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The University of Tulsa College of Law advanced 13 spots compared to last year in a nation-wide ranking of law schools in the 2012 edition of U.S. News and World Report's "Best Graduate Schools." TU is ranked 110 out of 188 schools. This year's jump comes on the heels of a 24-spot improvement in last year's ranking, making an increase of 37 places over two years.
"I am proud of the continuing progress the rankings reflect," said Janet Levit, Dean and Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair of the TU College of Law. "Support from the TU administration and the hard work of law students, faculty, and staff are paying off in the form of an enhanced reputation for the college and practice-ready graduates prepared to serve the community."
A breakdown of the areas used to compile the rankings shows an increase in the reputational assessment of lawyers and judges and improvements in the LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of TU's 2010 first-year students. TU also scored better in the categories of acceptance rate, student/faculty ratio, and the percentage of graduates employed nine months after graduation.
For more information visit the TU College of Law website.
In a period when law school student applications are down nationwide, applications at the TU College of Law have held steady. In March, TU was one of only 27 law schools nationwide showing an increase in applications compared to the same time in 2010.
Throughout March, TU had intermittent increases up to 3 percent. The majority of law schools are showing a decrease of 10 to 40 percent. While the exact number changes from day to day, nationwide applications for all U.S. law schools are down approximately 10 percent.
Law students at the TU College of Law's Boesche Legal Clinic, under the leadership of Professor Elizabeth McCormick, continue to produce meaningful, real world results for clients seeking help through the Immigrant Rights Project, by which non-citizens receive legal assistance in immigration matters.
Law students Meghan King, Lindsey Christopher, Eric Reynolds, Pedro Mari, Amy Gioletti, Lenora Gulley, Hans Lehr, and Matt Williams have recently seen their hard work pay off for their clients. A Pakistani human rights worker targeted by the Taliban has been granted asylum. Two Mexican victims of violent crimes were granted U Visas, a special visa for crime victims who provide assistance to law enforcement, enabling the clients to remain in the United States. And a Mexican client was granted relief under the Violence Against Women Act, saving her years of delay waiting for an immigrant visa and putting her on the path to becoming a U.S. citizen.
A great amount of work – meeting with clients, interviewing witnesses, conducting fact investigation and legal research, and representation of clients at interviews and hearings – by these students has resulted in opportunities for better lives for their clients. In the process, these students have gained valuable experience that will serve them well in their professional lives.
Meghan King, 3L at the TU College of Law, recently earned a clerkship with the Connecticut Superior Court, the state trial court of general jurisdiction. The clerkship will last one year, and the starting time for the clerkship is flexible, though she will likely start in the fall of 2011.
The main office is based in New Haven, but King can choose to live anywhere in Connecticut. She and other clerks will receive assignments from various judges. She obtained the clerkship by applying online, then following up with a trip to a career fair in Washington, D.C. "I'm really hoping to strengthen my legal research and writing skills," King said. "It's also a great opportunity to work with judges and develop mentoring relationships."
King has worked at the Boesche Legal Clinic while at TU and has a strong interest in public interest law. "I see this as a way to get the experience and skills I will need to effectively advocate for my future clients."
The Honorable Thomas Phillips, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, recently taught TU College of Law Professor Robert Butkin's State Administrative Law class. Phillips was Chief Justice from 1988 to 2004. He is now a partner with the law firm of Baker Botts, LLP, in Austin, Texas.
While serving as Chief Justice, Phillips wrote the majority opinion in Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation v. Lewellen, a landmark case involving the delegation of state legislative powers to private entities. He discussed the case in Butkin's class and spoke generally about appellate review of administrative decisions.
Three experts in the field of Iraqi oil and gas law joined Rex Zedalis, Phyllis Hurley Frey Professor at the TU College of Law, in February at TU for a workshop to advance knowledge in this area.
Zedalis is the author of two books on the subject – Claims Against Iraqi Oil and Gas: Legal Considerations and Lessons Learned and The Legal Dimensions of Oil and Gas Law in Iraq: Current Realities and Future Prospects – and is working on a third.
Joining Zedalis were Owen Anderson, the Eugene Kuntz Chair in Oil, Gas & Natural Resources at the University of Oklahoma College of Law; Haider Hamoudi, Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a former legal consultant to the Iraqi Government; and John Lowe, the George Hutchison Professor of Energy Law and Associate Dean at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
The workshop focused on the issue of federalism and oil and gas, primarily the relationship between the central government and the sub-central governmental units. They also examined the nature of existing oil and gas development agreements and prospects for the future.
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