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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Texas A&M School of Law celebrates five years

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Law school
With over 400 current students, the Texas A&M University School of Law is celebrating its five-year anniversary with a continued focus on growth for faculty and students.
The law school was founded in 1989 as the Dallas-Fort Worth School of Law and later became the Texas Wesleyan School of Law in 1992. The school underwent one last name change in 2013 when A&M acquired it.
Stephen Alton, a professor of law and associate dean for planning and evening programs, has worked at the school since it was the Dallas-Fort Worth School of Law and said he has seen the institution evolve tremendously.
“When Texas Wesleyan acquired the law school in 1992, it was a big deal for the law school,” Alton said. “DFW was what is called a freestanding law school. It wasn’t affiliated with a university, and in those days I think the [American Bar Association] tended to be harder for new freestanding law schools to get accreditation.”
Alton said the switch to the A&M System led to positive changes for the law school overall.
“I think the faculty was very pleasantly surprised when Texas A&M bought the law school,” Alton said. “The name change alone made a big difference because A&M has a national reputation that Texas Wesleyan doesn’t have.” 

The transition from a relatively small, private university to a much larger public institution was challenging at times, but professor of law and associate dean of academic affairs Terri Helge said she is glad to see what the student body has gained as a result of the change.
“From the students’ side, I think there have been huge benefits,” Helge said. “Becoming part of the A&M system also helps us become part of the Aggie Network which of course provides a great resource for networking within the A&M community.”

Helge said more academic opportunities have arisen for the law school since joining the system.
“Becoming part of A&M law school has allowed us to provide additional opportunities for our students that we weren’t able to provide before as Texas Wesleyan,” Helge said. “That comes in the form of curricular reform but also in terms of various forms of employment opportunities and externship opportunities.”
With test scores and A&M’s overall law school ranking rising, Dean of the Texas A&M School of Law Robert Ahdieh said he’s looking forward to continued growth.

“I tell people at the university and everyone that will listen, there’s probably no law school in the country that has come as far, as fast as this law school has,” Ahdieh said. “It is my view that what makes this exciting is that it will continue in the coming years. We should expect that the law school will continue to overperform its peers and be an exciting place in the coming years.” 
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