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Incoming 1Ls / common first-year terms
« on: February 26, 2005, 08:18:16 AM »
Here’s a working list of common first-year terms. Please feel free to add…

Appellate Brief
Black’s Law Dictionary
Black Letter Law
Book brief
Call of the question
Case brief
Commercial outline
Dean’s List
Examples & Explanations
Getting called on
Issue spotter
Law Review
Legalines (commercial outlines)
Lexis account
Mock Trial
Moot Court
Phi Delta Phi
Practice exams
Reciting a case
Socratic method
Sum & Substance
Westlaw account

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Breakdown of Texas law schools...
« on: February 18, 2005, 06:13:42 PM »
I think you can get the experience in writing component classes. You can read the bluebook and write papers on legal topics and submit them to competitions if you want to. You can be a research assistant to a professor and get your name cited in one or two of his or her articles. There are other routes to obtaining the experience, but I think many employers are interested in it for the prestige thing. It means you fought and beat out others to get onto a journal. However, if employers see many people coming from a school and they are all on one law journal or another, what do they use to whittle down the applicant pool? I guess the question is, would you rather be on the elite journal of a slightly lower ranked school or on one of the non-elite journals of a slightly higher ranked school?

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Breakdown of Texas law schools...
« on: February 18, 2005, 05:25:48 PM »
Well, of course, some schools have more than one law journal. I know UH has a health policy journal as well as other subject-specific journals in addition to their main law review. That statistic seems a little strange to me, because to get onto a journal you have to be selected from a pool of applicants. I see your point that perhaps your chances of getting onto a journal may seem better if a larger percentage of the class participates, but because this is kind of an elitist thing to begin with, a smaller percentage may suggest a more elite status of being one of only, say 11 percent, that were selected to be on the school's main journal.


Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Breakdown of Texas law schools...
« on: February 18, 2005, 05:05:15 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?

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 08:34:26 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.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 08:14:32 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. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 07:58:31 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 O’Connor as a distinguished visiting jurist at the St. Mary’s University Institute on World Legal Problems in Innsbruck, Austria.



Choosing the Right Law School / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 07:40:40 PM »
No. I don't work there. But I know a lot about it.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: St. Mary's--Anyone in?
« on: February 11, 2005, 06:57:26 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. Mary’s 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 Foundation’s 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. 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Mixed Reactions to Law School
« on: January 29, 2005, 08:12:08 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.   

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