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Author Topic: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls  (Read 4471 times)

blocked

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New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« on: June 09, 2005, 09:36:22 AM »
Just wondering if there are any other new St. Mary's students lurking on the boards.

Eddie
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nm

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Re: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2005, 10:28:08 PM »
I may be.
I've got into StMU, but I'm still waiting to hear from another law school.
I'm a bit concerned about the tuition fees in comparison to the school ranking.
Are u from SA?

blocked

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Re: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2005, 11:48:58 AM »
I'm currently (for the next couple weeks) in Austin. I'm moving down to SA starting in July.

The tuition is a concern, as is the ranking, but I feel like it will be a good spot for me.

I've spent the past several years in IT/Infrastructure Security. Therefore, the Center for Terrorism Law seems like a good match for my interests. We'll see...

Also, I'm brining my family (wife, two kids) with me, so San Antonio seemed a better transition than Houston, etc.

Eddie
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Esq

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Re: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2005, 09:32:45 AM »
Quoted from Verdict Search, the Asked & Answered column:

    If you had to make the choice again, would you go to the same law school?


    Cary Toland, Sweetman, Skaggs & Lawler, Brownsville, Texas
    Yes I would, because I think that friends of mine who went to bigger, state schools did     not have the same level of class participation that I had at St. Mary's, and that prepares you a little better than just going to class and taking notes.



blocked

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Re: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2005, 12:58:26 PM »
That's very similar to my undergrad experience. I attended LMU in Los Angeles (also got into UCLA, UCSB, UCSD, etc.)

By the time I graduated, I knew all of my professors on a first name basis and had been to their homes. I knew just about everyone I walked by on campus. I had 3 classes that were just me and a professor (yes, just the two of us.) I had spend three semesters doing independent research with another professor. I had traveled to the Middle-East as my schools representative on an archaeological expedition. I had been a visiting scholar at USC.

All as an undergrad.

I doubt I would have received the same level of attention at any of the State/Larger schools I looked at. (BTW: The professor/priest who I spent three semesters with, eventually performed my marriage ceremony. Friends/Mentors like that don't come along often.)

I hope that I've made the right decision going to St. Mary's. It is, obviously, not ranked well and the bar passage rates (while coming up) are still low. The intangibles it offers are what make it a fine choice for me.

It will be an adventure, either way. 
Eddie
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Re: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2005, 09:46:24 AM »
St. Mary's is a great law school with a proud tradition.  Right now there are more than 300 elected officials that graduated from St. Mary's School of Law. St. Mary's Law School boasts a current United States Senator. I don't hear them worrying about the USNWR "ranking." St. Mary's has current members on the Texas Supreme Court, and the Court of Criminal Appeals. These Justices have cases to hear, opinions to author. I don't hear them wringing their hands about the rankings. Practically all the judges on the Fourth Court of Appeals are St. Mary's Law School graduates. They don't spend their time worrying about the rankings. The current president of the Texas State Bar Young Lawyer's Association is a St. Mary's graduate. No one in these circles says anything about the rankings. 

I concede there are a lot of people obsessed with rankings. But the thing about rankings, unless you are the number one student at the number one law school (as defined by USNWR), there's always someone "higher" than you are. I suppose you are concerned that if you go to St. Mary's you will worry about students at UT that graduate from a school with a higher rank. Well, then there must be students at UT worrying there is someone graduating from the higher-ranked UVA law school. And of course, there is someone at UVA worrying about someone graduating from a higher-ranked Harvard. And I suppose the objection at this point would be that you can't compare St. Mary's to Harvard. Well, everyone sits for the same Texas state bar exam if you want to practice law in Texas. Everyone is tested on the same material that shows up on the test. Bottom line: people from Harvard can fail the Texas Bar exam. 

I think the USNWR rankings give a misimpression that if you could just go to a school with a high rank, you've got it made in your legal career. Unfortunately, almost no one has it made. You are still going to have to work for every gain. Even the highest ranked law schools in Texas have about 10 percent of their classes fail the Texas Bar Exam each year. I suppose some would assume that if a student was admitted to a school that ranked in the top 15, there is no way that student would not pass the Texas Bar Exam.  But it happens. After receiving that horrible news, how much comfort do you think it is to say to yourself, I went to a school that was ranked 15th by USWR? 
   
