Law Students Present “Texas Legal Legends”

November 14, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

November 21, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The first year law students at UNT Dallas College of Law present “Texas Legal Legends” on November 14 and 21, 2014, in the lobby of the UNT System Building at 1901 Main Street in downtown Dallas. Presentations will spotlight nine attorneys and judges chosen for the Texas Legal Legends project based on their contributions to professionalism in law and service to the community.

Students worked in groups to research their legend and create the presentations for November 14 and 21. Different legends will be presented on each date from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Five legends will be honored on November 14: Louis A. Bedford, Jr.; Judge Sarah T. Hughes; Louise Raggio; Robert Strauss; and Judge Barefoot Sanders.

Four legends will be honored on November 21: Charlye O. Farris, Morris Harrell, Adelfa Callejo, and Judge Jerry Buchmeyer.

Both events are open to the public and will be held in the lobby of UNT System Building, home of the new law school. RSVPs for the events should be sent via email to

The Texas Legal Legends project for first semester students in the full-time division is part of a required course, Profession and Practice of Law, taught by Professor Cheryl Wattley, who also serves as Director of Experiential Education at the College of Law.  “The Texas Legal Legends project is a tradition we chose to create at the new law school,” explains Wattley, “because of the many benefits students derive from the work.”

“Biography can instruct, illuminate and inspire,” adds Royal Furgeson, Dean. “As I have talked to our students, while they were doing their research and preparing their presentations, it is clear to me that it has done this and more. The lessons learned will prepare them for the time when they become lawyers, striving for their own special standing in our profession.”

Other benefits are working as a group with shared deadlines, and in-depth research on the assigned legend, often taking the students out of the library to interview family, friends and colleagues of the legend and others who can offer personal insights and experiences with the legend. As important, students learn how individuals can have impact in law and in community service by studying what legends achieved in their lives.

“Our new law school emphasizes professionalism. We believe that good examples are the very best way to teach the subject, so we have instituted the "legal legends" program in order for our students to study the professional lives of great lawyers,” adds Furgeson.  “But studying these remarkable men and women of the law does even more. It also teaches that great lawyers are multi-dimensional, with attributes such as determination, resilience, diligence, fair play, civility and courage, just to name a few. It is thus a valuable project for a host of reasons.”

Created by the Texas legislature in 2009, UNT Dallas College of Law seated the inaugural class of 153 students, chosen from more than 600 applicants, in August 2014. The class profile reflects one of the College of Law’s goals – to widen access to legal education. Women represent 52 percent of the class and 48 percent are students of color. With an average age of 33 years, the students ranged from 20 to 67 years on the first day of classes and 29 percent hold advanced degrees.

The class profile is not the only unique part of the students’ educational experience. Unlike most law schools, UNT Dallas College of Law faculty provides student assessments throughout the term, not just one exam at the end of the semester; students will have multiple graded assignments and a mid-term exam in advance of taking their final exams in December. Plus, the inaugural class tuition is only $12,500 per year for resident full time students, a cost significantly below the average tuition for public law schools in Texas and the nation.

Experiential Education is integrated into every semester and the class as a whole will contribute 2,300 hours of volunteer service in the community during their first term through placement with sixteen community partners. The College of Law is also proud of the 100% student bar membership level with the Dallas Bar Association, opening opportunities outside of College of Law programs for students to witness legal professionalism first hand through interaction with practicing attorneys.


Page last modified on November 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm.