St. Mary’s Law History
Eighty years later, St. Mary’s approached leaders of the San Antonio Bar, which in 1927 had founded the San Antonio School of Law, a part-time school that met at night in the courthouse. St. Mary’s offered to make it a university law school, with a stronger curriculum and a full-time faculty. In 1934, the law school acquired its name, its Catholic and Marianist mission, and its commitment to excellence in preparing lawyers to national standards of skill, knowledge, and professionalism.
The first class – 31 women and men – met only at night. The day division opened briefly in 1940, becoming a fixture in 1948 with St. Mary’s accreditation by the American Bar Association. A very small faculty and student body (including Henry B. Gonzalez, LL.B.’43) saw the school through the war.
Sarita Kenedy East Law Library at nightThe law school has enhanced its teaching and service with gifts and determination. Its beautiful library was funded by the Sarita Kenedy East Foundation in 1982. International programs began in Innsbruck in 1986 and in Beijing in 2011. The clinical programs expanded in 1990 under the direction of Mary Anne Crosby (J.D. ’65) making its home in the Center for Legal and Social Justice in 1996.
For 90 years, St. Mary’s has attracted brilliant scholars to teach students who grew to lead in their communities, the state and the nation. Several hold chairs that underwrite portions of their work, each given by friends and graduates. The most recent of these is a professorship honoring Dean Emeritus Charles E. Cantú (J.D. ’64).