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A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
lindseyl
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Postby lindseyl » Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:46 pm

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Last edited by lindseyl on Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Katkins
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Postby Katkins » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:32 pm

Something you might not know about St. Mary's is that the Law Journal ranks third in the nation, under Harvard and Columbia.


Third by what criteria?

Thanks for the post on St. Mary's. I have a friend who's there, and I'm glad to hear people like it. :)

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neskerdoo
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Postby neskerdoo » Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:04 pm

third most cited journal by somebody?

lindseyl
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Postby lindseyl » Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:28 pm

edited
Last edited by lindseyl on Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

crys1925
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Postby crys1925 » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:37 pm

Although I was initially frightened by the T4 label, I can't deny the fact that I love the city of San Antonio. I'm applying this year, and while I haven't got my LSAT score back, I was practicing in the mid-high 160s so I'm certain that I would have no trouble getting into this school. I was just wondering, lindseyl, if you had any information about employment opportunities after graduation and how St. Mary's ranks in the San Antonio area in terms of job opportunities. I know there aren't really other law schools in the area (besides UT in Austin...which is still not that close) so do St. Mary's grads dominate the San Antonio region? Also, what is the atmosphere like? You said that you haven't really seen the competition aspect yet...does that mean that the students are fairly friendly towards one another?

awesomepossum
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Postby awesomepossum » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:26 am

sounds like a cooley.

If you go to http://lawlib.wlu.edu/LJ/index.aspx

you can figure out the most often cited journals.

1 Harvard Law Review 6900
2 The Yale Law Journal 5266
3 Columbia Law Review 5031
4 Stanford Law Review 4439
5 California Law Review 3824
6 Michigan Law Review 3805
7 New York University Law Review 3651
8 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 3474
9 Virginia Law Review 3445
10 The University of Chicago Law Review 3434
11 The Georgetown Law Journal 3281
12 Fordham Law Review 3197
13 Texas Law Review 3130
14 Cornell Law Review 3095
15 UCLA Law Review 2841

This was what I got by selecting "journals" and "to 2006" which is the most recent year you can do.

This list goes into the 100's.

fnm
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Postby fnm » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:51 pm

I'm not an expert on Texas law schools, but everyone I know from Texas has mostly negative reviews of St. Mary. A very large portion of their grads are still looking for jobs. Just b/c its the only law school in san antonio doesn't mean it places well in san antonio; UT will get the top jobs, then SMU, then Baylor, then U. of Houston, then St. Mary grads can compete for whatever's left.

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Grad_Student
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Postby Grad_Student » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:08 pm

weeeee

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CLM
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby CLM » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:12 pm

I've recently recieved my acceptence letter from St. Mary's University and used to attend schools part time there, My undergrad university Incarnate Word shared a partnership program which was hosted on the campus of St. Mary's, so I'm fairly familiar with the school not to mention I grew up most of my life in San Antonio.

However, there are a few things which scare the crap out of me about actually attending this school; namely, that St' Mary's graduates often pass the bar in lower numbers than the average of the entire state.

Note: this is even after adjusting for the notoriously low scores which are reported from non ABA schools. I'm guessing the real first time passage rate for ABA accredited schools in Texas is somewhere in the ball park of 85%, while St. Mary's commonly scores below 80% for all first time bar takers.

As far as their journal publications.. I'm sure almost all law schools have aspect of their schools which is worth highlighting. For some it is their ability to compete in moot court debates, for others it maybe the success of their International Law program.. I do not discredit those who praise St. Mary's achievements, but try to keep it in moderation.

A couple of other things worth consideration, San Antonio has starkly low numbers of undergraduates for a city of its size.. All a law school degree does is make you more marketable for the job market in which you intend to live in.. What does it matter that you graduate from Cornell if you can't find a job in Tx.. Conversely, a law firm based in San Antonio, knows there is a high likelihood that interested candidates for their vacancy could most likely be found in their backyards, not to mention the students themselves might make for good networks.. As the old cliche goes, it's not what you know, but who you know.. Could their be any better networking than studying law with the mayor's son, a judge's nephew, or the daughter of the president of the biggest law firm in San Antonio. It's a crap shoot...

Bottom line I think is if you're educated in San Antonio, particularily with a higher degree, you fair a much greater chance of securing a great job than if you lived in an overlysatuated market such as Boston or Washington DC, even with a law degree from a more prestigous school.

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Katkins
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby Katkins » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:51 pm

What does it matter that you graduate from Cornell if you can't find a job in Tx.


A Cornell Law grad will have no problem finding a job in TX :wink:

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ari20dal7
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby ari20dal7 » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:54 am

CLM, you're right that networking and location wins when all else is equal.

All else is not equal.

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CLM
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby CLM » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:46 am

Katkins wrote:
What does it matter that you graduate from Cornell if you can't find a job in Tx.


A Cornell Law grad will have no problem finding a job in TX :wink:


My official 2007 guide of ABA accredited schools say there were still 3 graduates from Cornell law who were still actively still seeking employment, conversely there were only 4 graduates from St. Mary's still seeking employment.. Surprisingly they're both really small numbers...

brenda
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St. Mary's Law- DON'T GO!

Postby brenda » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:40 pm

As a former student at St. Mary's Law, I beg everyone considering this school to read this post and take it to heart. I am convinced this is the worst school in the state of Texas. Unless you have a job waiting for you when you graduate (i.e.. your dad or other family member is a lawyer and has promised you a job when you graduate), go somewhere else to law school, or do not go at all.

With the exception of possibly medicine (possibly...), no profession is more snobby about where a person got his degree than law. Do not listen to people who say "just get a law degree from anywhere. The school doesn't matter." Believe me, it matters.

The pompous Dean of Evening Studies told one friend of mine after her grandmother died right before her first year finals that he had never seen someone like her pull themselves out of an academic "hole" like she had gotten into, and to drop out of school. My friend graduated, took the bar, and, thanks to hard core networking, got a job before most people at the top of the class. This particular dean had never passed a Bar. what? that's right. He graduated from school in WI where graduating from a Wisconsic law school meant automatic license to practice in that state. I hardly think you are qualified to prepare students to take a Bar if you never have. If anything, it should be required just to ensure that professorial candidate understands the pain and suffering students go through in preparing for the test!

One of my friends had a medical excuse that the school acknowledged to delay a final exam, but was later told she failed the course and subsequently was "academically excluded" from returning the following year because she did not show up to the test and her GPA was shot. Exclusion- a fancy term for failing out of law school- is very common at this school. The mandatory curve is set at C+, and a solid C average must be attained by the end of the first year in order to stay in the JD program. That means about 80% of the class receives a C+ or below on any given final exam, and about 1/3 of the class is gone after the first year. This is a clever way to weed out too many hard working students just so the school can get a lot of money and keep 2nd and 3rd year classes smaller. This ridiculously hard grading curve also makes it near impossible to transfer to another school.

I don't know about the rank of the Law Journal in citations by the Supreme Court. I would like to find that information out from someone other than a St. Mary's staff member. If this were true, why the hell wouldn't the school be ranked in the top tier? Schools in the lower tiers are at risk of losing their ABA accredidation, so be ware.

The Dean of Students is very meritously ranked the worst dean in the state. If they ranked professors, her quality in that regard would also, no doubt, be at the bottom.

There are some good (not great) professors there, but many are just terrible. I had a sweet first year Property professor who never once conducted a traditional law class. He would assign reading and ask the class what we thought about it. He never taught us anything, and when we got our all-essay exams back, he had no way of explaining his arbitrary grading.

One professor is so terrible, she is only there still because she has a court injunction to stay.

The school is over-priced. Tuition and fees for next year are close to $30,000. That means if you are paying your own way, you will be close to or over $100,000 in debt when you get out. If you are thinking, "yeah, but don't top mega firms in big Texas cities pay as much as $150,000/yr to first year associates?" you are right. But top firms are not in San Antonio, and firms in Dallas, Houston and Austin do not even hire St. Mary's graduates, or if they do, their requirements are different. I went to a legal career fair filled with top firms who would gladly schedule an interview for any Harvard, Yale, Stanford or Georgetown student, would take resumes from U Texas students in the top half of their class, from SMU, Texas Tech and U of Houston students in the top 30%, and only the top 2% of St. Mary's. That was the closest thing to discrimination I have ever felt. Top jobs at top firms go to the top students at top schools, and there are not many spots available each year, hence the extreme competition. Most first year law grads, if they are able to get a job right out of school, are looking at $40-75k/yr with smaller firms or the government.

I write this post in April 2009. The law review editor of the graduating class of May 2008 still does not have a full-time job. Knowing all you do now about this school, ask yourself why you really want to go to law school. I went because I was trying to raise my earning's potential by becoming an attorney working in a big firm (only large, international firms do they type of law I am interested in). I knew my the end of the first year that would never happen if I graduated from St. Mary's. Loan sharks started calling me for $900 a month to repay debt before I even got my Bar results back. Law school is unlike undergrad, so a lot of "smart" people do not do well there. I do not care how the brochures look or what people on campus say, bad administration has caused this school to lose its prestige in my opinion, and I do everything I can to let potential law students know what is truly waiting for them if they go to St. Mary's.

chanti
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby chanti » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:44 am

I'm so glad I read these posts. I've been thinking about St. Mary's because it's close (I live in Austin) and I don't expect I'll be getting in to UT. Baylor, U of H, and SMU are tempting possibilities, but they'd require a move (and hubby to find a new job). Any advice on the best option for someone interested in practicing immigration law? Baylor seems like a great school and it's close to Austin, but my impression is that it's geared more towards corporate law w/o a lot of opportunities for clinics and social outreach.

lawkid786
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby lawkid786 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:05 am

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Last edited by lawkid786 on Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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riburn3
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby riburn3 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:14 am

lawkid786 wrote:So, if you were me, would you attend St. Mary's on half scholarship or Syracuse (sticker price)? I would eventually like to practice in Texas. I have just heard many mixed reviews about St. Mary's and good things about Syracuse but the tuition price is INSANE.
I need to narrow down my list between these two...if you HAD to choose which one would you? ANY advice?



