Now the visit as a whole:
It was just under a 5 hour drive from Fort Worth...so not that bad, plus unlike the drive from DFW to San Antonio, there was no traffic so it was really stress free driving.
My motel was just off of I27 about 3 exits south of 19th st (the street TT is off of) so I never saw that much of the city. I just checked in to my room, drove up to the campus to find the law school (so I wouldn't be looking for it in the morning) and then came back to my room for the evening. So I can't give a proper review of the city other than to say I didn't really smell any funky livestock smells while I was there (though I did drive past a compost factory on the way out of town). But then I don't really mind the livestock smell that much (unless it is sheep or chickens)
TT is about 2-3 miles west of I27 on 19th street (for those who haven't been) The depot district (with all the bars and hangouts) is right at the corner of I27 and 19th, so it is very close to campus. (Note: I had to leave early due to family situation, so I was unable to have that beer
19th street itself is like any busy street in an older part of town. It is littered with small businesses and fast food shops, but traffic moves fairly quickly. The law school itself is located right off of 19th street, so you don't have to fight any campus traffic to get to the LS parking lot. The lot seemed to have plenty of room, but I heard that next year's class is expected to be over 300 students, so things might be getting a bit more crowded.
I sat in on a criminal law class, and as others have said before about their visits, I was able to follow along even though I had not prepared for class, and if called on I could have answered many of the profs questions. The prof was very relaxed with his class (and they with he) and there were several humorous moments of laughter throughout. He was clear throughout the lesson to point out "you will see this on the final" or "this doesn't need to be included in your outline".
I happened to sit next to his TA, who was also the 3L class president. He said that not all profs are that forthcoming with such info. The TA was from austin but came to TT for 1) cost of living, and 2) because the three lawyers who wrote LOR's for him told him to go to TT instead of UT, even though they were UT grads themselves. We talked about Law Review, and he mentioned that though he chose not to do that, he did research assisting for 2 different profs, and was still able to get good research/writing experiemce, and has landed a 2 year clerkship with a federal judge.
Then my official tour began with the president of the Student Bar Association. Most dissapointing aspect of the tour was seeing the wonderful carrels in the library, and then finding out that you acutally share those offices with 3 other students. (3L's apparently get their own but not 1,2Ls). And even that might change now that the incoming classes are growing larger. However my guide said that most of the time there is no one in the carrel, and that at most 1 other person may be in there at the same time, but that it has only happened to him once or twice.
I met the editor of the law review and another law review member who was a friend of my guide. Both seemed very down to earth and relaxed...in fact everyone was like that. Everyone seemed happy and relaxed, and glad that they were at TT. Of course everyone I met was near the top of there class, so I'm sure that this breeds happiness.
Another selling point of TT was that Board of Barristers allows 1Ls to compete. That is one of the reasons TT does well in competition as other schools restrict participation to 2and3Ls.
There was no firm date on the new building, but the main highlights of it were a new courtroom (with upgrades to allow for more scientific evidence to be presented), and a larger classroom. Don't know what else will be involved. My guide said that it may be ready for current 1L's to use by their 3rd year and should be ready for our 2L year...but having been in the construction industry, I know that timelines are not always kept...so I'm not holding my breath on that one.
Now back to the location for a minute. The LS is on a remote corner of the campus which is good for access, but you don't have that "college feel" to it. You are not far from the rec center and other buildings, but you don't have that constant flow of people walking by. Also you are quite a ways away from any of the on-campus fast food and such, but again you are right on 19th street so you don't have to drive far to get lunch. I guess what I'm saying is it will have a very commuter feel to it.
This is my first visit so I don't know how to compare it to anything else yet. The rec center feels huge when you walk in as it is 3 stories tall, and has 4 or 5 basketball courts and a climbing wall open on one side and fitness rooms on the other. But once you actually get to the weight rooms and cardio equip, you will find that it does not offer more than a 24hour fitness type gym. However there was an indoor pool so you can swim yearround.
That's about all I've got.