Law School Discussion

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101
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Breakdown of Texas law schools...
« on: February 18, 2005, 08:05:15 PM »
What exactly are you getting out of those statistics? I mean, would a school with a 100 percent participation rate in either category be more attractive?

102
Where should I go next fall? / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 11:34:26 PM »
I think some of the biggest factors for anyone considering going to law school have to be cost of tuition and location. UH is a great law school and it's public, so it is a great value for the money.  They have Professor Weaver who is one of the biggest names in oil and gas law.  On the other hand, South Texas has a strong litigation program and they have had some great professors such as Byron Davis and now, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Tom Phillips. I've never been a fan of the "tier" system cooked up by the magazine publishers at USNWR because the "tiers" do not take into account enough of the factors about the schools.  If you have resources or support systems in Houston, and you can go to one of those schools, then by all means, make a choice that is to your advantage. Law school is a lot of hard work. You've got to want to be there. You almost have to make the study of law your favorite hobby so you can spend the kind of hours that you need to studying.  Any of these schools will put you through the paces, challenge you, and ultimately, change you.

103
Where should I go next fall? / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 11:14:32 PM »
I can't advise you on that. However, Professor Addicott is doing a great job with the Center.

As far as I can tell, St. Mary's isn't making a hard push to market itself just along the lines of its international law courses. I mean, some other schools try to be the "health law" law school, etc. St. Mary's does have some great international law classes, but the majority of the law classes seem to focus on core topics, emphasizing Texas law. Of course, you can select electives in your upper division coursework and you can take the international courses, but you should be sure to pick up core classes such as Wills and Business Associations because those topics are tested on the bar exam. 

104
Where should I go next fall? / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 10:58:31 PM »
St. Mary's Law School just received over $1,000,000 from an alumn and the money is dedicated in part for the law school's Center for Terrorism Law.  The law school also has offered classes in U.S. policy and international law topics, e.g., courses in NAFTA. They also conduct courses at Innsbruck, Austria. They have recently had U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day OíConnor as a distinguished visiting jurist at the St. Maryís University Institute on World Legal Problems in Innsbruck, Austria.



 

   

105
Where should I go next fall? / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 10:40:40 PM »
No. I don't work there. But I know a lot about it.

106
Where should I go next fall? / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 09:57:26 PM »
Here's a little blurb for St. Mary's...

St. Mary's Law School is rooted in the history of San Antonio. The University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the country. In San Antonio, the school commands a deep sense of pride and respect.

The "law review" at St. Mary's is the St. Maryís Law Journal. St. Mary's law journal is ranked fourth in the country (tied with Georgetown University Law Journal) for the number of times it was cited by state and federal courts over the seven-year period, 1996-2003. What's more, this publication has won the Texas Bar Foundationís Outstanding Article Award several times.


St. Mary's School of Law has been recognized over the past several years in regional and national competitions by winning: the 2002 National Championship at the ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition; the Texas Young Lawyers Association Moot Court Competition; the Regional Championship at the Mock Trial Competition; the ABA Regional Mediation and Negotiation Competition; and the Lone Star Classic National Mock Trial Tournament three years in a row.

St. Mary's has a long tradition of producing excellent lawyers. U.S. Senator Cornyn, for example, graduated from St. Mary's Law School. For decades, St. Mary's routinely ranked in the top three or four of the Texas law schools in its bar passage rate. For example, from 1980 until 1989, St. Mary's was in the top three of the Texas law schools with the highest bar passage rates a total of five of the ten July bar exams. In the 1990s, however, the school shifted away somewhat from its time honored "nuts and bolts" approach. Unfortunately, the bar passage rate faltered. The alumni base became very concerned, there were some changes in management, and now, the school is climbing back, hopefully, to its former position of prominence on this indicator. For the July 2004 Texas Bar Exam, St.Mary's had an eighty percent pass rate. The November 2004 Texas Lawyer magazine proclaimed that St. Mary's was back. St.Mary's is a great school that is coming back strong. 

107
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Mixed Reactions to Law School
« on: January 29, 2005, 11:12:08 AM »
Just a point about perceptions. I think it's important to consider that a legal education is more than just a vocational degree. In fact, for the most part, the focus of lawschool is not on teaching you HOW to practice law out in the real world. Everyone has heard the cliche about lawschool teaching you to "think like a lawyer." Some lawstudents snicker about this. Some don't buy into it at all. However, I think there is some truth in the old cliche. 

