Welcome to St. Mary’s University School of Law! Please review the tasks you need to complete to prepare for your legal education.
- Submit your seat or tuition deposit
- Attend orientation
- Take the pledge
- Log into Gateway
- Meet your fellow students on Facebook
- Read the Student Handbook
- Read recommended books
Important dates and deadlines
- June 5 – Tuition Deposit due
- Aug. 12 – Book discussion of Evicted
- Aug. 14, 15 and 17 – Mandatory Orientation for all first-year students
- Aug. 19 – First day of classes
- TBD – Mandatory meeting with Board of Law Examiners
Submit your deposits
In order to continue to hold your seat, you will need to submit a non-refundable $300 seat deposit and $500 tuition deposit. If you do not submit the tuition deposit by the deadline, we reserve the right to cancel your place in the entering class. Once your payment is confirmed, an email acknowledgment will be sent to you within 48 hours.
Sign up for Direct Deposit: We recommend that all matriculating students set up Direct Deposit to ensure that they get financial aid refunds and any other payments from the university as efficiently as possible. You are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit by logging into Gateway and completing the Refund Direct Deposit Authorization. Forms must be submitted to the Business Office in person or via email through your St. Mary’s University-issued email account. Form processing can take up to five business days. Should you have any questions, or should you require assistance on your account, visit Business Office webpage or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bookstore Charge Account: You will not be able to buy books for your fall classes until you are registered, as different professors use different textbooks. Once you know which books you need, you will want to get your books prior to the start of classes, so that you can prepare for your first classes. Most law students get their books from the Barnes & Noble at St. Mary’s University (the university bookstore). The University establishes a charge account at the bookstore for each law student at the time of registration. That account ($800 for full-time students and $400 for part-time students) is added to each student’s tuition bill. If you would prefer not to use the bookstore charge account and avoid this charge on your tuition bill, you will need to take action.
Bookstore charge accounts are per-semester lines of credit that can be used to purchase books and supplies at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at St. Mary’s. A bookstore account is optional and can be waived. Contact the Business office at email@example.com for a waiver. Include your Student ID number in all communications.
Orientation is mandatory for all new students. Students should plan to move to San Antonio in time to get settled before orientation begins. Orientation is three days long. Plan to be present all day for each day of orientation. There will be an additional mandatory session with the Board of Law Examiners after the start of classes.
- Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 14 and 15, and Saturday, Aug. 17
International students have an additional mandatory orientation session, hosted by the International Student Services office, on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Take the pledge
Prior to orientation, you should review the pledge that all new J.D. students are required to take and think seriously about the commitment you will be undertaking.
I will engage in the diligent study of law, always acting in an honest, moral, and professional manner;
I will be guided by the spirit of hospitality, collaboration, mutual support, and scholarship, which are the ideals of a Marianist university; and
I will be trustworthy, honorable, and professional in all aspects of my life.
Log into Gateway
Gateway is the system you will access to find schedules, calendars, the student handbook, confidential exam numbers and much more. Additionally, you will find forms that we ask you to fill out and return to us as soon as possible. We send Gateway credentials by email, so as soon as you receive your personal credentials, please log in and start getting familiar with the system.
Meet your fellow students
Please join our Facebook group for all students in the Class of 2022 Day and 2023 Evening.
Read the Law Student Handbook
The official St. Mary’s Law J.D. Student Handbook is kept current on the University’s Policy Library website.
Suggested Reading List
Consider reading at least one title from each section.
- About Law School
- Michael S. Ariens, Law School: Getting In, Getting Out, Getting On (2010)
- Karl N. Llewellyn, The Bramble Bush: The Classic Lectures on the Law and Law School (2008)
- U.S. Law
- Allan Farnsworth, An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States, Fourth Edition (2010)
- Linda Greenhouse, The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (2012)
- Lawrence M. Friedman, History of American Law, Third Edition (2005)
- About Lawyers
- Anthony Lewis, Gideon’s Trumpet (1989)
- Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action (1996)
- Matthew Desmond, Evicted (2016)
- A number of the issues in this book will be weaved through your first-year “Legal Communication, Analysis, and Professionalism” (LCAP) class, which focuses on legal skills and writing. We, therefore, highly suggest this as summer reading. Additionally, we will invite you to join us for small group discussions about the book as a pre-cursor to Orientation in August.
- Thinking and Writing
- Anthony Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments (2008)
- William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition (1999)
- Richard C. Wydick, Plain English for Lawyers, Fifth Edition (2005)
- Legal Reference
- Wolters Kluwer Bouvier Law Dictionary, Compact Edition (2011)
- Legal Fiction
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
- John Grisham, Sycamore Row (2013)
- John Jay Osborne Jr., The Paper Chase (1971)
Frequently Asked Questions
How many hours does it take to graduate with a J.D.?
The number of credit hours it takes to graduate is 90.
What are first-year classes like?
Beginning 2018, first year students will take the following classes:
Federal Civil Procedure 4 hours
Torts 4 hours
Contracts 4 hours
Legal Writing I and II 3 hours each
Constitutional Law 4 hours
Property 4 hours
Criminal Law 3 hours
The Fall 2019 entering 1L class must complete 30 hours of service projects during law school in order to graduate. At least fifteen hours must be law school approved hours. Students must complete at least 10 hours before the end of their first year of law school.
What are the maximum credit limitations if I work?
The limitations can vary, depending on your status as a full-time or part-time student. To learn more about limitations, read Section II of the Student Handbook.
What are my options if I want to live on campus?
St. Mary’s University offers housing for law students in Chaminade Tower at a competitive rate and added convenience. Chaminade Tower was recently renovated and provides individual, suite-style rooms (where you share a bathroom with another resident). All students who live on campus are required to have health insurance. For more information on housing and rates, contact the Office of Residence Life at 210-431-4312 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I visit campus before the school year starts?
Yes, you can visit anytime. Please email us at email@example.com so we can arrange for your visit.
Where can I find information about financial aid?
You will find helpful forms and contact information at the Office of Financial Assistance.
Am I required to have health insurance if I do not live on campus?
Students who live off campus do not need health insurance but are welcome to enroll in the St. Mary’s University health plan. For more information on student health requirements, including immunizations, contact the Student Health Center at 210-436-3506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to apply for a parking permit?
Where can I buy my books?
The St. Mary’s University Official Bookstore can help you find what you need. Students can find the course materials they need by entering the course number and section.
What restaurants are close to campus?
San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the country, with plenty of tourist attractions to keep you busy.
Here are some restaurants to visit near campus: