South Texas College of Law

South Texas College of Law

 

South Texas College of Law

1303 San Jacinto
Houston, Texas 77002
(713) 646-1810

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SOUTH TEXAS LAW STUDENTS SAY…

 

Academics & Programs: South Texas College of Law “is a school for litigators.” Arming students with the tools they need to succeed in the courtroom, “the school has great advocacy programs in several different fields of law,” with a mock trial program that is considered “one of the best in the nation.” The regular J.D. program incorporates intensive training in trial and appellate advocacy, and the school additionally operates a “Summer Trial Academy, as an additional option for practical preparation for those not able to compete or who don’t have time in schedule to do the regular advocacy courses.” In addition, “there are a lot of clinics that will place you in a firm or court to gain experience” in the real world. The lively, litigious environment is a huge draw for many STCL students, who warn that quieter types “will be eaten alive” at this competitive school. But do not be startled, as one current student reassures, “Many come to the school for its mock and moot programs, but as a member of the law review’s editorial board, I can assure you that opportunities exist in all areas of practice and academia.”

As “a down and dirty trade school rather than a school for philosophers,” South Texas’ academic curriculum “provides a well-reasoned balance between theoretical and practical education,” emphasizing critical thinking skills as well as hands-on applications. Through discussion, Socratic questioning, and assignments, “The professors truly try to get you to start thinking like a lawyer from day one. They ask you the right questions to lead you down the path to the answer on your own, without giving you the answer.” Staffed by a cadre of accomplished attorneys, “The professors are all extremely qualified, and only a few are purely academic.” They will also give you a broad understanding of the law, as “the school has strategically sought out professors from a wide range of backgrounds: some the typical academics (Harvard educated, brilliant resume of publications), some working for the government (such as the SEC or the EPA), and some as experts of their fields in private practice (such as the oil and gas fields, and the energy transactional fields).”

Law school is a challenge anywhere, but South Texas students tell us that those that apply must be prepared to work especially hard at their school. A current student recounts, “You have God awful amounts of reading to do all day and all night, you learn more material in the first six months than entire undergrad experience.” For anyone who is struggling to keep up, “The professors are, for the most part, extremely accessible and ready to help with clarifications or advice on how to study or understand the material.”

When it comes to the nuts and bolts, the program runs smoothly, especially when you consider that it’s split between the daytime and evening divisions. Evening students, who attend part-time, are pleased to report, “Almost every class is offered during the day and at night using the same professors.” Attentive to students’ needs, “the Dean and Associate Deans are accessible and work diligently to ensure we receive a first-rate legal education.” Plus, “When some offices/groups within the administration do not uphold their responsibilities, the leadership has made great strides in correcting any problem areas swiftly.”

After graduation, South Texas students say it’s best to look for a job locally. “South Texas is well respected in the Houston community,” and “the networking availability is unparalleled” in the region. On the flip side, many students complain that the national rankings do not reflect the true quality of the law school, and that these rankings can have a negative influence on employment opportunities. When looking for a job outside Houston, students admit that, “In other cities, competition is harder.” They further note, “The prestigious firms which recruit tier 1 students also recruit at STCL. The big firms may not take as many first year associates, but every firm still appears at on campus interviews.”

Campus Life/Facilities: Despite the fact that South Texas has produced more championship advocacy teams than any other law school in the United States, students reported that they do not feel like minnows in a tank of trial sharks at South Texas College. “Students at this college are extremely competitive,” yet most agree that, “The student body is very friendly…the students help each other out and want to see each other succeed.” With its dual daytime and evening programs, “One of the greatest strengths of this school is the diversity of experience in its student body, especially the part-time students. You have people from many different walks of life and careers. People with families. Single people. People in their 40s and 50s. People in their 20s.”

Regular full-time students will get the full law school experience at South Texas College of Law. From Amnesty International to the Environmental Law Society, the student body maintains a range of “clubs and organizations that are either fun, competitive, or fun and competitive.” Socially, students further benefit from an active community, where “there is always some group throwing a party during lunch or happy hour and plenty of students show up to enjoy good food, cheap drinks, and good company.” On the flip side, evening students lament the fact that most “Socials and activities are scheduled during our class times or are scheduled so that we will get out 15 minutes before the social ends.”

* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.