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TU Law ranked #1 in Oklahoma and #15 nationally for graduate job placement

The University of Tulsa College of Law is ranked number one in Oklahoma and 15th  in the nation for jobs requiring bar passage or positions in which a law degree offers an advantage. The rankings published in the National Law Journal are based upon data from the 2017 ABA national employment outcomes report and show that 91.86 percent of 2017 TU Law graduates were employed in these full-time, long-term positions 10 months after graduation.

Additionally, TU Law ranked first in Oklahoma and 20th in the nation for graduate placement in ‘gold-standard’ jobs which are defined as full-time, long-term jobs requiring bar passage that are not funded by the school.

TU Law’s Professional Development Office works with students on career strategies before they enter the classroom beginning with a one-week Foundations of Legal Study orientation. During law school, students are provided individualized career counseling with former practicing attorneys, on-campus interviews and specialized networking events.

“We are very proud of our 2017 JD graduates and the positions they hold,” said Lyn Entzeroth, dean of the college. “This ranking reflects the hard work of our talented students and the outstanding program for professional development that the College of Law offers to all students.”

Complete graduate employment information including ABA and NALP reports can be found here.

 

TU Law alumna DeVon Douglass featured as a Tulsa Mover & Shaker

TU Law alumna DeVon Douglass is featured in the May issue of Tulsa Lifestyle magazine as one of the city’s Movers & Shakers.

As chief resilience officer for the City of Tulsa, Douglass is known for bringing people with disparate opinions together to develop solutions.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she came to Tulsa to attend The University of Tulsa College of Law and now works in the mayor’s office.

Soon, she will release the first of its kind Resilience Strategy addressing health, justice and economic opportunity for a more equitable Tulsa. “I amplify people’s voices who are consistently silenced,” said Douglass. “I enjoy seeing other people’s light shine.”

Congratulations DeVon.

Tulsa-area high school students learn about legal careers at TU

More than 30 Tulsa-area high school students participated in The University of Tulsa College of Law’s Judge Carlos Chappelle Minority Law Awareness Day (MLAD) in February 2018. Sponsored by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) as part of its Diversity Matters Initiative, the annual event provides students with the opportunity to meet with and learn from legal professionals and TU Law students.

“MLAD offers high school students a chance to experience what it is like to be on a law school campus, mingle with legal professionals, visit with a judge and tour a law firm,” said Eruore Oboh, admission counselor and diversity outreach coordinator for the TU College of Law. “The day is organized to showcase, in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, the journey of a legal professional from education all the way to judgeship. MLAD is also a chance for the law school  to connect with local high school students and foster relationships so they may look to us for  resources to begin and thrive in the field of law.”

Law Professor Johnny Parker began the day with opening remarks. The students were then treated to a presentation by TU Law alumna and immigration attorney with Fry & Elder, Lorena Rivas. Rivas is dedicated to helping minority teens overcome personal and societal obstacles that may get in the way of pursuing educational and employment goals. As a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from Mexico, Rivas has worked to serve and represent her Latino community and family as a community leader and role model.

Students also participated in a mock negotiation conducted by TU Law’s Black Law Student Association, toured the Tulsa County Courthouse meeting with Judge Sharon Holmes and shared lunch with legal professionals in TU’s Allen Chapman Student Union Great Hall.

Participating schools included Booker T. Washington High School, McLain High School for Science and Technology and Union High School.

2018 MLAD volunteers included law students and the following:

Professionals:

  • Andrea Kulsrud, manager of contract administration and negotiation, ONEOK
  • Christine Umeh, attorney, Still She Rises in Tulsa
  • Christy Caves, associate dean and director of TU Law’s Professional Development Dept.
  • Elizabeth McCormick, TU law professor and director of the Immigrant Rights Project
  • Jacqueline Higgs Caldwell, vice president for diversity and engagement and director of the TU Presidential Scholars Program
  • Kaushiki Chowdhury, attorney, Still She Rises in Tulsa
  • Kevinn Matthews, attorney for health and safety at WPX Energy
  • Mimi Marton, TU law professor and director of TU’s Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network
  • Rachel E. Gusman, junior partner with Graves McLain

Students:

  • Aisosa Arhunmwunde, 2L
  • Cordal Cephas, 2L
  • Courtney Nelbach, 3L
  • Janay Clougherty, 3L
  • Jazzmin Wilson, 2L
  • Jose Gonzalez, 2L
  • Lashandra Peoples-Johnson, 2L
  • MaryJoy Chuba, 1/2L
  • Pierre Robertson, 1L
  • Robert McClendon, 2L
  • Sofia Miranda, 1L
  • Stephanie Jackson, 3L

High School Counselors and Administrators:

  • Amber Meadors-Fouda, business and technology instructor, McLain High School
    Amanda Howell, Union Career Connect
  • Angela Jones, counselor, Booker T. Washington High School
  • Darick C. Morton, dean of students, McLain High School
  • Shelley Kerr, counseling secretary, Booker T. Washington

The event is named for The Honorable Judge Carlos Chappelle who was the presiding judge for the 14th District Court in Tulsa County and was the first African American to hold this position.

TU Law shares LSAC’s commitment to increasing diversity in the legal profession by providing guidance and encouragement to high school students in hopes that they will consider attending law school and pursue a career in law.

TU Law’s next event is The Judge Carlos Chappelle Pathway to Law Academy scheduled for Friday, March 30, 2018.

Legal community helps build future lawyers through externships

This article, written by Lauren Donald, assistant dean for experiential learning at TU, was first published in the Tulsa Business & Legal News.

The externship program at The University of Tulsa College of Law is one of the most robust programs of its kind, offering students an effective and comprehensive bridge to go from law student to lawyer.

