University of Texas School of Law

727 East Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705 | Google Map

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Founded 1883 | ABA Accredited 1923

Established in 1883, The University of Texas at Austin School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the nation. Located in Austin, Texas, the school is consistently ranked among the top 20 schools in the U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings. Its location in the capital of Texas provides its students easy access to valuable resources such as the state's legislative offices, federal and state courts, and a number of governmental agencies.

Despite being a public law school -- up to 65% of its admitted students are Texas residents -- The University of Texas is a national law school, respected for its high standards of academic excellence and teaching quality. It is this strong reputation that allows the Law School to attract some of the best and brightest students from outside of Texas. The training received and the courses offered at UT Law provide students the necessary legal education for practicing in any part of the U.S. or the world.

The Law School is housed in three connected buildings: the original Townes Hall, with administrative offices and large and small classrooms; the Connally Center for Justice, with clinical facilities and faculty offices; and Jones Hall, with the renovated Tarlton Law Library and newly-constructed Susman Academic Center. The Tarlton Law Library in the Joseph D. Jamail Center for Legal Research is one of the leading academic law libraries in the United States.

An emphasis on education has made Austin one of the most highly educated cities in the nation. Situated on the banks of the Colorado River, Austin is an eclectic, vibrant city of 1.7 million people, noted for its politics, rolling hills, technology, live music and high-profile cultural festivals, sun shining 228 days of the year, abundant restaurant scene, and even natural grocery stores.

NOTABLE ALUMNI

Bryan Garner, Editor-in-Chief of Black's Law Dictionary Mike Godwin, First attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and current General Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation James Addison Baker III, Former Secretary of State Mike Sims, President, BarBri Bar Review Sarah Weddington, Represented Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade

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Rankings

POLL OF POLLS#16

SELECTIVITY RANK#20

About Rankings Data

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Monica Ingram

BETTER KNOW A DEAN

"I'm frustrated by the desire or the need to have cookie cutter law schools. They're supposed to be different. Law schools have different..." - Monica Ingram - Asst. Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid, UTexas Law

September 10, 2009 \ This is the second installment of our 224 part series, Better Know A Dean. Today we posted our interview with Monica Ingram, Assistant Dean for Admissions & Financial Aid, from UTexas Law -- The Fightin' UTexas Law's!

Dean Ingram knows what it takes to be a UT Law student because she graduated there in 1998. After graduation, Dean Ingram practiced public education law. She worked as a staff attorney in the Investigations and Enforcement Department of the Texas State Board for Educator Certification, which is the licensing agency for Texas teachers. She then served as a staff attorney representing the Texas Association of School Boards -- a non-profit organization that provides legal services to school board members across the state. She has also served as President of the Austin Black Lawyers Association. Dean Ingram returned to UT Law in 2002, when she was named assistant dean for admissions and financial aid.

Dean Ingram, I truly appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today.

AD As a UT Law alum and now its Admission Dean, what has changed since you attended UT as a student and what remains timeless?
MI I attended law school here from '95 to '98. One of the biggest differences is the size. My incoming class was 500. Now we hope to keep class sizes around 400, and last year's entering class was 388. The percentage of resident to non-resident students is higher. Today, we are allowed to have up to 35% non-residents, however, when I attended–I'm not from Texas originally– non-residents were limited to 20%. We took a look at where our Texas resident students are receiving their education, and almost 60% of our resident student population has received their undergraduate degree outside of the state of Texas. All of those influences make for a very interesting dynamic. The cost of legal education is also a big difference.

What's timeless is our culture. It remains the same. It's still a wonderful educational environment to attend law school. For all of the stress that's associated with legal education, UT Law still has a “laid-back”, comfortable atmosphere with great professors. Teaching excellence was a premium at the time that I attended and it is still considered to be now. The explosion in the number of our clinical programs and other experiential opportunities that students have are just phenomenal. I'm always excited about the opportunities that our students currently have.

AD How would you describe the ideal candidate for UT Law?
MI The ideal candidate for UT is probably similar to what most other law schools desire, regardless of rank or tier. We want really bright and exceptional students. We are very fortunate to have students who are not only very smart -- no matter how you measure that, either by IQ or standardized tests -- but also with varied personal experiences. They're pretty dog-gone diverse and they really like to be involved in the greater community. They're not necessarily all public service-oriented, but their personal commitments and experiences span the spectrum from humanitarian interests to politics. Many are politically active which may be a benefit of being located in the capital of one of the largest states in the country. Political interest, community interest, and advocacy are all encompassed within our students' experiences. Many of our students have already sowed those seeds before coming to law school. A lot of our students are furthering their own personal commitments by going to law school, as opposed to going to law school and discovering themselves and then proceeding on a path of personal enrichment or development.
AD Do you think that comes from accepting more mature students, non-traditional students, or do you find the same commitment to that cause for somebody who just graduated from college?
MI I think it's partly generational. I think it's a generation of young people, and not necessarily young by age, but young people who realize that there's a lot more that they can do with their time on earth. They don't really accept a linear career path, which is something that our parents and grandparents had. It's what society reinforced, and you were irresponsible if you didn't pursue it. They see it completely differently, and being in the greater community of Austin there are a lot of organizations that allow for that type of desire and ability to be fostered. And so it's a really good outlet for , be it in terms of environmental preservation, more humanitarian interests, family interests, gender, race, or ethnicity issues. If it is political orientation or political exposure, this is just a wonderful community for these outlets.
AD What does living in Austin, TX add to the UT Law experience?
MI It's funny, Austin is a greater community of roughly a million people. It's a wonderful juncture. It has the most educated jury pool in the state of Texas. We certainly have a wealth of universities in addition to The University of Texas, but because of the University and it's influence and it's diverse and dynamic faculty and the people who support its programs and centers, there's a natural relationship between UT and the high tech and private industries in the greater community. Plus, there's a growing film and entertainment industry that's here.

One description of Austin is that it is at once the least Texan of cities and the most Texan of cities. It's still very much the South, and in a lot of respects, very gracious and very hospitable. We put a high premium on our interrelations with other people and being comfortable and being welcoming. But Austin also has a little bit of Californian and New York influences. Austin has an openness and exposure to new ideas, which we tend to think about when we also talk about how green the city is. We tend to think more about California in terms of overall diversity, and New York in terms of ethnicity and culture. So it has all those things and it makes for a very interesting mix.

Austin's also got a great main drag too, with a lot of good restaurants and all the students tell me: “You have to go to some of the bars downtown!” We eat really well in Austin. Be it sushi, Tex Mex, interior Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai… and of course there is a little bit of soul food, a little bit of “down home” cooking, not to mention barbeque, we have a little bit of everything.
 

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