Academic Catalog 2022-2023

Juris Doctorate, JD

Admissions Overview

 Please ensure you complete all items on the application prior to submission so that review of your application is not delayed.

Please complete the appropriate application:

J.D. Applicants  - who have never attended any law school, complete application titled, (J.D.1).

J.D.2 - Applicants who have previously attended a law school (academically ineligible to continue, students applying to transfer and Visiting Students), complete application titled, (J.D.2). To be considered for admission, a student who has been previously disqualified from any law school must have been separated from that law school for a period of one year from the date they were advised of their disqualification to the start date of the fall semester for which they are applying (one academic year).

International Applicants JD & LLM

All international applicants must take either the TOEFL or IELTS English proficiency test if their first language is not English or their instruction (undergraduate or law) was not in English.

All international applicants must register for LSAC’s International Authentication and Evaluation Service  and submit all transcripts for evaluation by that Service.

Critical Dates for Application

Applications become available on September 1 and may be submitted up to August 1.  We suggest, because we make decisions on a “rolling basis”, that you apply as early in the process as possible.  You may submit your application prior to taking the LSAT, however it will not be considered complete, and ready for review until the CAS report is on file with transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, LSAT score, writing sample and letters of recommendation.  Please see the application process for prior law school applicants, transfer and visiting, and LLM applicants for a list of required documents. First-time J.D. candidates who apply by April 1st will receive priority consideration for scholarship awards.


1. Application for Admission

You should complete the application online at and submit the required documents for the required LSAC CAS Report (ALL transcripts for any college/university you’ve attended, resume, letters of recommendation and any addenda you wish to include).  Applications may be submitted prior to receiving your LSAT score, however no application will be reviewed or decision rendered until complete with CAS report. 

2. Personal Statement

A personal statement must accompany the application for admission.  The personal statement is your opportunity to address the Admissions Committee and provide information that may not appear elsewhere in your application.  This statement should be considered to be your “sales tool”.


You may attach short addenda to your application addressing such things as your GPA, circumstances which may have affected your academic performance, or other things you may wish to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee not addressed elsewhere in your application.

If you have taken the LSAT multiple times and have scores that are disparate – 5 points plus or minus, it is helpful to provide an addendum of explanation of that disparity

3. Résumé

Each applicant must submit a current résumé.

4. Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are important in the selection process. You must submit at least two letters of recommendation. Each letter that you submit should be written by someone who knows your academic ability or is in a position to assess your potential for success in law school. We strongly discourage obtaining letters of recommendation from friends, acquaintances, and/or family members. We realize that some applicants, especially those who have been out of school for a number of years, may have difficulty finding an academic recommender. If that is the case, letters from employers or others who have worked closely with you will be helpful. We recommend that your letters be submitted through the LSAC letter of recommendation service that serves all member law schools. This service is included in your LSDAS subscription. To use this service, follow the directions for submitting letters outlined in the LSAT/LSDAS Registration and Information Book. LSAC letter of recommendation forms may also be downloaded from the LSAC web site. Be sure to fill out and give each recommender an LSAC letter of recommendation form.

5 . Application Fee

A non-refundable $55 application fee must be paid online through LSAC when applying.

6. Law School Admission Test

All applicants for admission as a J.D. candidate must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and have their scores reported to TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law, within the three-year period immediately preceding the date of their application to the Law School. TMSL considers an LSAT score valid for a period of 3 years.  Additional information on the test, test preparation and applying to law schools may be obtained by visiting

7. Character & Fitness


All applicants who intend to practice law should be aware that admission to the bar in all states involves character, fitness and other qualifications.  Applicants are encouraged to determine what those requirements are in the state(s) in which they intend to practice by consulting the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners at

8. Deposits

To accept a seat offered to an admitted applicant, two non-refundable deposits totaling $500 are required, the dates of which will be included in the applicant’s letter of admission. Seat deposits must be made online through the University Portal indicated in the applicant’s letter of admission.

9. Admission Decisions

Admission decisions are announced in writing only. Information about applicants is not released to third parties. Completed applications are reviewed beginning in December, and decisions are made continuously until all completed applications have been read. The Admissions Committee does not review applications that are incomplete. Decisions on completed applications may be made in as short a period as two weeks or as long a period as several months. The period of time varies according to the total number of applications received, when in the admissions cycle the file is completed, and the time required to review an applicant’s qualifications and evaluate them on their own merit in comparison to the rest of the applicant pool.

10. Deferral of Admission

Applicants who have been admitted but whose circumstances have changed may ask to defer their admission for one year. A limited number of one-year deferrals are granted each year based on the circumstance. Deferrals are not automatic and, if granted, a non-refundable deposit is required to hold a place in the following year’s entering class.

Students requesting a deferral should write explaining the reasons for the deferral request and submit it to:

While matriculation may be deferred, scholarships awards are not deferred.  A deferred applicant will be considered for a scholarship award together with the entering class with which the applicant will matriculate.  A subsequent award, if any, may be larger or smaller than the previous award due to year to year changes and considerations.


