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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Tulsa or St. Mary's?
« on: July 23, 2005, 03:43:17 PM »
St. Mary's is an old law school. The alumni base is very strong and very supportive of the school. St. Mary's graduates sit on every court in Texas, including the Texas Supreme Court. What's more, St. Mary's has the fourth most cited law journal in the country. Anyone arguing that St. Mary's has anything less than a stellar reputation in San Antonio shows he doesn't know much about the school. One poster above wrote that the "staff and students seem quite unhappy."  That's ridiculous. The law professors are well published and the vast majority of them have tenure. It seems most are quite content to stay at St. Mary's. Most have been there more than 10 years. In fact, I wonder just what a law school applicant visting the campus thinks a "happy" law professor looks like? 

Take a look at the San Antonio Bar Association and you see the vast majority graduated from St. Mary's. The bar passage rate is at 80 percent (July 2004), which is at the statewide average.

I don't know what to say about the poster who doesn't like San Antonio drivers or the skyline of San Antonio. Sorry you're not from Texas and don't like being here. 

As far as appraising the law school, which is the purpose of this thread, I would recommend visiting and seeing for yourself.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Tulsa or St. Mary's?
« on: July 23, 2005, 08:20:49 AM »
St. Mary's Law School ("StMLS") is a great law school with a proud history.

Most of the law school facilities were constructed in the late 1960s. The library has an impressive amount of titles, treatises, reporters, and legal periodicals. Some of these are quite old and the oldest books are probably a little musty. Of course, this is true in any library and perhaps your friend had just never spent much time in a library before. However, the library also has the most up to date publications and has modern internet connections. If you walk through it, and look at the carpet, the lighting, the glass doors and the furniture, it's an impressive facility and ranks as a quality legal research institution.

As far as the legal market in the area, San Antonio is the eighth largest city in the United States.  The law firms in the San Antonio area have a preference for STMLS graduates. Large law firms recruit on the St. Mary's campus.

StMLS is an institution with a rich history.  It is difficult to appraise the reputation of an institution when that reputation needs to be measured in terms of decades, rather than just glancing at the last year’s statistics.   For decades, StMLS ranked in the top three or four of the Texas Law Schools in terms of bar passage rate.  In the 1980s, the school was in the top three of Texas law schools five times out of ten July bar exam administrations. The school was entrenched as one of the best law schools in the state. It must be noted, however, that there was no U.S. News and World Reports “ranking system” for any law schools until after 1987.  Prior to the USNWR publication, bar passage rate was seen as an indicator of the quality of a law school’s program.  St. Mary’s was known as a “lawyer’s lawschool.”  It was a place where individuals could go and learn from Texas lawyers.  By all accounts, it was a rigorous program, disciplined, and firmly committed to the “nuts and bolts” of the practice of law. Many people who know something about the school are aware that StMLS had a dip in their bar passage rates in the 1990s; however, the school changed management and the bar passage rates have been on the rise again. There are more than 300 StMLS graduates that are elected officials in the United States.  StMLS has a current U.S. Senator (John Cornyn--Tex.). It's a fine law school and you should go and visit the school. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: bar passage rates
« on: June 25, 2005, 10:02:36 AM »
This is a complicated issue.

Statistically speaking, schools with higher LSAT admission requirements tend to have higher bar pass rates. So, in the aggregate, higher LSAT admission criteria tend to correlate with higher bar pass rates at the law school level. 

However, when analyzing on the individual level the correlation between LSAT score and passing a bar exam on the first try, the LSAT score alone is a rather weak predictor. If all we know at all about an applicant sitting for a bar exam is the individual's LSAT score (in other words, we don't know the school he/she went to, or the grades he/she received in law school, or any other factor at all about the individual), the LSAT score alone is a weak predictor of success on the individual's ability to pass the bar exam on the first try. 

Another difficulty arises by the question presented by this post. The question relies on the metaphorical use of the word "reflection." I suppose bar passage rates "reflect" both admissions criteria of certain classes and "quality" of instruction. However, you cannot say with much statistical confidence that an individual with a 160 LSAT has, say, an 85 percent chance of passing the bar on the first attempt. 

As far as the measure of the quality of instruction, there is one argument that no law school really prepares you for what many consider to be the hardest part of most state bar exams: the multi-state bar exam ("MBE"). The MBE is a 6 hour, 200 question multiple choice exam.  The MBE tests on "majority rules" in many cases. In other words, what most states do across the country. It also tests on common-law crimes.  Because, most, if not all, states have enacted criminal codes, the criminal law is largely statutory. Most criminal law professors "teach" the statutes from the codes. In other words, they "teach" the real law of the jursidiction.   Although many law school professors will allude to the majority rule, or the minority rule, or in the criminal law example, the old common law rules, in their lectures, most law schools emphasize the law of the jurisdiction where they are located. What's more, most first-year law school exams are presented in an "issue spotter" essay exam format.  This last statement is, of course, a generalization. But historically, multiple choice was rarely used on a law school exam. So, in this sense, law school does not "prepare" you to take what many consider the most important part of the bar exam--the MBE.  And in some jurisdictions, if you don't score at the least the minimum MBE score they want for that jurisdiction, they don't even grade the essays and you fail. 

