Please be careful when relying on "rumors" about important topics. What you say you have been told is false. There is no truth to any rumors concerning accreditation. In fact, the "rumor" is so outlandish it would fit in with the headlines of whatever the academic equivalent of the National Enquirer is--actually, the rumor reminds me of an equally absurd headline from the Daily Star: BAT BOY ESCAPES!
Your statistics are incorrect as well. I would suggest that you go to the Texas Board of Law Examiners website at www.ble.state.tx.us
and check the statistics for the latest bar exam (July 2004)(St. Mary's has an EIGHTY PERCENT pass rate for first-time takers) and check the school's relative position as compared with the other schools.
Although there have been some problems with the bar passage rate in the past, the overall statistical trend is that the school's bar passage rates have been on the rise. Everyone knows of isolated stories of students from each and every one of the Texas law schools who, for one reason or another, did not pass the Texas bar exam on the first try. No Texas law school has a 100 percent pass rate every year. However, it is important to focus on the big picture. The number of first-time takers who pass is a significant statistic. The "repeaters" number is misleading because one is allowed to take the Texas bar exam five times. What's more, some people have been misled by the results for the February exam. The school actively discourages its students from taking the February exam and emphasizes taking the exam in July. As a result, you tend to see very small numbers of students taking the February exam (e.g., twenty-two first-time takers in February 2004) and some of these students have not yet graduated. If you focus on the July first-time taker exam numbers for recent years, you will have better information.
Furthermore, St. Mary's University School of Law ("StMU-Law") has prominent and well-published law professors and the tenth most cited law journal by courts in the nation--yes, that's right, in the nation. The rankings are as follows: 1) Harvard, 2) Columbia, 3) Yale 4) Michigan 5) New York 6) Georgetown 7) University of Chicago
Vanderbilt 9) Texas Law Review 10) St Mary's University School of Law. It is no secret that many law schools have regional influence, but St. Mary's is an old school. In the 1970s and 1980s it routinely ranked in the top three or four law schools in Texas in terms of bar passage rate. In the 1990s and in 2000 and 2002 there were some problems with the bar passage rates, but the school put a plan into place to address those problems. StMU-Law had a goal to be at or above the statewide average for the overall bar passage rate by 2006. They met that goal in 2004--two years ahead of schedule. I also note that StMU-Law never wavered in its commitment to diversity. They now have an eighty percent first-time taker pass rate. All indicators point to an increasing bar passage rate over the next several years. If the school stays on track, they will reclaim their former position and rival the best law schools in the state as they did in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Older members of the Texas legal community (members who are now partners in law firms) remember StMU-Law's stellar reputation from those decades. The school is currently in sixth place out of the nine law schools in Texas (check the first-time taker bar passage rate on the aforementioned Board of Law School Examiners website) and you can evaluate the schools above and below that number. Administration officials at StMU-Law will be happy to discuss these and other facts, so call them and ask questions.