If I had to, I would choose St. Mary's just to practice in Texas over Syracuse. However, I would also consider retaking as a score in the high 150's low 160's gets you into a much better school in Texas like SMU, Baylor, or UH. If retaking isn't an option, did you apply or consider Texas Tech? Their students love it, they have a great alumni base in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, their Bar passage is just as good as UT or other Texas schools, and their salary stats are much better then St. Marys. Just some food for thought.

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texas08
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby texas08 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:18 pm

riburn3 wrote:If I had to, I would choose St. Mary's just to practice in Texas over Syracuse. However, I would also consider retaking as a score in the high 150's low 160's gets you into a much better school in Texas like SMU, Baylor, or UH. If retaking isn't an option, did you apply or consider Texas Tech? Their students love it, they have a great alumni base in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, their Bar passage is just as good as UT or other Texas schools, and their salary stats are much better then St. Marys. Just some food for thought.


TITCR, unless you have a huge scholarship from St. Mary's and want to do PI or something.

chanti wrote:I'm so glad I read these posts. I've been thinking about St. Mary's because it's close (I live in Austin) and I don't expect I'll be getting in to UT. Baylor, U of H, and SMU are tempting possibilities, but they'd require a move (and hubby to find a new job). Any advice on the best option for someone interested in practicing immigration law? Baylor seems like a great school and it's close to Austin, but my impression is that it's geared more towards corporate law w/o a lot of opportunities for clinics and social outreach.


So you would commute from Austin to San Antonio M-F :shock: . If I were you I would go to Baylor, UH or SMU way, way before I would go to St Mary's. Either both of you move or do long distance with the hubby. After all, Houston and Waco aren't that far from Austin, you could see each other every weekend if you wanted, even Dallas isn't THAT far. You will get a MUCH better education and have far better job prospects.

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Grad_Student
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby Grad_Student » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:08 pm

lawkid786 wrote:So, if you were me, would you attend St. Mary's on half scholarship or Syracuse (sticker price)? I would eventually like to practice in Texas. I have just heard many mixed reviews about St. Mary's and good things about Syracuse but the tuition price is INSANE.
I need to narrow down my list between these two...if you HAD to choose which one would you? ANY advice?

Go to South Texas.

lethe405
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby lethe405 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:52 am

I live/work in San Antonio, and I can assure you that St. Mary's has an awful reputation even here. I work for a nonprofit that employs a few lawyers, and we only hire St. Mary's grads as a last resort. If you graduate with a decent GPA/rank, you'll probably be able to find work here in San Antonio. However, getting a job won't be easy, and leaving San Antonio will be difficult due to competition from UT, Houston, SMU, etc.

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riburn3
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby riburn3 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:46 am

I find it funny how no one actually answered the OP's question of if they HAD to go to either Syracuse or St. Mary's what would they do. Naturally the majority of us wouldn't want either, especially in Texas where there are several better options, but you all aren't contributing a thing by not giving an honest answer. Seems like people are practicing to be politicians before they have become lawyers.

lawkid786
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby lawkid786 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:23 pm

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Last edited by lawkid786 on Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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texas08
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby texas08 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:18 pm

riburn3 wrote:I find it funny how no one actually answered the OP's question of if they HAD to go to either Syracuse or St. Mary's what would they do. Naturally the majority of us wouldn't want either, especially in Texas where there are several better options, but you all aren't contributing a thing by not giving an honest answer. Seems like people are practicing to be politicians before they have become lawyers.


Well lawkid wansn't the OP actually, probably why not many people responded to him/her.

lawkid786 wrote:+1 haha I need an opinion. Pick one or the other please. Anyone else?


If you want to practice in Texas, IMO you should go to St. Mary's. If you are on TLS enough, obviously you know that going to a Tier 4 school isn't going to be a walk in the park as far as finding a job goes. But Syracuse is a VERY regional school (as is St. Mary's but you want to practice in TX, so not as big a problem). If you want some more opinions, you might try putting a poll on your own topic in the choosing a law school thread (if you didn't already). Good luck.

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Grad_Student
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby Grad_Student » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:11 pm

Pick St. Mary's if you want to stay in Texas but honestly you are going to be extremely limited to basically SA. UT and Baylor dominate the Austin market. STCL and UH dominate Houston. SMU and Baylor dominating Dallas. I would seriously rethink St. Mary's before going.

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DavidMorales
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby DavidMorales » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:22 pm

From someone who is going to CLS next fall and currently working at a non profit legal agency and recieves great help from St Mary's students and professors, let me say that I have nothing but respect and admiration for the people at this school. Professor Lee Teran, who oversees the clinical legal immigration program, is an authoritative voice in immigration law in south texas and has helped us discover the right course of action on many difficult cases. In addition, i find that the students are smart professional, and downright passionate about their work; if it were not for their countless hours of volunteer time we recieve every month many of our services and clinics would simply not exists.

udlordly
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Re: St. Mary's University School of Law

Postby udlordly » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:15 am

Gotta love those Mariansit schools (St. Mary's, Dayton, and Chaminade)




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