Despite an obviously smaller pool of resources than many larger schools, the School of Law at St. Mary's University is doing its best to reach up into the leagues of schools like UT. The overall academic experience is gaining in the race, but a tough curve makes it "challenging and competitive" for students, and the reputation of St. Mary's has yet to have reached outside of the region. Still, there is a strong sense of community, and the law school "won't allow your professor or fellow students to devour you alive in the classroom. Generally, if you prepare, you will succeed." The school takes care of its students, and the past few years have shown a positive trend in bar passage rates, as well as a balance between the clinical and community involvement strengths that make St. Mary's a respected institution in San Antonio and the public sector. The St. Mary's Civil Justice Clinic, which is part of the School of Law, is an excellent way to gain experience in myriad fields of different civil law subjects. In addition, "You are able to help many grateful members of the San Antonio community while earning course credit along the way!" The largest entering class to date (about 300 students) just matriculated, and yet "it doesn't feel like there are that many students. It really feels like a big family everyday at school." The small school atmosphere really lends itself to the close relationship between students, faculty, and professors "are always willing to meet with students and love to share their insight and love of their particular subject matter." Teaching-wise, some professors here are "fabulous"; others are not. Adjuncts and some of the older, tenured professors seem to be particularly hit-or-miss, but "a motivated student who picks the best professors can still get a good, basic legal education." Legal writing and moot court are strong points of the school (right down to the top-notch mock courtroom), but students would like to see a wider course selection (such as computer law, white collar law things). Though most students find the administration to be supportive on the whole, and are excited about the new dean (a former torts professor), there are widespread complaints that the arcane methods of completing some of the more bureaucratic tasks can cause problems in the long run. "Everything works great until you run into a problem—say, a lost grade or incorrectly recorded grade. When faced with those problems, it seems like the school is all over the place," testifies a student. Many wish there was more energy channeled into helping students find employment outside of San Antonio, but "if you want to practice in San Antonio or the surrounding area, the alumni network practically owns the SA Bar Association, and boy do they love to give current students work." The library here is "second to none," and the new classroom building is much loved by students, but the law faculty building where some classes are held is "horribly out of date," and the school's infrastructure needs vast improvements.
- The Princeton Review