With all this said, I still feel that law school does prepare you for the overall bar exam preparation necessary for a state bar exam (hint: take Bar-bri when studying for the bar exam). In other words, you master the language of the law and the key concepts in law school. Then, when you study for the bar exam, you can move through the massive amount of material fast enough to cover most of it before the exam. For the MBE, you end up having to learn what many refer to as "MBE law"--which isn't always the "real" law of the jursidiction where you are sitting for the bar. But you must know these rules to pass the MBE. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Texas Schools' tuition costs ranked
« on: June 24, 2005, 07:31:23 PM »
Found these 2005 statistics:

            Resident     Nonresident
1. SMU       $27,764
2. Baylor    $22,158
3. St Mary's $20,460
4. South Tx  $19,140
5. Tx. Wes.  $18,320
6. UH        $12,280    $17,590
7. UT        $11,462    $26,380
8. Tx. Tech. $9,756     $14,852
9. Tx.South. $9,752     $12,752

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Texas Law Schools' Bar results
« on: June 03, 2005, 08:26:57 PM »
The Texas Legislature just finished without passing legislation to create a new law school at the University of North Texas.

The Texas Legislature just concluded their session without passing the legislation to create a new public law school at the University of North Texas--Denton.

Choosing the Right Law School / UNT law school idea dead
« on: June 03, 2005, 07:02:31 PM »
There were several posts about this a few months ago. The Texas Legislature just concluded without passing the legislation that sought to create a new public law school at the University of North Texas--Denton.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: TEST FOR INCOMING 1L's
« on: May 14, 2005, 01:51:27 PM »
One Example of Law School Multiple Choice:

Gary Traveler was  a guest at the Ritz Hotel. Ritz Hotel was very exclusive and catered to movie stars and international dignitaries. As a result, staying just one night at the Ritz usually cost upwards of $500.00.  Inside, the furniture was imported and fine French chefs prepared dinners in the restaurant.

However, the hotel management knew that the outside of the hotel had a problem with slimy green slugs. The slugs were in mating season, and each morning, dead slug bodies would litter the marble steps at one of the key entrances to the Ritz.  Management was disgusted, but they told their lowest paid employees to hustle out there every morning and clean up the dead slugs off the marble steps.

On a Tuesday, Gary’s buddy, Paul Plaintiff, who lived in the same town as the Ritz, dropped by the Ritz to see his old friend, Gary.  As Paul began to go up the Ritz steps, he slipped on a dead slug that had not  been cleaned up and severely injured himself. On this Tuesday, the low-paid employees had failed to clean up the steps.  Paul now thinks he has a claim against the Ritz.

Paul is most likely to:

A.   prevail on his claim because the Ritz employees failed to clean up the steps.

B.   not prevail on his claim, unless Paul intended to get a room for himself at the Ritz prior to his injury.

C.   prevail on his claim, only if the Ritz management knew of the hazardous slip condition.

D.   not prevail on his claim, unless the low paid employees had seen the slug on the steps.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: TEST FOR INCOMING 1L's
« on: May 14, 2005, 01:17:05 PM »
Here's a possible answer to the hypothetical fact pattern above.

The issue is whether Frank who undertook to rescue Steve owes a standard of care to Steve as a reasonably prudent person.  Tort law’s general rule is that no legal duty is owed by any individual to affirmatively go to the rescue of another.  But an individual who does undertake to act on the behalf of another (even though he is under no obligation to so do) must act as a reasonable prudent person.  Here, Frank may have owed to Steve a standard of care to act as a reasonably prudent person.  Even if this situation can be classified as a sudden emergency, Franks still had to act as a reasonably prudent person and Frank may have not lived up to that standard.  The facts state that Frank had a cell phone, which he had turned off.  Frank could have turned it on and called for help instead of putting Steve in Frank’s SUV and racing down the mountain and onto a public road after Frank had been drinking. Although the facts state that the crash did not cause Steve any injuries, Frank apparently botched the rescue because he certainly did not intend to wreck the car as part of the rescue attempt, and the delay, the jostling about, and the failure to cleanse, bandage, or close any of Steve’s wounds caused Steve injury.  In the absence of facts suggesting a Good Samaritan statute, and because Frank undertook to act as a rescuer, he had a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person.

The issue is whether Frank is strictly liable for Steve’s injuries. A rescuer is not strictly liable for a victim’s injuries.  However, a rescuer can be held liable for negligent acts.  Here, although Frank may have been negligent in his rescue attempt, he cannot be held liable on a strict liability theory.  Furthermore, the first tortfeasor is generally liable for the aggravation of a plaintiff’s injuries caused by the malpractice of the Plaintiff’s doctor and may be classified as a dependent intervening cause which is almost always foreseeable. However, it can be argued that Frank was not the original cause of Steve’s injuries.  The mountain lion was.  Regardless of the scope of Steve’s potential negligence liability, Frank is not liable under a theory of strict liability.     

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Texas Law Schools' Bar results
« on: May 07, 2005, 03:52:26 PM »

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