St. Mary's University School of Law
St. Mary's School of Law, the only Catholic law school in Texas, was established in 1927 as the San Antonio School of Law in Texas by the local bar association and transferred to St. Mary's University in 1934.
More than 500 living St. Mary’s University graduates have gone on to hold elected or judicial positions. The St. Mary's School of Law's distinguished alumni include U.S. Senator and former Texas Supreme Court Justice John Cornyn, U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, Texas Supreme Court Justice Paul Green, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Rose Spector, who was the first woman elected to that court, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Ted Robertson, and former Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett.
Admissions & tuition
Matriculating full-time students in 2014 had a median GPA of 3.04 and a median LSAT of 150 for the full-time program. For the part-time program, numbers were slightly lower, at 2.83 and 149. Of St. Mary's 1,154 applicants, 203 enrolled as full-time students and 51 as part-time students. Students at St. Mary's describe the application process as straightforward, with an emphasis on the candidate's LSAT score and GPA.
St. Mary's School of Law has been repeatedly recognized for diversity. About 51 percent of J.D. students came from a minority background, 41 percent of those were Hispanic.
St. Mary’s law tuition is about $10,000 a year less than the national average for private law schools. For the 2014-2015 academic year, full-time tuition and fees at St. Mary's cost $33,100. Part-time tuition cost $17,248. More than 100 scholarships are available to J.D. students and 90 percent of J.D. students received some form of financial aid in 2014-15.
St. Mary's has a typical first-year lecture size of 87 students for the full-time program. The school had 107 faculty members in spring 2014. All first-year students at St. Mary's take the same schedule of courses, which includes civil procedure, contracts, legal research and writing, property and torts. Current students say the curve is harsh and the workload difficult. However, students also say the professors are accessible, friendly and intelligent.
Quality of life
The law school is located in the seventh largest city in the United States. San Antonio is a vibrant tourist destination full of restaurants, shops and bars. Students looking for a thrill can easily head to Six Flags Fiesta Texas (in San Antonio), catch a performance at the newly renovated Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, or watch the city's beloved San Antonio Spurs play at the AT&T Center. Those who want to remember a piece of history can take a day trip to the Alamo or one of the other San Antonio Missions.
Off-campus housing is cheap and prevalent. San Antonio's cost of living is inexpensive when compared to New York, Boston and Chicago. Students seem happy with San Antonio and say the Student Bar Association and other organizations do a great job of putting together activities for the school's legal community.
Employment prospects & bar passage
In 2014, 80.4 percent of St. Mary's graduates were known to be employed within nine months of graduation. Of those, almost all worked in Texas, underscoring the regional value of the law school's degree. Graduates received an average starting salary of $68,053. Students at St. Mary's stress that while the school's reputation is rising in Texas, particularly in San Antonio, finding a job outside of the state can be arduous.
In 2013, graduates of St. Mary's passed the state bar at a rate of 81.45 percent.
Prospective students can do well by choosing St. Mary's for their legal education. The school can offer a degree with high regional value that will get students a job in Texas. St. Mary's can be good choice for those who want to live in San Antonio and work in the state.
LSAT Median: 150 (FT), 149 (PT)
GPA Median: 3.04 (FT), 2.83 (PT)
Application Deadline: March 1
Application fee: $0
Entering class size: 203 (FT), 51 (PT)
2014-2015 Tuition: $33,100 (FT), $17,248 (PT)
Bar passage rate in Texas: 81.45%
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 80.41%
Average starting salary: $68,053