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Law school in the Valley? New house bill could bring more educational opportunities to the area

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A new legislative session is providing another opportunity for elected officials to help bring a law school to the Rio Grande Valley.

Since 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the Valley's population has grown by almost 10%.

But despite the growth, Texas Rep. Armando 'Mando' Martinez (D-Weslaco) says the area is still one of the most underserved in the state in terms of legal education and legal representation.

On average, the Valley has one attorney for every 1,400 residents— less than a quarter of the statewide average.

Martinez's House Bill 695 aims to open a law school in the Valley. But similar bills introduced in the past faced roadblocks due to funding. 

But Martinez said new technology could help cut costs. 

"You used to have to have this big old library," Martinez said. "Now we have virtual libraries, where we can access books and access information."

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