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wcdrotar

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2010, 06:28:21 PM »
I'm here in Texas also finishing my undergrad soon.  UT is fantastic if you're accepted.  Houston and SMU are both pretty good too.  Outside of them, going to another law school in Texas would be going against the principle of getting into the best law school you can.  Unless you have personal reasons to stay local, such as for family, might as well apply across the country.  But even then Texas is so large that a ten hours across isn't really local anymore. 

The GPA low at UT is in the 3.3's. 

Unless you're wanting to get an internship and certification practicing oil and gas law, I'd recommend just going to another state. 

Contract2008

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2010, 02:01:14 PM »
I'm here in Texas also finishing my undergrad soon.  UT is fantastic if you're accepted.  Houston and SMU are both pretty good too.  Outside of them, going to another law school in Texas would be going against the principle of getting into the best law school you can.  Unless you have personal reasons to stay local, such as for family, might as well apply across the country.  But even then Texas is so large that a ten hours across isn't really local anymore. 

The GPA low at UT is in the 3.3's. 

Unless you're wanting to get an internship and certification practicing oil and gas law, I'd recommend just going to another state. 

If one wants to practice in Texas, it might be more benefitial to go to Texas Tech than say LSU or U. of Kansas. 

roblaw

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2010, 01:44:19 AM »
I just posted this in another thread, but I'm going to repeat it here:

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:

Jobs

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.

Opportunities

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 (http://www.stmarytx.edu/ctl/).

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 http://www.stmarytx.edu/law/index.php?site=innsBruckProgram and http://www.stmarytx.edu/law/index.php?site=instituteChineseLawBusiness .

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.

Journals

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 http://www.stmarytx.edu/law/index.php?site=advocacyPrograms#externalAdvocacy 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.

Professors

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.

vap

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2010, 01:21:51 PM »
It's overlooked, but St. Mary's has consistently had one of the top 15 most cited law journals in the country.

Only if you look at citations in court opinions.  Looking at both court and journal citations, St. Mary's is closer to #130 out of about 200 student-edited, general content, English journals printed in the United States (i.e., "flagship" journals).  http://lawlib.wlu.edu/lj/index.aspx


That means it ranks among the very best and most influential journals.

Ranking for court citations does not greatly impact a journal's overall reputation.

Thane Messinger

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2010, 05:34:30 AM »
Aloha, mccarthy & All -

UT is, of course, a quasi-national law school, so getting in would be a strong boost.  That written, UT is (or at least was) highly competitive--not in terms of its rankings but in the negative sense of students feeling the need to be competitive with and among each other.  Partly because of UT's position as being just below the top schools, and in striving to reach national status and place its student nationally--students were thus competing with the likes of Harvard and Boalt Hall grads.  (This brings to mind the old joke on Mad TV (?) about hiring someone really ugly so that you'd look good by comparison.)  In my days (1989-91), those who hoped for positions from UT in Texas were fairly safe--but in a bad market, not completely safe--while those hoping to practice elsewhere sweated a little bit more. 

I mention that because it's important to think about the type of experience one wants out of law school.  It's easy to assume that Boston Legal is the only way to fly, but in fact that is fairly rarefied, and for those who actually make it, not many want to stay.  (I interviewed at a firm in Boston, as it happens, and upon being shown the floor wanted to escape.  Every office door was closed, and people were not friendly at all.  Then again, I'm from Austin.  = :  ) 

Also, SMU and UH (which in my neck of the ocean refers to the University of Hawaii) are well-regarded, have good facilities and amenities (though it's been years since I've been to either), and will be a boost within their respective areas and, to a lesser extent, regionally.

This leads to perhaps the point that should go first: where would you like to practice?  Where would you like to live and retire?  Seriously, which city do you like the most?  Some don't like Austin (egads!), while others wouldn't care for [pick your least favorite].  Unless you *truly* don't care, it's better to pick the school that will be the closest fit to you, in all senses of the word.  Geography is a part of that, as is the focus and expertise of the school's faculty, the facilities (particularly if ADA is a concern), and so on.

I hope this helps,

Thane.

nealric

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2010, 03:22:10 PM »
Quote
Only if you look at citations in court opinions.  Looking at both court and journal citations, St. Mary's is closer to #130 out of about 200 student-edited, general content, English journals printed in the United States (i.e., "flagship" journals). [/quite]

Kind of odd: it's at #279 for journal citations and #10 for court citations. I wonder what explains the discrepancy? Is there some judge in San Antonio who just cites the St. Mary's journal at every opportunity?
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coto29

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2010, 07:04:50 PM »
I'm thinking about transferring to St. Mary's.  I like San Antonio and its the only law school there.  Local job prospects look decent.

Contract2008

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2010, 07:09:02 PM »
I'm thinking about transferring to St. Mary's.  I like San Antonio and its the only law school there.  Local job prospects look decent.
What school are you currently at?

Do you know that UT is 1.5 hour away?  And about 2.5 hours are three law schools. 

vap

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2010, 07:41:40 PM »
Do you know that UT is 1.5 hour away?  And about 2.5 hours are three law schools. 

With about 45% of all lawyers in Bexar County being St. Mary's graduates, wouldn't a St Mary's grad do pretty well if he or she wants to stay in San Antonio?  (I'm not very familiar with St. Mary's or San Antonio, so I'm asking a serious question.)

coto29

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Re: texas law schools
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2010, 12:49:27 PM »
Yes, but the numbers I heard were higher.  I can't verify, but was told that up to 70% of San Antonio area legal community is made up of St. Mary grads.