Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are valued members of the law school community and contribute greatly to the law student experience. The St. Mary’s University School of Law encourages all students to participate in RSOs as part of their professional development, to help them manage stress, to create new social outlets, and to bolster their networking efforts. In addition, RSOs help St. Mary’s Law support the mission and goals of the law school and the University. All RSOs report to and are subject to the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs.
List of Registered Student Organizations
Aggie Bar Association
The Aggie Bar Association is composed of students who completed their undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University, as well as other friends of Texas A&M. The Association serves as both a professional and social organization. A mentor program pairs students with Aggie members of the local bar.
American Association for Justice
The American Association for Justice promotes advocacy and is united by their common mission for justice.
American Constitution Society
ACS’s nationwide network of student chapters is fostering a new generation of progressive leaders. Through hundreds of programs each year featuring renowned advocates, scholars and judges addressing a wide range of legal and policy issues, chapters educate their members about the critical issues facing our country. Working with ACS lawyer chapters and the national office, they also provide students with meaningful opportunities for professional development and mentoring; participation in substantive projects; and membership in both a local community and a national network. Currently, there are over 180 law school chapters.
Asian-Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
APALSA provides an opportunity for St. Mary’s Law students to share experiences and discuss issues with the Asian-Pacific American legal community and visiting Asian scholars. APALSA welcomes all St. Mary’s Law students who are interested in the Asian-Pacific American legal community.
Baylor Bar Association
The Baylor Bar Association is composed of students who completed their undergraduate studies at Baylor University, as well as other friends of the Baylor Bears. The Association serves as both a professional and social organization.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
The Black Law Students Association of St. Mary’s University School of Law places its primary focus on the matriculation, retention, and graduation of black law students in San Antonio. The organization engages in academic programs and social events that provide critical resources and benefits to students who might otherwise remain marginalized. This activity underlines our overall mission: to increase the number of competent black attorneys practicing within the State of Texas. The association endorses the idea that a larger pool of competent black legal advocates will mitigate the disparate effects the American common law system of justice currently delivers to the black population. BLSA seeks to (1) provide support for its members through scholarships and relationship building; (2) enhance leadership skills; and (3) to leverage available resources to increase our impact as legal advocates in addressing issues affecting minority communities. Membership is open to all students, staff and faculty members who support these goals.
Board of Advocates
The Board of Advocates (BOA) is composed of 30 law students who administer in house and external advocacy competitions throughout the academic year. Each of these competitions are developed and organized by members of the BOA to help develop the art of advocacy. The types of competitions that BOA sponsors includes, but is not limited to, moot court, mock trial, and negotiations. 2Ls and 3Ls may participate as competitors in any of the fall and spring competitions, excluding First Year Moot Court. The BOA also hosts external competitions for teams across the nation to come and compete in. The St. Mary’s Advocacy program is ranked 4th by the American Bar Association.
Business Law Society
The Business Law Society is a law student organization for those who have a desire to work in one of the many fields of business law. The society’s activities include hosting speakers who provide insight into today’s most important business law topics, planning informal events with students, faculty, and practitioners for networking and career guidance, and organizing workshops to help members identify employment opportunities and prepare for interviews.
The Carlos Cadena Legal Dining Society
Criminal Law Association
Students of St. Mary’s University School of Law seeking professional development in the field of criminal law are encouraged to join the Criminal Law Association. This association strives to shed light on weighty issues that arise when dealing with matters of liberty and justice and to become part of a community of future attorneys in the criminal justice field. The purpose of this association is to provide an opportunity for law students to familiarize themselves with local attorneys and judges through various networking events, fundraisers, and presentations. Any student interested in criminal defense, criminal prosecution, human or civil rights, white collar crimes, death penalty, constitutional law, pro bono and juvenile advocacy, and criminal appellate work are encouraged to join.
Defense Counsel of San Antonio Student Chapter
The Defense Counsel of San Antonio Student Chapter helps to promote individuals for the bench in San Antonio.
Democratic Law Student Association
The Democratic Law Student Association seeks to make known and promote the principles of the Democratic Party, including the values of family, freedom, and fairness. In recognition that the power of our government derives from the individual strengths of our diverse population, DLSA reinforces the principle that any society should be rooted in equal opportunity and ethical representation. By becoming a member of the Democratic Law Student Association, you have the incredible opportunity to meet other like minded students, connect with local campaigns, and network with local Democratic attorneys.
Evening Law Student Association
The Evening Law Student Bar Association serves to promote the various and unique issues of, and secure opportunities for, the evening law students at the St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Family Law Association
Founded in October 2019, the Family Law Association encompasses students of St. Mary’s University School of Law and strives to introduce students to the various areas of practice within family law including, but not limited to, divorce, child custody, protective orders, domestic violence, mediation, and spousal maintenance in Texas. The Family Law Association also participates and engages students in various opportunities to give back to the community, including volunteering and donating to children’s shelters, nursing homes, and family law clinics in the San Antonio community.
