This legislative session one local legislator hopes to lay down the frame work and create a path for a law school in either Hidalgo or Cameron counties.
Earlier this week State Representative Armando Martinez testified before the Texas House Committee on Higher Education.
Martinez is the co-author of House Bill 103. It authorizes and lays the framework for any university system to establish and operate a law school in either Hidalgo or Cameron County.
The system would then have to notify the Higher Education Coordinating Board and they would determine if the school can open based on several factors including need, student demand, resources, and funding.
State Representative Armando Martinez, “HB 103 is not a mandate and does not rush a law school into existence. It takes into account whether there is a desire and funding. It’s a measured approach which will provide equity and opportunity to a region which has long been neglected.”
Martinez argued that the Rio Grande Valley lacks professional degree opportunities and is isolated from law schools and is underserved by lawyers per capita. The legislation does not call for funding until 2025 and Martinez adds his measured approach would provide educational equality to a region that has been neglected.
Martinez asked for consideration for his bill and it was left pending for the time being.
Representative Terry Canales also has legislation pending which would establish a distance learing program maintained by the University of Texas School of Law at Austin, but at a facility owned by UTRGV.