I attend St. Mary's University School of Law, so let me fill you in on what I think.
St. Mary's has been in a rough patch for about 15 years. However, the school has seen a lot of it's problems disappear the last few years. The school has a great bit of momentum, and here's why:Jobs
We're seeing some incredible job opportunities being offered to St. Mary's students. Two people on the Law Journal will be clerking at the Texas Supreme Court next year. The Editor in Chief got a job with Cox Smith, which is the largest firm in San Antonio. A 2L was just accepted into the summer program at Fulbright. Another 3L will be a briefing attorney at the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals next year. All in all, people are landing killer jobs.Opportunities
You can judge a lot of law schools by four criteria: Journals, Advocacy Programs, Internship Opportunities, and Professors. I'll discuss each of these in turn below.
Let me also add, though, that we have the only Terrorism Law Center in the country. Professor Addicott, the center's director, is constantly on news programs discussing issues related to terrorism (http://www.stmarytx.edu/ctl/
Additionally, there are two amazing study abroad programs. At the Innsbruck Institute on World Legal Problems, you will study under a U.S. Supreme Court justice in Austria. No kidding. St. Mary's also just added the Institute on Chinese Law and Business. The China program will help students prepare to represent clients who are doing business in China.
I should also mention that St. Mary's was selected to webcast the oral arguments heard before the Texas Supreme Court. You can check them out on our website.Journals
It's overlooked, but St. Mary's has consistently had one of the top 15 most cited law journals in the country. That means it ranks among the very best and most influential journals. The students that work on the Journal are sharp, and among the brightest you could hope to hire. The Journal is also partially supported by prestigious and supportive alumni.
Additionally, St. Mary's has another law review specifically for minority issues called The Scholar. The Scholar is the 8th most cited out of 44 minority issues journals. The Scholar continues to gain prominence and, like the Journal, has an excellent editorial staff.Advocacy Programs
The advocacy programs (Mock Trial, Moot Court, Negotiations, Arbitration) are top-notch and consistently best some of the top teams in the country. We're a practitioner's school, and our advocacy programs reflect that commitment. See http://www.stmarytx.edu/law/index.php?site=advocacyPrograms#externalAdvocacy
to see the winning record of our advocacy teams.
We also host the annual Lone Star Classic. It's a mock trial tournament with teams from all around the country. Students, even those who aren't involved in the advocacy program, join in to help put on the whole thing.
And if you haven't seen our new mock court room, it's a must-visit. The technology is astounding. The advocacy teams practice in it, and courts Texas Fourth Court of Appeals and the Federal Fifth Circuit often hold their oral arguments in the court room so that students can watch.Internship Opportunities
Plenty of people work at the DA's office (with pay), etc. But the real gems of St. Mary's are the judicial internships. St. Mary's students are selected each semester to work at several courts, including the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals. These opportunities are priceless. You will not have as good of an opportunity to work for the Fifth Circuit as you do at St. Mary's.Professors
I cannot express how grateful I am to have had the professors I've had at St. Mary's. They are incredibly gifted, unique people with immensely impressive backgrounds. They also have unique, memorable personalities. John Teeter, a torts professor, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law. I will never forget my first-year torts experience with him. Aloysius Leopold is the Texas Property man. The man practically wrote the Texas Property Code. Vincent Johnson graduated from Yale Law, and teaches torts, professional responsibility, and other classes. He's a true "scholar" in every sense of the word. I could go on and on. Flint, Kauffman, Liu, Rice, and many more. Professor David Schlueter was a JAG officer. You will truly learn evidence from this man. He's also incredibly well-connected and is well-regarded by the legal community.All in all, St. Mary's has some incredible momentum behind it. With top Journals, extremely well-regarded professors, the best judicial internships in the state, the ability to study under a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and top advocacy programs, you cannot go wrong.
Oh, and did I mention how great the law school community is? We're a tight-knit bunch. You should come give us a visit. Good luck making your decisions.