One fact is that there is a potential client out there who doesn't follow the rankings. The potential client wants effective legal representation that won't cost him an arm and a leg. He is concerned about cost and the outcome of HIS case. He may or may not have heard of Harvard Law School, but after that, he doesn't follow the USNWR rankings. By the way, if you did graduate from Harvard, and you lose his case, he'll probably sue you for malpractice no matter where you graduated from.

Someone may want to argue at this point that the employers follow the rankings. Perhaps there is some truth to that in a vague and general sort of way. But again if some recently graduated associate walks around in a law firm going up to the partners, saying, I graduated from a higher-ranked school that you did, so "obviously" I'm more qualified than you are, so don't question my work--that person will be looking for work soon.

Rankings are everwhere these days. In fact, we seem to be glutted with rankings. Most of them are completely meaningless. VH1 has the top 100 child stars (Gary Coleman was No. 1). Or, how about, the top 100 Most Metal Moments in Music History. Remember when Ozzy did his business on the Alamo? I don't remember where it ranked, but its proper place was in the toliet. By the way, never relieve yourself on the Alamo in San Antonio. San Antonio respects the Alamo. Some people might even kill to defend it. The same might be said about St. Mary's in San Antonio.




 

Megacheese

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Re: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2005, 08:07:39 PM »
Well I'll be starting this Fall, and that was a surprise considering I barely made it on the waiting lists of StMU and Texas Southern.  I had been planning to give raising the LSAT one last try, but I think I'll take this chance while I've got it.

I guess I'm like a lot of people torn between worrying about the rankings and then all the voices assuring me what a good school it is. 

Well, I'm sure that with effort all will work out well, good look to everyone this Fall, I'm just glad to be going.

Esq

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Re: New (Fall 2005) 1Ls
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2005, 09:11:31 AM »
Although it is not a great movie, there is a line I like in Devil's Advocate: "The greatest vice is advice."  With that said, here is some advice.

Perhaps when you applied to St. Mary's you had outstanding grades in your undergrad major and a strong LSAT.  As a result, you might think you are surely going to dominate during your academic stay at St. Mary's.  Or perhaps when you applied to St. Mary's you had a strong GPA but your LSAT was not as high as you would have liked.  Or perhaps you applied knowing that with your scores, you were not a sure-fire admit. 

Whatever your circumstances are, St. Mary's Law School is a tough program for everyone.  Don't assume that just because you got in means you get to stay in.  The first-year is especially difficult.  You will have to prove yourself. You have probably heard that during the first year of law school nearly all law schools hit you with the same core subjects of contracts, torts, property, civil procedure and criminal law.  St. Mary's follows this model and St. Mary's has always had a strict grading policy.

Before you start law school, I would recommend taking a hard look at your academic skills, your study habits, your ability to read large amounts of complex material, etc. You are going to find that your classmates are competitive.  Expect a fight for the top grades.  St. Mary's has a forced curve in the core subjects. For the last several years, only 20 percent of the class has been able to get a B+, A- or an A.  There is no "A+" on their scale.  Statistically, many students never receive an A their entire three years at the school.  During the first year, the median score for all core courses has been a C+ and there is always a percentage of students asked to leave because that percentage hasn't "made the grade" that year.  You have to go in determined not to be one of them.   

Preparation and organization can go a long way to ensure that you do well at St. Mary's.  It always helps if you know someone who went to the school.  Once the semester starts, you will need to find older students who have had the same professors that you have.  You need to get good outlines early so that you can use them to build your own outlines during the semester.  It's not too early to think about whether you will use a laptop to take notes. In recent years in some classes, about half the class has used laptops and the other half has not  During the summer before your first year, read at least one of the Examples and Explanations (E&E) series books (either Glannon's Civil Procedure, Torts, or Blum's Contracts). Don't worry about taking notes, or outlining the E&E books ,just read them for the concepts.