Terri Lynn Helge

Professor of Law


“The study of law opens doors that you never knew were closed.”

Get to Know Terri Lynn Helge

What drew you to the law?

I fell into law accidentally. As a former CPA, I was in the tax practice of an international accounting firm working with individual taxpayers, their family businesses and their foundations. While we were heavily involved with tax planning, the CPAs could not draft the documents to implement the plan; that’s where the lawyers came in. I went to law school so I could become more involved in the planning process for my clients.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I enjoy the interaction with students and seeing them develop their critical thinking skills. It is exciting to see students integrate what they are learning in class with real-world examples and to push beyond the “black letter law” to explore the intricacies and nuances of the situation.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

Lawyers are problem-solvers. No matter what area of law one chooses to practice, a lawyer needs to listen to a client’s concerns and help find a workable solution. Students should gain an appreciation not only for the legal doctrine, but how to use the legal doctrine to find a solution to their clients’ legal problems.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I practiced tax law with Thompson & Knight LLP in Dallas. I helped nonprofit organizations with the organization, operation and termination of nonprofit corporation and charitable trusts, and also represented individuals seeking to plan and implement wealth transfers to family members and charitable organizations. Before coming to law, I worked as a tax manager at the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen, LLP, dealing with nonprofit organizations, individuals and closely held businesses.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling and reading.

What are your research interests?

My research focuses on the law of nonprofit organizations and the standards for tax exemption.


Link to my publications.


Presentations are listed on my CV.


  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Estate planning
  • Trust law


  • Wills & Estates
  • Trusts & Fiduciary Responsibilities
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Legislation & Regulation
  • Marital Property

Academic Experience

  • Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
  • Professor of Law
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2011-2013)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2008-2011)


  • J.D., South Texas College of Law, summa cum laude
    • South Texas Law Review, Note & Comment Editor
    • Order of the Lytae
    • Valedictorian
  • B.S. in Accountancy, University of Illinois, highest honors