Proof that private law schools with humble beginnings can grow and be attractive for purchase by public institutions of higher learning, on August 12, 2013, Texas A&M University completed its purchase of the Texas Wesleyan School of Law. The school will now be known as the Texas A&M School of Law.
Announced in June of 2012, the terms of Texas Wesleyan involved a $20 million upfront payment, to be followed by a $5 million payment due after 5 years, according to reports by the Dallas Morning News. Reports from the Star-Telegram, however, suggested the deal was worth more than $70 million.
Founded in 1989, the Dallas/Fort-Worth School of Law was so small that its first library was housed in the dining room and chapel of the “Mother House of the School Sisters of Notre Dame” on the Irving campus of the University of Dallas. Texas Wesleyan purchased the school in 1992, and the school received accreditation from the ABA in 1994.
The purchase required the approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the ABA, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and was completed in a little more than one year’s time.
(It seems worth noting that Texas Wesleyan’s fourth dean, Richard Gershon, who steered that school through the process of receiving full ABA approval, was the founding dean of the Charleston School of Law.)