Law School Discussion

About St. Mary's: Read This

About St. Mary's: Read This
« on: January 14, 2010, 11:14:12 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.


Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 06:13:05 AM »
They were making progress until they fired Dean Piatt.

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2010, 09:52:45 PM »
That's not true.  Most of the progress (during my time here) has been after Dean Cantu came back to fix things up.

By the way, how would you know?  You're just now applying to law schools, so you apparently are just copying someone else's opinion.

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2010, 10:35:43 PM »
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.

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 10:31:10 AM »
The original poster fails to consider the consequences of becoming an average St. Mary's Law student.  One of my friends that is currently at St. Mary's Law school (ranked in the middle of his class) was begging me for an unpaid legal internship yesterday.  Although things may have changed at St. Mary's, you are only showing job prospects for the absolute TOP (probably top 10 students) of the class.

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.

If you truly want to know whether law school is for you, I suggest going here:

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 03:51:27 PM »
Many law schools across the country meet these four criteria. My school for example has top notch faculty (great scholarship, featured on TV etc.); five law journals; we are also public service oriented school with great clinics and a national level moot court team, and countless internship opportunities.  My school is a top 100 school by US news rankings. However, the people with great job offers are those ranked in the top 10% and with the economy the way it is right now, it is unlikely the employer will dip further into the class.  Many schools advertise themselves based on the top 10% of the class (chances are, if you are in the top 10% of any law school in the country, you are likely to do better than somebody in the top 50% with exceptions of course. I'm just giving a general picture). This is a gross distortion.  The OP fails to see this and distorts the careers prospects picture for an average law student from a non-elite law school.  I feel that outside of HYSC, the life of an average law student is just that much harder in terms of landing a well paying employment right out of law school. Of course there are many many exceptions. Law is very elitist. And that's just something law schools must make clear to the incoming students.     

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2010, 04:44:30 PM »
Three items:


You might have heard about the two St. Mary's law students who went to Haiti on a rescue mission.  Here's the CNN interview, and another video for good measure.


Yes, John4040, I'm a student at St. Mary's.  I even said that (did you read the post?).  And you figured me out.  I was planning to write one post on an internet message board in a clever attempt to boost St. Mary's to first tier.


It's difficult to get jobs everywhere.  I flat-out disagree, however, with the characterization that only the top ten students get jobs.  People in the bottom of the class are getting jobs - jobs they enjoy.  How?  They network.  I'm sorry that your friend can't get a job, but it reflects more on your friend, and less on the school.

This leads back to a great point brought up by the other St. Mary's student: the San Antonio legal community is small and tight-knit.  If you make the effort, there's a great job or opportunity waiting for you.

Rene_Descartes brings up good points, and I largely agree.  Law is elitist, and schools need to make that clear.  However, the definition of "great" job needs to change.  If you're talking about the four or five mega firms in Texas, then of course it's more difficult to land a job with less-than-stellar grades.  But I have friends that have done it.  Granted, a lot of that is owed to the accessibility of the legal community in San Antonio, but its not impossible.

Additionally, great jobs can also be government jobs (agencies, prosecutorial, etc.), jobs with small firms (more hands-on experience, better hours), etc.  I agree that students need to really assess what kinds of jobs they're looking for before choosing a school.  Nevertheless, landing jobs at great firms with average grades can happen, though it's the exception.  This is true in most non-elite schools.

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2010, 08:35:53 PM »
People in the bottom of the class are getting jobs - jobs they enjoy.  

Please elaborate for everyone reading this post.  Go ahead and tell them how much money one can expect to make at one of these jobs.  If it's anything less than what they would have otherwise made straight out of college then please explain why going to St. Mary's without a scholarship is a good idea.

I understand that you like your school, but I still don't understand why you troll so hard in an attempt to lull others into drinking your "St. Mary's has great jobs prospects" Kool-Aid.  What is the median salary for recent graduates at your school, and if/when you find a statistic, what % of the class reported?

Here's a statistic I found:  $55K median with 75% reporting  (  I wonder what the median would have been had 100% reported (I'll be generous and assume that the 25% that didn't report made $30K = ~$48,750).  Now, let's adjust for the current economic climate... ~$35-40K.

I know it's a bit unscientific, but I would be willing to stake my life on the fact that those numbers I cited are substantially accurate.  Why would anyone go $90K in debt for the prospect of making the same as a college grad?

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 10:56:04 AM »
I found this information and it may shine a little more light on the subject:

Continuing on the theme of whether going to law school is worth it, here is a look at the average starting salaries for Texas law school graduates, as originally published by The Princeton Review Best 170 Law Schools, 2008 Edition. (The average starting salary for Texas Southern graduates was not included in the article.)


Law School

 Average Starting Salary
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law $57,497
St. Mary’s University School of Law $65,431
Texas Tech University School of Law $68,800
Baylor University School of Law $74,247
South Texas College of Law $78,000
University of Houston Law Center $85,215
SMU Dedman School of Law $87,700
University of Texas $101,111

Re: About St. Mary's: Read This
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 01:14:02 PM »
A word of caution on average salaries: I think that they only average the salaries of the people who actually report their salaries, and that the sample size is generally pretty small and skewed toward those who are making decent money.