Federal Bar Association
Raising the Bar to New Heights. As the professional organization for private and government lawyers and judges involved in federal practice, the FBA offers an unmatched array of networking and leadership opportunities. From international law to bankruptcy, we cover it. For over 80 years, we have led the way for legal practitioners in government. If you’re interested in taking charge of your legal career, join us. Visit our website at www.fedbar.org for our special student membership rates.
The Federalist Society
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors. In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community. To learn more about the Federalist Society go to www.fed-soc.org.
First Generation Professionals Association
The First Generation Professionals Association aims to create a community that will serve as a network for St. Mary’s University School of Law students who are the first in their immediate families to enter the legal field.
Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA)
HLSA encourages the enrollment of and provides support to Hispanic law students. In addition to its social and fund-raising events the Association participates in regional and national conferences. HLSA also hosts an internal moot court competition from which students are selected to represent St. Mary’s in the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Moot Court Competition. Membership is open to all students regardless of ethnic background.
Immigration Law Student Association
Students of the St. Mary’s University School of Law, seeking professional development and to learn about the field of immigration law, should join the Immigration Law Association to learn about the complex issues in the practice of this area of law, and to become part of a legal community with an interest and affinity in immigration. The association proposes to introduce students to the various areas of practice within immigration law—removal defense, family immigration, employment immigration, appellate law, and other areas. The association also seeks to introduce students to the various sectors—non-profit, for-profit, solo practice, government—in which to practice as immigration lawyers. As immigration law is a continuously evolving area of law, the association also serves to discuss current issues involving immigration law.
Juvenile Jurisprudence Association
The Juvenile Jurisprudence Association works with local high school students to facilitate a Peer Court program which focuses on reformative justice for teens through constructive sentencing. JJA also provides legal education relevant to teenagers’ daily lives, as well as mentorship opportunities for underprivileged schools in our community.
International Law Society
The mission of the International Law Society is to connect students with other internationally-minded students and learn about international law, international institutions, and comparative legal systems.
Law Society for Sports, Entertainment, and Media
The Law Society for Sports, Entertainment, and Media is an organization dedicated to educating aspiring lawyers on the issues that commonly arise in these areas of practice. SEM aims to connect students with potential employers while furthering their knowledge in the specific legal environment that interests them.
Legal Society for Musicians
Legal Society for Musicians is a group that fosters camaraderie amongst those who love simply love music. The Society sponsors Law-la-palooza, an annual event that raises money for local charities while at the same time putting on a good old-fashioned rock show.
Longhorn Bar Association
Established in 1981, the Longhorn Bar Association brings together friends of The University of Texas including students, professors, and members of the bench and bar. The activities of the group provide support to students, the St. Mary’s University School of Law and the wider community. Hook ’em!
Military Law Association
The mission of the Military Law Association is to promote the interests of the military within the legal community. Our members include students who are veterans, active duty/reserve, interested in a career with the Armed Forces, have family in the Armed Forces, or simply want to be a part of a great organization. MLA actively promotes Judge Advocate careers through internships, professional development of its members, social events, and host veterans clinics which enables students to sit in and assist with a wide range of legal issues concerning our nation’s veterans.
National Lawyers Guild
The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. The NLG is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.
OUTlaw/LEGALIS is an organization that promotes awareness and the interests of the LGBT community. OUTlaw regularly brings speakers to campus who are pioneers in legal issues that are unique to the LGBT community (probate, adoption, immigration law for same-sex partners and couples). All students at St. Mary’s are welcome to join our organization or just stop by a meeting if interested.
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
With over 300,000 members worldwide, Phi Alpha Delta is the largest professional fraternity in the world. Its goal is to form a strong bond uniting students and teachers of law with the members of the bench and bar. This international organization offers professional programs, student loans, job preparation and placement assistance, insurance, and other services.
Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society
Phi Delta Phi is the oldest legal fraternity in the nation, and it seeks to promote the ideals of the legal profession through intellectual development and community service. Membership is based on academic achievement. Students who are in the top 20 percent of their class at the end of any semester are eligible to join.
Public Interest Law Foundation
The Public Interest Law Foundation is a student organization devoted to supporting St. Mary’s University School of Law students’ involvement in public interest work during the academic year. The foundation works to unite public interest-minded students at the Law School by hosting special events, such as the employer-student networking reception, mentoring programs, a public interest law career fair, guest speakers, and social events.
Red Raider Bar Association
The Red Raider Bar Association is composed of students who completed their undergraduate studies at Texas Tech University and the friends of Texas Tech.
The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice
The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice seeks to speak on behalf of minorities by reaching out to the larger community, to inform them, to share with them, to educate them, and to grow with them. The goal of the journal is to give all minorities a “voice” in the publication of a legal journal on issues affecting all minorities. The journal is a sign of hope for a promising future and for a better understanding of all members of our society.
Society of Oil and Gas Students
The Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Society mission is to educate law students about oil, gas, and energy resource law issues and to create a forum for law students to network with attorneys and law firms in the field. Membership is open to everyone.
