2014 Archives

New SMU Dedman Law academic center to provide legal research in science and technology

Natural partnerships with scholars and students in SMU’s business and engineering schools

December 18, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) – A $3.125 million gift will launch the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation in SMU’s Dedman School of Law. The combined $2.5 million endowment and $625,000 in operational funding for the first five years provides a platform for collaboration among legal, science, engineering and business students, scholars and professionals. 

SMU Law Quad
Related Link:
The Dallas Morning NewsSMU Dedman School of Law to open new academic center in 2015

“The creation of this new academic center within Dedman Law is a prime example of how expertise, scholarly need and philanthropic resources come together at SMU in remarkable ways,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.  “We know that solving complex issues requires application of knowledge from several disciplines, and this center will be a model of scholarly interaction.”

Scheduled to begin operating in 2015, the center will focus on the intersection of innovation, intellectual property law and entrepreneurship by exploring the relationship between innovation policies, scientific research and the development and commercialization of new technologies.

“The Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation will enhance our academic programming for students and support our faculty’s groundbreaking research and scholarship in the areas of science and technology,” said Jennifer M. Collins, Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law.  “The center also provides the opportunity to develop innovative collaborations with SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering and Cox School of Business.  We are so grateful for this extraordinary gift.”

Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs, noted that the various campus competitions that challenge students to develop and implement business plans and solutions to community programs will benefit from the resources of the Tsai Center.  “Students competing in Our Big Ideas program, for example, will really appreciate guidance they will be able to get on their own campus.” Ludden said.

The SMU Dedman law alumnus whose generous gift is funding the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation has requested anonymity.

“We are very thankful for this gift,” said Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs.  “The donor knows how well-used the Tsai Center will be in an entrepreneurial city like Dallas.” 

The gift to fund the Tsai Center for Law, Science, and Innovation counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $927 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.  The campaign coincides with SMU’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

About Dedman School of Law

The School of Law at SMU was founded in 1925. It was named Dedman School of Law in 2001 in honor of Dallas benefactors Nancy and Robert H. Dedman, Sr., and their family. SMU Dedman Law enjoys a national and international reputation of distinction. It is among the most competitive law schools in the country for admission, as well as one of the most successful in the placement of its graduates.

The faculty is comprised of highly talented, distinguished scholars and teachers who are leaders in their fields and have outstanding academic and scholastic credentials. Dedman Law students are immersed in an intense professional legal curriculum with opportunities to obtain real-world experience through extensive legal clinics, public service placements, academic externships and clerkships.  

In U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” report released earlier this year, SMU Dedman School of Law ranked 42nd , an increase of six points from last year’s ranking of 48th among 194 law schools fully accredited by the American Bar Association. In Texas, SMU is one of only two law schools in the first tier of “best schools of law” category.

Additionally, The National Law Journal ranked SMU Dedman Law 22nd among all law schools for graduates employed in long-term jobs requiring bar passage.

Dedman Law graduates include CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, Texas Supreme Court justices, federal court judges, members of Congress, ambassadors, foreign ministers and justices on the highest courts worldwide, as well as partners at leading law firms and general counsels at major corporations. Dedman Law graduates practice law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and throughout the world.

As SMU enters its second century of achievement, the Dedman School of Law continues to be dedicated to the ideals that shaped it from its founding: outstanding legal education, public service and professional responsibility.

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.