TU Law’s proximity to the thriving, urban setting of the city and its engaged legal community ensure that externs have opportunities in a variety of exciting and relevant placements. In addition to local resources, students also take advantage of externships across the U.S. and abroad in government agencies, public interest organizations, courts, law firms and corporations.

Through externships, students build confidence in their ability to practice, feel the pleasure and challenge of work that matters, and find a path from lawyering experiences to a rewarding career.

Said Keaton Taylor, a second-year law student and extern with the Tulsa County Public Defender: “During (the law student-to-lawyer) transition, new skills become necessary for success; skills that can only be learned by doing. Externships are crucial to future lawyers. The externship program gives me the opportunity while still in school to begin navigating the new terrain of an attorney.”

Supervisors also find reward in helping lay a foundation for a student’s career. April Merrill, Legal Aid attorney for Medical-Legal Partnerships, says that through her practice students are exposed to real-world issues and sometimes of the darker side of life.

“This is often the first real-life experience the student has interacting with actual clients who are entrusting their problems to us,” she said.

Through these experiences, she hopes to instill in students a desire to serve low-income persons as these future lawyers move on in their careers.

Merrill has invested time as a supervisor in building the student experience.

“I strive to take the students from the legal theoretical framework to the practical, everyday practice of law,” she said. “As the students are allowed more client interaction and responsibility for drafting and research, I can see their confidence grow.

“Those ah-ha moments, as Oprah calls them, are the most rewarding. As a supervisor teaching a concept and to see it suddenly click, it’s really meaningful.”

Under the direction of engaged supervisors such as Merrill, students begin to identify their path and develop marketable skills.

“Law school is like an oyster producing pearls,” Taylor said. “For a pearl to hold value, it must be polished. Experiential learning increases my value as a pearl. I aspire to be the shiniest pearl on the market so I need to polish my skills as soon as possible. The externship program at TU allows me to do that.”

Law students study local response to nonemergency calls

TU Law students Morgan Vaughn (l), Billy Boyd and Valerie Hays.

As Oklahoma’s budget crisis threatens funding for critical medical, mental health and social services programs, first responders are feeling the pressure. When core services are cut, Tulsa’s most vulnerable residents have only one option – calling 911.

In 2017, the Tulsa Fire Department responded to calls from a single residence 21 times in one month. Such “high-utilizers” may need help getting out of bed, getting to a medical appointment, picking up medications or buying food. Some high-utilizers have chronic medical problems such as diabetes, heart conditions, alcohol and prescription drug overuse or long-term mental health issues. Some people call simply because they are lonely. Vulnerable Tulsans lean on the fire department when they can’t access other forms of assistance.

Law students from The University of Tulsa College of Law’s Lobeck Taylor Community Advocacy Clinic have been working with the Tulsa Fire Department and studying the high-utilizer problem. The students—Morgan Vaughn, Billy Boyd, and Valerie Hays—have found that the high-utilizer crisis is a serious problem not just for the fire department but for the entire Tulsa community. Nonemergency calls drain resources from the fire department’s core emergency services mission.

The fire department is not a long-term healthcare provider, but people call 911 when they have nowhere else to turn. And when people must use emergency care for nonemergency needs, their underlying health problems will not be resolved. They will continue to call on first responders for help. Because of possible state budget cuts, some medical and mental healthcare providers may have to shut their doors. This will increase demands on first responders and could cause an increase in crime, suicides and drug abuse.

See article published by the Tulsa World here.

The fire department is tackling the high-utilizer problem through the Community Assistance, Referrals & Education Services (CARES) program that is managed by Emergency Medical Services Chief Michael Baker. “We connect people to the social and medical services they need,” Baker explained.

Through partnerships with Tulsa-area agencies like the Mental Health Association, Family & Children’s Services and St. John’s Hospital, the fire department is bridging the gap between high-utilizers and service providers. The fire department is taking a proactive approach because, if these treatable or preventable situations are not taken care of early, they may become emergencies.

With proper funding, providers could do more outreach to connect people to services.  Firefighters wouldn’t have to play the role of social workers and could focus on real emergencies. And people would get the help they need rather than relying on emergency care.

Students, faculty and alumni featured in Dean’s Report

TU Law offers a superb doctrinal and experiential legal education to talented and engaged law students. With a full-time annual tuition of $24,600, The University of Tulsa College of Law allows students to pursue their professional dreams at a cost that is one of the most affordable among Top 100 private law schools and competitive with top-tier public law schools.

Remaining true to TU Law’s mission of high standards and selectivity, the law school continues to increase its 1L enrollment. Important drivers in the enrollment increase include outstanding academic programs, engaged faculty, exceptional clinical and externship opportunities, strong bar preparatory support and a high job placement rate for graduates. Moreover, TU Law embraces, promotes and protects the values of community, civility and dialogue to create an intellectually vibrant and thriving law school.

Beginning with orientation, TU Law focuses students on future and professional aspirations. Faculty and administration work closely with students to help them refine their career objectives and secure placements meeting their interests. One 2017 graduate who recently accepted a fellowship at Harvard Law School credits TU Law faculty with guiding and supporting her as she pursued her professional goals. Other recent graduates have secured positions with federal judgesstate and federal governments, public interest organizations, selective law firms, and major industries including banking and energy.

TU Law faculty impact the legal world not only through classrooms and clinics, but also through engagement and scholarship in a wide array of important issues. Faculty recently placed high-level articles in prestigious law journals including Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Arizona Law Review, BYU Law Review, University of Illinois Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Hastings Law Journal and Lewis & Clark Law Review.

In this report, we share more about TU Law’s accomplishments and community.  It is truly a privilege to lead this dynamic law school. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. See the Dean’s Report here.

Lyn S. Entzeroth
Dean & Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair
The University of Tulsa College of Law