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« on: May 08, 2006, 08:01:19 PM »
At St. Mary's, exams are assigned two rooms: one for "writers" one for "typers". In order to type you have to bring your own laptop with "SoftTest" loaded already.
I've never heard of a professor allowing anyone to take an exam outside the assigned room. There really isn't a "computer lab" per se. Westlat and Lexis each have labs, but the SoftTest software isn't installed on those machines...
Buy a laptop. You'll want one by the end of the semester anyway, you might as well get the benefit for the whole semester.
« on: April 25, 2006, 02:51:24 PM »
Don't be intimidated by the "youngins" running around campus. Non-traditional/Second Career/Older Students do very well at St. Mary's. In my section, we have a number of people in their 30s, 40s, 50s... Several on the Dean's list, most are in the top 25% of the class.
You need a "workmanlike" attitude to succeed in law school and "working" like its a job (a 50-60 hour/week job) is more common for older students.
Eddie (35, Father of 2 young children)
« on: April 16, 2006, 03:47:06 PM »
There have been a couple official receptions at various cities around the State. I'd keep an eye on emails from your "mentors" for additional get togethers.
Also, you might want to post up something on http://www.rattlerslaw.com
. Last year we had a couple unofficial 1L "receptions" prior to orientation.
« on: March 20, 2006, 04:59:30 PM »
You might want to try http://www.rattlerslaw.com/
it is a forum run by St. Mary's law students, for St. Mary's law students. There are currently a couple "housing" topics already....
« on: March 05, 2006, 10:39:25 PM »
As a current 1L, the law review structure is still somewhat of a mystery. However, what I've been able to glean... around 12 people grade on, typically the top 12 in the class. Around 12 people write on, typically really strong writers. An additional 12 are selected based on an "average" of both grades and written submission, ie. good grades but not enough to grade on, decent writing, but not enough to write on...
Since grades do play a role, you do have to be an entering 2L to try. At the end of the second semester (literally the last day of finals) all the 1Ls are given the opportunity to pick up the packet and have around three weeks to turn in a final product.
Of course, everything I've said up to now is 1) without having gone through the process yet and 2)applies only to the "St. Mary's Law Journal". St. Mary's actually has a second journal, "The Scholar", which focuses on minority issues. So even if you don't make the Journal, there is still an opportunity to participate. BTW, in no way am I trying to say The Scholar is a lower tier journal. Many people would prefer to write for the Scholar. Its just a matter of interest... I assume you were asking about The Journal, however.
« on: March 05, 2006, 11:33:31 AM »
Since housing is so individual, its hard to say what would be right for you. There are some really nice areas (Alamo Heights, Castle Hills, etc.) but they get pricey. When we were looking for a house, the cheapest we found in AH was ~$250K, if I remember correctly. I also have two school age children, so that knocked out alot of houses (bad schools in the area), but we found plenty under $150K that were nice 3-4 bedroom homes. If you are OK with new construction, there are a ton of suburb-subdivisions going up on the west side of town (right around 1604, near seaworld). There are also smaller, older homes in town that some students get into. I've even seen a few downtown lofts near the riverwalk, but don't know the prices. The best plan is to come to town, visit the school, and talk to some of the people hanging out on the patio.
As for the school itself. If this were a sports team I'd say the past couple seasons were "rebuilding years"... The school has struggled a bit over the past few years, but a new dean seems to have things on the right track. St. Mary's has a couple things going for it that might not seem obvious.
1) It is a small school and, as such, has a very personal feel. I know all of my professors very well and all of them have an open door policy. I've gone to ask my Torts prof. a quick question only to have him sit with me and discuss family, life, learning, etc. It wasn't an "ask you damn question and leave me alone" response, just the opposite. I felt like he really wanted to know how "I" was doing, how I was adjusting to school, etc. I can't speak to other schools, but I feel like I get more personal attention at St. Mary's.
2) There is only one law school in San Antonio and both Federal and State courts. The main offices of the "Texas Western District" of the Fifth Circuit is in San Antonio as is the State's Fourth Court of Appeals. St. Mary's has a number of judges currently presiding in San Antonio. It looks very likely I'll be working in the Fourth CoA this summer (as a 1L -> 2L).
3) The current dean and faculty have recognized the issues over the past couple years (poor bar passages rates being the primary) and have taken steps to address them. I don't know how much of the plan is public, so I don't want to post a lot here, but I'm sure the head of recruiting would be willing to answer your questions.
The professors are just like other schools, I'm sure. We have multiple current or retired judges as professors, just like most schools. We have some professors that are great teachers (Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, etc.), some that are really smart but can't convey their knowledge well. 90% of law school is self taught anyway...
Again, I would encourage you to visit every campus. Your going to be living there for three years, make sure you like the atmosphere on campus. Don't just do the official visit either. The recruiting people will give you the nickel tour of campus, but don't stop there. Grab a seat on the patio and talk to a couple people. The students are very friendly and open. Most will love to tell you thier "war stories"...
« on: February 28, 2006, 09:14:25 PM »
People tend to live all over. Some live on campus, but most commute. A lot of people find apartments in the "medical center" area, some further out toward 1604, others do live right around campus.
If I were looking again (I own a house, so I'm not...) I'd focus on this area http://maps.google.com/?ll=29.528434,-98.554015&spn=0.032561,0.053988
or Alamo Heights.
« on: February 26, 2006, 09:03:31 PM »
I am currently at St. Mary's (1L, will be 2L). Let me know if you have any questions.
« on: December 13, 2005, 07:04:41 PM »
Our Curve is based on a C+ Median.
10-20% of each class are allowed to make a B+ or better AND 10-20% have to make a C- or worse.
So, theoretically, the professors have the ability to flunk as much as 20% of a class, but in practice it really only happens to 1 or maybe 2 students per semester.
« on: December 13, 2005, 05:38:57 PM »
There were three ways to establish jurisdiction over someone prior to International Shoe.
1. D is domiciled in the state
2. Service of process within the state (even if presence within the state was transatory)
3. Consent to forum.
With International Shoe, the "Minimum Contacts" such that "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice" are not offended notion was established. This allowed to court to exercise jurisdiction over people and corporations not currently in the forum.
McGee v. Int'l Life the concept of jurisdiction based on a single activity is established. (ie. Specific Jurisdiction) If the suit is about the single activity that establishes D's contacts, then the suit is proper. If it the limited activity is NOT the topic of the suit, the suit is improper (see the "purposeful availment" arguement from Hanson v. Denkla)
I look at it like a matrix of sorts...
|Systematic and Continuous Activity||Single Activity|
|Suite Arises From Activity||General Jurisdiction||Specific Jurisdiction (McGee v Int'l Life)|
|Suit is unrelated to Activity||General Jurisdiction (Perkins v. Benquet)||No Jurisdiction (Hanson v. Denckla)|
(for some reason I couldn't make lines in the table, so you'll just have to imagine them...