Baylor Law School Grabs Top Spot In Texas Lawyer Survey

Sept. 12, 2003

by Alan Hunt

Baylor Law School was ranked number 1 in a Texas Lawyer survey of law students who were asked to grade their law schools.

The survey, reported in the Sept. 8 issue of the publication, covered such categories as instruction quality, preparation for practice, technology, library services, placement operations, and school collegiality. The 1,178 students from eight Texas law schools who participated in the survey also were asked about other areas, including how competitive their schools are and how accessible faculty members are to students - although these scores were not used in determining a school's overall score and ranking.

Baylor Law School topped the survey with an overall score of 4.25. Texas Lawyer said Baylor received its highest scores in how well its students believe the school prepared them for the practice of law (4.67 out of a possible 5) and in library services (4.54).

The publication quoted one Baylor law student as saying, "I love my school. Baylor really is the boot camp of law schools, but I feel that the challenges I've faced here will make me more prepared than students from other schools." Texas Lawyer referred to the school's pride in an earlier Princeton Review description of Baylor Law School as the Marine Corps of law schools.

Texas Lawyer said Baylor took first place in the technology category with a score of 4.46 and the publication pointed out that "Baylor shelled out $33.3 million" for the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center which features a high-tech library and 1,600 seats wired with power and data ports.

Baylor also placed second in the Placement Office category with a score of 3.49; second in the Quality of Instruction category (4.30); and third in the Collegiality category (4.04). The school also placed first in the Competitiveness category with a score of 4.00 and in third place (4.49) in the Faculty Accessibility category, but scores from these two categories were not used to determine the schools' overall scores.

Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben expressed his "enormous pride" in the survey published by Texas Lawyer, which he described as a "well known weekly statewide professional publication." He added, "The article is very complimentary and highly affirming -- especially with the story 'coming' from our most important constituency -- our students. We're proud to have a rigorous program. That shows we have a program that reflects what the realities of practice are really like."

Paying tribute to the faculty and staff at the Law School, he said they "form the frontline" and work as a tight knit team in the preparation of each student for "this unique and demanding profession."

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