jim (2014-04-23). "Former AP reporter Robert Heard dies at age 84". Associated Press. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
  22. ^ "Jack English Hightower". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  23. ^ "Bryan Hughes". Texas House of Representatives. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  24. ^ "Rep. Kleinschmidt, Tim (District 17)". Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  25. ^ "Tryon D. Lewis". Texas House of Representatives. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  26. ^ "Dr. Rod Martin to Speak at 2015 Commencement". Hannibal LaGrange University. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  27. ^ "Priscilla Owen". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  28. ^ "William R. Poage". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  29. ^ "Purcell, Graham Boynton, Jr". Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  30. ^ "J. T. Rutherford". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  31. ^ "Max Sandlin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  32. ^ "Byron M. Tunnell". Texas Politics. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  33. ^ "Kirk Watson". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  34. ^ "John Eddie Williams Makes Significant Gift to New Baylor Football Stadium". Baylor Media Communications.
  35. ^ "WILSON, Joseph Franklin - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2015-06-08.

External links

Coordinates: 31°33′16″N 97°06′55″W / 31.5545°N 97.1154°W

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