Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Parent schoolTexas Southern University
School typePublic HBCU
DeanOkezie Chukwumerije [1]
LocationHouston, Texas, U.S.
Enrollment554 [2]
Faculty92 (40 full-time)[2]
USNWR ranking180-196th (2024)
Bar pass rate68% (2023 first-time takers)[3]

The Thurgood Marshall School of Law (TMSL) is an ABA-accredited law school at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. It awards Juris Doctor and Master of Law degrees. Thurgood Marshall School of Law is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Association of American Law Schools.


The history of TMSL can be traced back to a 1946 lawsuit implicating protections for racial minorities under the U.S. Constitution, Sweatt v. Painter, brought by Heman M. Sweatt, and tried by Thurgood Marshall.[4] The Texas Constitution mandated separate but equal facilities for whites and blacks. Sweatt was refused admission to the University of Texas School of Law because he was black. In order to pre-empt the possibility of Sweatt obtaining a successful court order, the legislature passed Texas State Senate Bill 140, which established a university to offer courses of higher learning in law, pharmacy, dentistry, journalism, education, arts and sciences, literature, medicine, and other professional courses. It opened in 1946 as the "Texas State University for Negroes," and later changed its name in Texas Southern University in 1951.

In 2016, TMSL began to offer a Master of Laws in Immigration and Naturalization Law. The program is the first Masters of Law program in the nation to focus on immigration law.[5]

In 2017, The American Bar Association (ABA) formally censured the school as "being out of compliance with its nondiscrimination standard as well as the standard that requires disclosure of information to the ABA. More specifically, an ABA site visit team found evidence of gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the law school" and was "required to establish a plan to eliminate gender discrimination and sex harassment." Months prior, the ABA had also "found Texas Southern (TMSL) out of compliance with the standards meant to ensure schools only admit students who appear capable of graduating and passing the bar."[6] In 2020, the ABA concluded TMSL is in compliance with all accreditation standards.[7]

For 2024, the law school is ranked No. 180-196, by U.S. News & World Report.[8]

Student demographics and bar passage rate

As of October, 2021, 50% of the student body was African-American, 5% Asian-American, 9% White, 30% Hispanic, and 6% Other.

Of the 1,745 students who applied to TMSL to start in fall 2021, 666 were accepted (for a 38% admission rate), and 11% of those offered admission enrolled. These enrolled students had an average LSAT score of 151, and an average college GPA of 3.10.[9]

For July 2023 first time takers, TMSL students had a bar examination passage rate of 68%.[3]


According to Thurgood Marshall's official 2022 ABA-required disclosures, 53% of the Class of 2022 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[10]


The total estimated cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees) at Thurgood Marshall for the 2018-2019 academic year is $43,095 for residents and $50,318 for nonresidents.[9]

TMSL Library

The TMSL Library housed within the law school building has over 350,000 volumes and volume equivalents.[11]

TMSL Legal Clinics


Notable alumni

Notable graduates of TSML include the following:


  1. ^ "Texas Southern Law School Ousts Dean". June 21, 2022. Archived from the original on October 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Standard 509 Disclosure".
  3. ^ a b "ABA TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY First Time Bar Passage". American Bar Association. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  4. ^ "About Texas Southern University and Thurgood Marshall School of Law". Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  5. ^ LLM, Immigration and Naturalization Law, TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
  6. ^ "Admissions Scandal at Texas Southern Law School Leads to President's Ouster", by Karen Sloan, Texas Lawyer,, February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020
  7. ^ Britto, Brittany (August 27, 2020). "TSU's Thurgood Marshall School of Law now in compliance". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 15, 2023. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  8. ^ "Texas Southern University (Marshall)". U.S. News & World Report L.P. Archived from the original on September 18, 2018. Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Standard 509 Disclosure". Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  10. ^ "ABA Standard 509 Disclosure Texas Southern". Retrieved May 15, 2023.
  11. ^ "Alumni and FriendsThurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas".
  12. ^ "Institute for International and Immigration Law at Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas".
  13. ^ "Stephanie Anne Flowers". Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  14. ^ "Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr". Ninth Judicial Circuit. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  15. ^ "Craig Washington". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  16. ^ "Brian C. Wimes". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved February 19, 2013.