John Mixon

Contracts | Property | Oil & Gas

Prof Mixon graduated UHLC and began teaching there when he was 22. He wouldn’t take offense at my telling you that he’s a “veteran” staff member. The John Mixon Law Society was founded in his honor. Prof Mixon is a much celebrated member of the faculty, and rightfully so.

Prof Mixon does not allow computers in his classroom. Some may think this is an evil dictatorial power play. Others may think he’s right to remove an unnecessary distraction. Others don’t care. I happen to think he’s right, but as Mixon himself says, my opinion and a dollar fifty will get you a half decent cup of coffee. Just know that if you plan on taking notes in his class, bring a pen and paper.

Mixon cartoons cases on the whiteboard, it’s how he used to brief in law school. His cartoons are really quite good (I have a framed one) and go a long way to helping you remember cases and facts. Typically he comes to class 15 minutes early and draws all his cartoons in advance.

Mixon is easy going about reading assignments and doesn’t stick to a rigid schedule of “Read X by date Y or else”. You might spend 3 classes on one case, then cover 5 cases in a single class. Stay on him about where you’re supposed to have read to for the next week, by his own admission he’ll forget to set reading.

Mixon is a stickler for starting and finishing on time. Every class is 50 minutes long on the nose, so count on arriving on time and leaving on time.

Unless he changes his mind, Mixon’s exams are open book, and you can write anything you want in the casebook (you just can’t add any sheets, paint over existing pages to create more space, etc). I found my property casebook had more than enough space to scrawl in my outline for the exam.

Mixon is totally fine with taking questions during class and encourages students to ask for clarification. Only once in my entire 1L year did he call on people by name from the seating chart, he prefers to allow people to raise a hand and volunteer an answer.

Mixon teaches using a lot of hokey analogies and off-the-wall stories, which can either be confusing or phenomenally effective, subject to how your mind works. I found it extremely helpful. He also includes a fair amount of philosophy of the law (Hobbes, Bentham, Austinian Positivism, etc)…bare with him on that stuff.

Prof Mixon has spent many years in Texas, most in Houston, knows lots of local legal characters and tells neat stories as asides. He was a classmate of Richard “Racehorse” Hanes, one of the most celebrated trial lawyers in the USA.

Prof Mixon had a party at his house in our 2nd semester; I’d encourage you to attend, if for no other reason that to check out his pad, which would be right at home in the pages of Architectural Digest (it’s on the Houston Homes Tour every year). He lives on Kirby.

Summary: You’ll have fun in Mixon’s class and he’s a student favorite. Not everybody “gets” Mixon, but his class is arguably one of the most relaxing and fun you'll take in 1L.

Mixon’s exams:

Do old multiple choice questions until you’re sick of them, then do them some more. Having the case book and whatever notes you care to write is a big help, but you still need to understand the material, particularly because the exam essay topic won’t necessarily be dictated by which material received the most coverage in class. My section got an essay on zoning which constituted maybe 5% of the classroom time. Bottom line is that it’s not past Mixon to surprise you with the essay topic, so either know the material really well, make really good notes in your casebook, or better yet, do both.

As an aside, if you stay up to date on your outlining and listen closely in class, you’ll probably use the notes in your casebook during the exam once at most.

B+ Oil & Gas outline, anonymously contributed (2010) added 04-02-2010

Anonymously contributed Contracts outline - 2008 - student received B+ grade
Contracts Outline (anonymous contributor received an A) - Fall 2005
Anonymously contributed contracts outline 2006
Another anonymously contributed contracts outline (2006)

Anonymously contributed A outline - Property added 08-17-2009
Anonymously contributed Property Outlines - 2006
Anonymously contributed Takings spreadsheet - 2006
Carter Outline - Property I
Ellis Outline - Property I
Anonymously Contributed A Outline - Property 1
Carter Outline - Property II
Property I Practice Questions (PowerPoint)

Robin Phillips Spring 2004 Property Outline