Welcome to St. Mary’s University School of Law! Please review the tasks you need to complete to prepare for your legal education.

Your checklist:

Newly Admitted Students Image

Important dates and deadlines

Spring 2021

Apr. 15, 2021 – Seat deposit deadline for Fall 2021
June 4 – Tuition deposit deadline date for Fall 2021
Late Summer – Class schedules available on Gateway

Fall 2021

Mid Aug. TBD – Mandatory First-Year Student Orientation
Mid Aug. TBD – First Day of Classes for 1Ls

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 by completing the following steps:

  1. Log into Gateway and select the Billing and Payment Center option from the Launchpad menu on the homepage.
  2. Select Electronic Refunds on the My Profile setup menu.
  3. Select Set Up Account.
  4. Enter your bank account information.

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 businessoffice@stmarytx.edu for a waiver. Include your Student ID number in all communications.

Attend orientation

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 two 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.

Orientation will be held in August, dates are to be determined.

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, (name), do solemnly pledge that:

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 newly admitted students for the Day and Evening programs.

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.

Suggested Reading List Image
  • 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, Law in American: A Short History (Modern Library 2002)
  • About Lawyers
    • Anthony Lewis, Gideon’s Trumpet (1989)
    • Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action (1996)
    • Matthew Desmond, Evicted (2016)
    • Steven J. Harper, The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis (Basic Books 2013).
  • 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)
    • Gerry Spence, How to Argue and Win Every Time
  • Legal Reference
    • Wolters Kluwer Bouvier Law Dictionary, Compact Edition (2011)
    • Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. Bryan A. Garner ed.-in-chief 2014)
  • 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

The number of credit hours it takes to graduate is 90.

Hours to earn a J.D.

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

All entering 1L classes 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.

First-year classes

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.

Maximum credit limit if I work

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  reslife@stmarytx.edu.

Living on campus

You will find helpful forms and contact information at the Office of Financial Assistance.

Financial Aid information

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 healthcenter@stmarytx.edu.

Health Insurance Requirements

All students with a vehicle on campus property are required to display a parking permit. You may register your vehicle online, and students are encouraged to park only in designated student lots.

Parking permits

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.


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:

Restaurants near campus

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