I think it's probably true that the legal profession has preserved a sense of mystery about itself to make itself necessary. This is one factor fostering some negative attitudes about the profession. Now I don't want to make this sound like a theology, but I think there is something truly deep and mysterious about legal study. A legal education is more than just learning a series of rules so you can go out and turn a buck. Lawschool trains you to see the world in a new way, as an endless series of complex legal relationships. These relationships are things that nonlawyers don't see. Law study provides you with a kind of perception. It is a way of "seeing."  For example, a nonlawyer thinks he has an agreement with another person. A lawyer "sees" there is an ambiguity and the interpretation is not what the nonlawyer expects. The nonlawyer thinks he has something real. The lawyer shows the nonlawyer there is nothing there. Hocus Pocus? or Contra Proferentem? You decide. A philosopher wrote that the limits of language are the limits of the world. Law study extends the limits of one type of language and, in a sense, takes you somewhere you have never been before.   

108
I have many friends who graduated from Tier 1 schools. I happen to know that most of my friends are not making more than $100K a year. I have a few friends who do make those salaries. Some of the reasons that some are not making more than $100K a year is because they chose not to pursue jobs with those salaries. But does that make their legal education any less valuable?  They are not making huge salaries, but they received a great education.  There were professors they enjoyed and learned from, just as there were other professors they did not care for. Simply put, they got a lot out of law school. I know of others from Tier 1 schools who decided to live in areas where jobs paying those salaries are scarce indeed. There is no guarantee that someone who wants to make that salary will get it in those areas. They are not making huge salaries, but they don't walk around saying: "I graduated from a First Tier Toliet and I'm proud." My objection is to term "Third Tier Toliet." If it means that Tier 1 graduates are guaranteed jobs paying $100K a year and other schools are not, the term is a load of ****.

Employment statistics for all law schools are affected by the job market. Before the downturn, many firms were paying large salaries to first-year associates. After the downturn, that story changed dramatically. If the economy takes a nose dive, even those in the upper half of their classes feel it.  What's more, most law schools (even most of the Tier 1 law schools) exist within their geographical regions and they rely on local contacts for job placement. If you are at Harvard, yes, you will have many opportunities. I am not arguing that some schools do better nationally. However, any blanket statement asserting that all students in Tier 1 schools land $100K jobs right out of law school does not hold up. 


Here are some 2004 figures for 23 of the 25 largest law firms in Texas (read: likely to pay close to $100K a year or better) and the law school affiliations (with most of the tiers represented) of their 2004 associates. Note that in all cases the graduating class was considerably larger than the number of class representatives working in large law firms in Texas.

University of Houston Law Center 49

Baylor University School of Law 15

South Texas School of Law 12

SMU 42

Texas Tech University School of Law 8

109
Here are some 2004 figures for 23 of the 25 largest law firms in Texas and the law school affiliations of their 2004 associates...

University of Texas Law School 102
University of Houston Law Center 49
SMU Dedman School of Law 42
Baylor University School of Law 15
South Texas School of Law 12
University of Virginia School of Law 12
Harvard Law School 11
Georgetown University Law Center 10
Vanderbilt University Law School 10
Tulane Law School 9
Duke University School of Law 8
St. Mary's University School of Law 8
Texas Tech University School of Law 8
University of Michigan Law School 7
University of Chicago Law School 6
Columbia Law School 5
Notre Dame Law School 4
Stanford Law School 4
 

110
Law School Applications / Re: Associates at Law Firms
« on: January 22, 2005, 10:57:57 AM »
Although this does not answer the question above, here are some 2004 figures for 23 of the 25 largest law firms in Texas, and the law school affiliations of their 2004 associates....


University of Texas Law School 102
University of Houston Law Center 49
SMU Dedman School of Law 42
Baylor University School of Law 15
South Texas School of Law 12
University of Virginia School of Law 12
Harvard Law School 11
Georgetown University Law Center 10
Vanderbilt University Law School 10
Tulane Law School 9
Duke University School of Law 8
St. Mary's University School of Law 8
Texas Tech University School of Law 8
University of Michigan Law School 7
University of Chicago Law School 6
Columbia Law School 5
Notre Dame Law School 4
Stanford Law School 4

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