Thurgood Marshall School of Law is a public law school founded in June 1947.  The school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association.

For more information regarding accreditation, please contact:
American Bar Association
Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
321 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654-6738
Phone:  312.988.6738

School Address

Thurgood Marshall School of Law
3100 Cleburne Street
Houston, TX 77004
Phone:  713.313.4455
Fax:  713.313.1049


Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, age or disability in the administration of its academic or employment policies, or other school-administered rights, privileges, programs or activities. 

Curriculum Summary

1L Fall Semester (Required Courses)
LAW 504Contracts I3
LAW 506Property I3
LAW 508Torts I3
LAW 900The Lawyering Process3
LAW 510Civil Procedures I3
1L Spring Semester (Required Courses)
LAW 505Contracts II3
LAW 507Property II3
LAW 509Torts II3
LAW 930Lawyering Process II2
LAW 511Civil Procedure II2
LAW 530Criminal Law3
2L Fall Semester (Required Courses)
LAW 600Evidence3
LAW 512Constitutional Law I3
Law Electives9
2L Spring Semester (Required Courses)
LAW 601Criminal Procedure3
LAW 514Trial Simulaton 12
LAW 515Trial Simulation: Lecture 12
LAW 513Constitutional Law II3
Courses Required to be taken in either the Fall or Spring semester of 2L
LAW 920Appellate Litigation2
LAW 640Business Associations3
LAW 650Wills and Trusts4
LAW 620Profl Responsibility2
Required course to be taken anytime during 2L or Fall semester of 3L
LAW 610Commercial Law4
Required to be taken anytime during 3L- for students with GPA below 3.0 at the of Spring Semester of their first year
LAW 725Domestic Relations3
Required to be taken anytime during the rising 3L or during 3L
Writing Seminar or Independent Research2-3
Experiential Courses - 6 hours min. 26
Total Hours required to graduate90

Satisfies part of the 6 hour experiential requirement.


In addition to 4 hours of Trial Simulation taken in 2L



Minimum credit hours per semester to retain full time status: 12 hours
Maximum hours per semester (exception made for graduating semester): 16 hours Maximum hours during graduating semester: 17 hours

Starting with the graduating class of 2019, the ABA requires each law school to require each student to satisfactorily complete at least the following:

> One course of at least two credit hours in professional responsibility that includes substantial instruction in rules of professional conduct, and the values and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members;

> One writing experience in the first year and at least one additional writing experience after the first year, both of
which are faculty supervised; and

> One or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six (6) credit hours.

Texas Practice and Federal Jurisdiction are no longer required, but students may enroll in them as electives.

All students are still required to complete a writing requirement, either a 2 or 3 hour seminar that meets the writing requirement, or Independent Research, 3 hours.

Class of 2019:  Everyone must enroll in a total of 31 required hours in the fall and spring semesters, no electives. Additionally, everyone must enroll in six (6) required hours of experiential learning.  Courses include Trial Simulation 4 hours, Clinic 4 – 6 hours, Externship 6 hours, TLIP 12 hours.


Section 1. Definitions
When used herein, “Faculty” shall mean faculty of the School of Law; “Dean” shall mean Dean of the School of Law; “Office of the Dean,” shall mean Dean of the School of Law, or where proper “Assistant Dean” or “Associate Dean,” “Instructor” shall mean any member of the instructional staff of the School of Law.

Section 2. Scope
These rules cover only the subject enumerated and do not govern, or limit the existing and customary authority of the Faculty and Dean, as may be specified by the University and/or Board of Regents. These rules shall be construed in
harmony with the rules and standards of the American Bar Association, and with the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas as adopted by the Supreme Court of Texas.

Section 3. University Regulations
All law students shall be subject to general regulations of the University on matters not specifically covered by the regulations of the School of Law, and to the authority of the University administration and officials.

Section 4. Declaration of Intention to Study Law
The Supreme Court of Texas, which admits candidates to the practice of law in Texas as provided by Rules of Court, requires that all such candidates must file a formal Declaration of Intention to Study Law, on forms supplied for that
purpose, by October 1 of the applicant’s first year of law school. The Declaration of Intention to Study Law provides for the certification of good moral character by a committee of the local bar association of the applicant’s home community. All persons who plan to practice in Texas are required to file such declarations. Forms are available at the Texas Board of Law Examiner’s web-site,

Section 5. Email as an Official Means of Communication by TMSL TMSL uses email as an official form of communication and sends correspondence to students’ TSU email addresses. Students should frequently check and maintain their TSU email account. Failure to read the email sent to a student’s TSU email address does not relieve the student of the responsibility to act or respond in a timely manner to messages TMSL sends via email. Students working with TMSL as a tutor, study group facilitator, teaching assistant, or in 3 any other similar capacity are required to send all email regarding such business using their TSU email account.