Tobin A. Sparling

Professor of Law

B.A., Dartmouth College
M.S., Columbia University School of Library Service
M.A., Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
J.D., Columbia University School of Law

Areas of Expertise

  • Legal Research & Writing
  • Privacy Law


Office: 614T

Professor Sparling has taught legal research and writing at South Texas College of Law Houston since 1997.  A second-career lawyer, Professor Sparling attended Columbia Law School after having worked in the rare books and print departments at the Yale Center for British Art and the New York Public Library.  He holds graduate degrees in library science and art history.  Following law school graduation, Professor Sparling was a litigation associate at Schule Roth & Zabel in New York City and a reference librarian at the Fred Parks Law Library at South Texas College of Law Houston.  He writes in the areas of sexual orientation law and judicial ethics.


Clay Pigeon or Trojan Horse: Pigeon v. Turner and the Intersection of Gay Rights and Judicial Ethics in Texas, 17 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 255 (2018).

A Path Unfollowed: The Disregard Of Dignity Precedent In Justice Kennedy’s Gay Rights Decisions, 26 Tul. J. L. & Sexuality 53 (2017).

The Odd Couple: How Justices Kennedy and Scalia, Together, Advanced Gay Rights in Romer v. Evans, 67 Mercer L. Rev. 305 (2016).

Preventing Resident-to-Resident Abuse in Long-Term Care: Targeting Sex Offenders But Missing the Mark, 15 Marq. Elder L. Advisor 55 (2013).

Resurrecting The Argument For Judicial Empathy: Can A Dead Duck Be Successfully Repackaged For Sale To A Skeptical Public? 20 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 1 (2010).

Through Different Lenses: Using Psychology to Assess Popular Criticism of the Judiciary from the Public’s Perspective, 19 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 471 (2010).

Attorneys Un-muzzled: Does Republican Party of Minnesota v. White Invalidate the Use of an Objective Standard in Cases Involving Extrajudicial Speech Criticizing a Judge? 30 Hamline L. Rev. 59 (2007).

Keeping up Appearances: the Constitutionality of the Model Code of Judicial Conduct’s Prohibition of Extrajudicial Speech Creating the Appearance of Bias, 19 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 441 (2006).

Judicial Bias Claims of Homosexual Persons in the Wake of Lawrence v. Texas, 46 S. Tex. L. Rev. 255 (2004).

All in the Family: Recognizing the Unifying Potential of Same-Sex Marriage, 10 Law & Sex. 187 (2001).


Strategic Legal Research: Finding the Information You Need Efficiently and Cost-Effectively. 2d ed. (New York: Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, 2015).

Strategic Legal Research: Finding the Information You Need Efficiently and Cost-Effectively. (New York: Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, 2014).


Hot Topics-Do Attorneys Have the Skills, 50th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Association of Law Libraries, (Somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico), April 11, 2008. (with Susan Yancey)

Introduction and Panel Discussion: Transcript of Proceedings, Lawrence v. Texas Symposium, 46 S. Tex. L. Rev. 323, 333 (2004).

CV (PDF format)