Professional Tracks & Special Distinctions for J.D. Students
Baylor Law offers fifteen Professional Tracks of Study and give Special Distinctions. These tracks and distinctions provide students with the opportunity to focus their studies based on interest and career goals.
Students are not required to complete a professional track or special distinction, but are encouraged to do so. Students interested in one or more areas of study should see one of the designated faculty members for additional information about the benefits of pursuing the completion of a track or special distinction. Planning needs to begin as early in law school as possible to avoid potential scheduling conflicts.
Professional tracks of study will not be noted on the law school transcript. Special Distinctions will be noted on the transcript after completion.
Students who elect to pursue a track must complete the Intent to Pursue Professional Track or Special Designation
form and submit it to the Law School Registrar.
The Professional Tracks are as follows:
- Administrative Practice: Administrative regulation at the state and federal level has grown into a massive patchwork of more than 400 Texas and federal agencies. This professional track is designed to provide students with a broad-based exposure to the concepts, topics and skills that are vital to practitioners who work for or before governmental agencies.
- Business Litigation: As commercial transactions and business operations become more complex, so do the disputes between the parties. Students interested in a career of litigating business or commercial lawsuits may pursue the Business Litigation Professional Track.
- Business Planning: The Business Planning Professional Track builds upon concepts taught in Business Organizations 1 and Taxation & Accounting Principles for Lawyers, providing students with an understanding of fundamental issues business attorneys regularly face, including basic tax treatment of various business entities and basic analysis and planning in the organization and operation of a business.
- Commercial Law: The Commercial Law Track equips students with the expertise and skills necessary to address the many and varied problems that can arise as part of the day-to-day activities of operating a business - especially smaller owner/family-operated businesses engaged in selling products or providing services.
- Criminal Practice: The Criminal Practice Professional Track is designed to provide students with a broad exposure to concepts, topics, and skills vital to criminal practitioners. Choosing this professional track provides students with a firm foundation for beginning a career in criminal law.
- Estate Planning: The Estate Planning Professional Track is designed to give students a well-rounded legal education with focused study in the areas of trusts, estates, and estate planning and administration, so students can begin their careers with a fundamental understanding of the major aspects of estate planning and probate procedure.
- Family Law Practice: Families, in all their varied forms, continue to be the cornerstone of American society. As such, family law generates a large volume of legal work from a wide array of clients who need high-quality representation. The Family Law Practice Professional Track exists to provide the practical foundation for developing a practice in this area of the law.
- Fiduciary Litigation: Fiduciary litigation is a significant and growing field of litigation that cuts across varying categories of litigated matters, including business disputes, estate and trust disputes, family law disputes, and disputes in numerous other substantive legal areas. Because fiduciary obligations arise in multiple ways, and because the existence of fiduciary duties can radically reshape the dynamics of litigation, fiduciary litigation has grown into its own specialization.
- General Civil Litigation: The General Civil Litigation Professional Track provides students interested in litigation, whether as general civil practitioners or as lawyers specializing in a particular type of litigation, with a solid foundation in the procedural law necessary for any type of litigation practice.
- Healthcare Law: The Healthcare Law Professional Track provides appropriate background courses and necessary specialized healthcare law classes, including clinical experience, for students interested in the field of healthcare law.
- Intellectual Property: The Intellectual Property Professional Track is designed to introduce students to the major substantive areas of intellectual property law likely to be encountered in a practice. Intellectual property is one of the fastest growing practice areas globally. With the growth of e-commerce and the advent of new technologies, attorneys in a wide range of practices encounter questions that require basic knowledge of intellectual property law.
- Intellectual Property Litigation: Intellectual property litigation is one of the most active trial specialties in the nation, and especially so in Texas. Students with a strong science or engineering background are particularly encouraged to consider this field.
- Personal Injury Litigation: Personal injury litigation continues to be a mainstay of active trial dockets. Of all the various categories of civil litigation court cases filed, personal injury and wrongful death cases constitute one of the categories most likely to be tried to a jury, and it is one of the categories most likely to be encountered by individual clients.
- Public Interest Law: Students who are interested in pursuing public service careers, or who plan to make pro bono work a meaningful part of their practice, should consider pursuing a Public Interest Law professional track.
- Real Estate & Natural Resources: The Real Estate and Natural Resources Professional Track is designed to provide students with a basic foundation in real property matters, including environmental concerns and land use planning, both public and private.