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Messages - Contract2008

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: How Vital is your Master's GPA?
« on: January 24, 2010, 04:07:10 PM »
It's pretty much ignored.

But, if it's very low such as 1.5 or 2.0, it might get negative attention.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: St Mary's School of Law
« on: January 17, 2010, 02:20:28 PM »

Whoever reads this thread, please note that the original poster is either (1) an employee of St. Mary's Law or (2) a student/alumnus trolling to boost St. Mary's reputation rankings.

I beat you to it.  See my post above yours. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: St Mary's School of Law
« on: January 17, 2010, 08:04:44 AM »
I think I agree with you.  St. Mary's has had it's share of problems in the past, but it has made great strides recently.  I know many students, from all different ranks, who are acquiring top jobs and internships--at least, the pro-active ones.  There are many prominent alumni in big law firms like Cox, Smith, and Matthews, Jackson Walker, Fulbright & Jaworski, in the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Courts of Appeals, the U.S. Senate, the Texas legislature (not to mention all of the staff positions that accompany each). These alumni associate and reach out to St. Mary's students and graduates for jobs and internships.  I, as well as several of my friends, have experienced the benefits of this close-knit network.

Another thing I think needs to be emphasized is the school's reputation within it's surrounding community.  St. Mary's students and alumni have created several clinics to regularly provide the citizens of San Antonio and even Laredo with free legal services for those who are unable to pay for an attorney.

I think St. Mary's reputation is much better than most people will admit. Perhaps its reputation is outdated, but more importantly, I think its reputation is hampered by rumors that no one really puts to rest.  I would encourage anyone considering St. Mary's to come visit the campus, talk to its students and faculty (they are all pretty friendly and helpful) and see it what it has to offer first hand.  I think you will be surprised.

You obviously work for or is/was a student at St. Mary.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: St Mary's School of Law
« on: January 15, 2010, 04:08:42 PM »
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:


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.


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 (

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.

See and .

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.


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 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.


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.

None of the above address the issue an average St. Mary graduate will face after graduation.  You mentioned about how some of them end up getting jobs at big firm, working for judge, etc., however, you have to understand that top students are the crappiest school in the country still get top jobs. 

Let's talk about its average graduates compare to graduates from UH, South Texas, etc. 

Job Search / Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« on: January 11, 2010, 07:41:33 PM »

I am in the same quandry. I just got told by my brother-in-law that an associate position is mine at the firm he worked with if I wanted it. However, it is 150 miles away, so I would need to live away from my husband for awhile until it was economically feasible for him to move (he has a job where we live now). Also my brother-in-law would be my supervisor. And finally, the firm he works for is one of those with an attorney that appears on TV. I am worried that once the economy picks up, it would be hard for me to move back into what I want to do with that on my resume. Thoughts?

P.S. - my husband is making enough for us to survive on while I defer my loans...but it is tight. I am working for a government office, who still hasn't heard whether they have the funds to hire any attorneys or not. Help!

Well, 150 miles isn't really THAT it might not be that bad.  Things to consider are: Do you really want to work there or do you figure it's "better than nothing?"  Also, will this really help to get you your dream job in the location that you want?

Call me crazy, but I think the legal job market is getting better.  The new year has brought a renewed sense of optimism about the economy and I think we'll see a spike in firms seeking to hire.  My advice is stall the brother-in-law as much as possible and keep looking where you live. 

That's what I've done w/ my brother (remember, I'm the OP).  I had an interview yesterday and another scheduled next week, when previously it seemed like entire months would go by without me hearing anything.  Thinks are turning around in the job market.  I can feel it.

How and where did you get these interviews?

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions
« on: January 09, 2010, 02:35:49 PM »

Wrong.  I am not referring to SMU Law students as being the bratty rich kids from the OC.  In fact, most SMU Law students are as poor as any other...yet they still get jobs around the country.  With respect to your second point, SMU Law students are getting jobs in other parts of the nation immediately following law school.  Where they are in 10 years has no relevance IMO to what I was talking about.  

Wrong!  You're such an idiot.   ;D

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions
« on: January 08, 2010, 03:58:09 PM »
Houston is the largest legal market in Texas by far.  SMU is definitely more expensive and will not open as many doors as UT, but it is still an excellent option.  Furthermore, if you do decide to be mobile after graduation a SMU degree is much more portable than one from U of Houston.  SMU is known around the country and many of the graduates do get jobs in southern California (Orange County, San Diego primarily) and in the Midwest (Ohio, Indiana).  This is likely due to the fact that SMU undergrads are mostly bratty rich kids from the OC and midwest that have more money than brains.   

You got two problems here:

1) They got jobs in Southern California not because of a SMU degree, but because they are "bratty rich kids from the OC."

2) Many, if not most or virtually all people tend to stay and practice in one state, at least for the first 10 years of their career.  After 10 years, where your degree came from is becoming less and less important.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: SMU 1L Taking Questions
« on: January 05, 2010, 05:23:27 PM »
Sorry for the late response to your questions.  After finals were over I pretty much checked out.  To answer the question about the price of SMU, SMU is a very pricey school compared to UH and UT.  UT is by far the best law school in Texas, and if you have the chance to go there, do it.  I went to UT for undergrad and loved.  I have a bunch of friends at UH, some say it sucks, others say it is pretty good, but I have never really heard any of them rant and rave about UH.  That being said, they are both much cheaper than SMU is.  SMU is the only law school in Dallas.  UT is a degree that is marketable anywhere in the U.S., but both SMU and UH are more local with SMU recently starting to expand throughout most of Texas.  SMU does give a lot of scholarship to offset some of the high costs.  I didn't have outstanding numbers by any means, and I got $10,000 per year scholarship.  Plus, with a lot of their scholarships, all you have to do is stay in good standing, there is no grade or GPA requirement like other schools.  Dallas is probably the biggest legal market in Texas.  There is no question UT is #1, but in Dallas, SMU is a strong contender, and fairs a lot better than UH.  If you can afford SMU, and can't get into UT, then SMU is a better choice that UH. 

Wrong.  Houston is.

Job Search / Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« on: January 05, 2010, 10:24:04 AM »
No way, just trying to help.

Yeah, I am sure that's what it is.   ;)  ;D

Thanks, guys. I'm hoping to stay in the southeast, but neither of North Carolina's state schools are very splitter-friendly.

UGA, UF, GSU, FSU, U. South Carolina, UTenn., and UAlabama.  You should get into at least one or two of them. 

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