The St. Mary’s Law Journal
Over the past three decades, the St. Mary’s Law Journal has achieved a high level of distinction. The journal is a student-led operation which strives to publish articles of significant scholarly merit and practical use. The printed product of the journal’s collective efforts reflect developments in the state of the law as well as legal education. Experience gained from participation on the St. Mary’s Law Journal includes extensive training in legal writing, critical analysis and editing. These valuable skills are thoroughly utilized in the day-to-day operation of a legal publication and are carried on into practice after law school. The journal boasts of being in the top 5 percent of most frequently cited law reviews in the United States. The journal has produced works cited by numerous state appellate courts, the Texas Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. The St. Mary’s Law Journal is dedicated to providing valuable and practical contributions to the bench and bar on a wide variety of legal issues, as it has done for more than 40 years. The journal has many distinguished alumni including judges and senior partners in prominent law firms.
St. Thomas More Society
The St. Thomas More Society has a two-fold purpose: to provide for the spiritual well-being of students and to provide a forum for discussion.
Student Animal League Defense Fund
St. Mary’s University School of Law SALDF is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interest of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law. St.MU School of Law SALDF is starting its second year. We plan on having our annual Boo Bash puppet show to educated children about caring for their pets and celebrating “Snicker’s” birthday in honor of all Seeing Eye dogs and Assistant Dogs. In addition, there will be plenty of events to volunteer for to raise awareness of animal welfare. Animal welfare and Animal rights is a new field of law with plenty of opening for interested attorneys.
Student Bar Association
The Student Bar Association’s purpose is to provide a more effective student government, to develop a greater spirit and fellowship among law students, and to work in close cooperation with the American Bar Association Law Student Division in the achievement of its goals.
St. Mary’s Health Law Society
The St. Mary’s Health Law Society (SMHLS) is a student-run organization for students who share an interest in legal issues related to the health care industry. The SMHLS provides a forum for discussion of the legal, medical and ethical issues which pertain to health law and policy, and participates in community outreach and public service events. Health care policy and regulation will be a focal point for SMHLS with influential speakers coming to campus to debate the future of health care in San Antonio, Texas and the nation on topics of their choosing, such as global health, bioethics, pharmaceutical policy, and health care related economic development. In addition, we are in the process of forming collaborations with a variety of community-based organizations. We expect these partnerships will provide opportunities for St. Mary’s School of Law students to work on the front lines of community health advocacy in the South Texas area. We also plan to bring in speakers from the great variety of health-related legal careers. This will help expose our members to careers in healthcare and the many health-related opportunities available at San Antonio, South Texas and beyond.
TCU Bar Association
The purpose of the TCU Bar Association is to provide networking opportunities within the local legal community for TCU alumni.
The Technology and Intellectual Property Association
The purpose of the Tech & IP Association is to promote interest in and knowledge of technology and intellectual property, provide members with networking and skills-building opportunities and provide a forum to discuss legal issues relating to the field.
Texas State University Bar Association
Water and Environmental Law Society
The Water and Environmental Law Society is a law student organization with the purpose of educating law students about water and environmental law issues and topics in both Texas and across the nation; creating a forum for law students to network with attorneys, law firms, and state agencies that work in these fields; and continuously supporting and promoting the values of St. Mary’s University School of Law. WELS is open to all law students with no dues required to join as a member.
Women’s Law Association
The Women’s Law Association addresses the concerns of women law students. Seminars, speakers, fund-raisers, and charity work are frequently sponsored by the organization. In addition, the Association has established a mentor program that pairs its members with local lawyers. Membership in the Association is open to both women and men.
Frequently Asked Questions
Starting a new organization on campus can be a great experience. Not only are you able to develop an interest or an idea into a brand-new opportunity for involvement at St. Mary’s University, but you will gain invaluable leadership skills that will help you in the classroom now and in your future workplace.To register a new student organization, submit a registration form on RattlerTracks.
You will need the following information and documents to complete your application:
- Intent to Organize Form
- Officer Report
- Membership Roster
- Advisor Agreement Form
Upon completion of registering your organization, the final step is attendance at the Risk Management Compliance Training.
How do I register a new RSO?
All organizations that receive any funding through St. Mary’s University or the School of Law must annually file with the Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs, according to a schedule set by that office and upload each of the following on Rattler Tracks:
- an activities charter
- an annual list of all their officers and members with their contact information, including telephone numbers and St. Mary’s email addresses
- all activities during the school year
- an annual budget
- faculty sponsor (if any)
What forms do RSOs need to file?
RSOs seeking to have a dignitary attend a meeting or event as a guest must receive the approval from the Assistant Dean of Law Student Affairs, who will then seek University approval, before inviting the dignitary to campus and must comply with University policy.
For the sake of this rule, dignitary includes diplomats, local public figures including but not limited to, the Archbishop of San Antonio, the Mayor of San Antonio, judges, and other elected officials.
Failure to comply with the Visiting Dignitary rules could result in the immediate loss of University funding or RSO status.