Law Students

Rep. Canales Looks to Create Distance Learning Program in UT System
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Terry Canales, UT System, Law School News

Summary: The UT System could see the development of a distance learning program in the near future due to Rep. Terry Canales. 

New legislation filed by Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) on January 20 could allow first-year students at the University of Texas School of Law to take required courses in the Rio Grande Valley, according to Your Valley Voice.


The legislation, House Bill 791, would help students from the Valley focus on the important first year of law school.

Canales, who is an attorney, said, “Building a new law school in the Valley could cost $80 million or more, according to initial state estimates, and that would be a wise investment by Texas which I strongly support for many reasons. But setting up a distance-learning law school for our first-year UT law students here in the Valley is an excellent, much-less costly option, and would serve as a strong starting point for the eventual establishment of a full-fledged public law school in deep South Texas.”

He noted that the UT System already offers online education programs through the UT Online Consortium.

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Canales said that when the UT Regional Academic Health Centers were established in Edinburg, Harlingen and Brownsville, they helped make the creation of UT-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine possible. The School of Medicine will open in the fall of 2015.

“Two outstanding legislative proposals calling for a comprehensive law school in the Valley have already been filed by Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez (D-Weslaco) and Rep. Eddie Lucio, III (D-Brownsville), and I plan to work very hard with them to help pass those measures,” Canales said. “I just want to have another, equally legitimate proposal on the table to help get us a first-class law school, in one form or another, as soon as possible.”

Martinez’s measure is House Bill 44 and Lucio’s measure is House Bill 59. Their measures are very similar and do not allow state funds to be used when building the Rio Grande Valley School of Law until after August 31, 2021. Their bills do allow for public university systems to create the law school.

The measure from Canales requires the Board of Regents at the UT System to create the UT School of law distance learning program no later than the fall of 2016.

To read more law school news stories, click here.

“Last session, we achieved an incredible victory by creating the new University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UT-RGV School of Medicine,” Canales said. “This session, we can continue providing new educational opportunities for our region by establishing another landmark partnership with the University of Texas School of Law, which will lead to even bigger and better  accomplishments.”

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Image credit: Terry Canales

Source: Your Valley Voice



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