UT Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications

UT Tyler Announces New Pre-Law Academy to Help Students Launch Successful Law Careers

November 20, 2019

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Senior Director of Media Relations
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303

The University of Texas at Tyler announced today the new UT Tyler Pre-Law Academy. Launching in Fall 2020, the Academy’s primary goal is to prepare undergraduates for successful careers in law.

In addition to helping UT Tyler undergraduates gain admission to top law schools, the program is designed to encourage East Texas high school students to consider the legal profession.

"The Pre-Law Academy is another UT Tyler investment in the future of East Texas,” said Dr. Michael Tidwell, UT Tyler president. “Our main objective is to help students get admitted to the best law schools in the country when they finish their UT Tyler program. We also want to cultivate K-12 students to begin to think about being future lawyers.”

The academy will operate in the College of Arts and Sciences and will consist of three components.

Pre-College: A multi-layered effort to recruit talented students by delivering programs and hands-on activities in the K-12 space that nurture a desire to study law.

Undergraduate Program: An enhanced pre-law minor that provides students all the necessary content to master the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Application/Admission: A pre-law advisor to work closely with students to ensure they have the strongest possible law school application through workshops, internships and career seminars featuring lawyers and current law school students.

“We have many successful lawyers among our alumni,” said Dr. Neil Gray, College of Arts and Sciences dean. “This Academy is an opportunity to build on that foundation and give our students an edge when it comes to successfully applying to and completing law school.”

“The programs in our Pre-Law Academy will absolutely give a leg up to students with ambition to attend top law schools,” said Michael Donley, UT Tyler’s chief legal officer. “We’ve thought carefully about what it takes to land a seat in the nation’s top schools and how we can point UT Tyler undergrads in that direction.”

The Smith County Bar Association and Smith County Bar Foundation expressed support of the new Academy.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the students of East Texas,” said Shannon Dacus, Smith County Bar Foundation president. “Some young people may overlook a career in law because of the rigorous commitment of law school, but to have a program that will not only academically prepare you for law school but also guide you through the process of applying is outstanding.”

“Having a program emphasizing the building blocks for successfully pursuing a law degree will be a great asset for UT Tyler and our community,” said Danny Noteware, Smith County Bar Association president. “It will be an honor to serve as a resource to students, sharing advice and expertise as well as mentoring the next generation of lawyers.”

Pre-Law is the University’s second pre-professional academy. The Pre-Med Academy was launched in March 2019.

For more information about the Pre-Law Academy visit uttyler.edu/preprofessional/pre-law-academy.

A member of the prestigious UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler focuses on student success and innovative research in the more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered to nearly 10,000 students. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News and World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.