Texas might be getting a new public law school as Texas A&M University, one of the premiere public research universities in the State of Texas, seeks to acquire Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas.
The School of Law is not located on Texas Wesleyan University's campus. Instead, it is located separately in downtown Fort Worth. It was rumored in the past that Texas Wesleyan had tried to sell the law school to the University of North Texas, but UNT decided instead that it would open its own brand new law school in downtown Dallas, Texas. If successful, the DFW area of the state will now have two public law schools where it did not have any.
Maybe we should not hold our breaths on this one. Remember, Texas A&M tried in the past to acquire South Texas College of Law, but was blocked by The University of Houston Law Center in doing so. Like that instance, you now have Texas A&M poaching on the territory of UNT. Besides, I would think that South Texas would be a better fit for a Texas A&M law school. It is a larger school, more prestigious, closer to College Station, and A&M is already well integrated with South Texas College of Law.
Although the newly acquired law school will be called Texas A&M School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University, this is likely a misnomer that suggests some type of joint control. It is probably more like a stop gap in which the Texas Wesleyan moniker will later be dropped. Although it is called a "collaboration" it does not appear to be much of one. As stated, "Texas A&M would acquire ownership and operational control of the law school as a going concern and all faculty and staff of the law school would be employees of Texas A&M. Texas Wesleyan University would retain ownership and control of the law school building and four city blocks of land at the downtown Fort Worth campus and would lease the facilities to Texas A&M." In other words, except for a joint MBA program and a 3 + 3 program like at South Texas College of Law, Texas Wesleyan would be relegated to really nothing more than a landlord.
This may very well be good. First, this will certainly be a boost in prestige for the law school and its graduates. Second, in my estimation, Texas Wesleyan might well have helped the law school achieve ABA accreditation, but its management and recruiting skills have been mixed. Having had three children apply to the law school, communicating and working with Texas Wesleyan has been anything but pleasant. As my children stated, it was nice to be in a position to tell Texas Wesleyan "no".