St. Mary's University
St. Mary’s University is the only Catholic private law school in Texas, with a Marianist heritage and award-winning clinical programs in immigration, criminal law and civil law.
“These [clinics] are not only a service to the community, providing a voice for the poor, the homeless and the destitute, but they are also a wonderful teaching tool for our students,” said Dean Charles Cantu, who joined the San Antonio school four years ago.
Since his arrival, Cantu has undertaken to emphasize the school’s Catholic identity.
“The Catholic faith is not a requirement for admission or for hiring,” Cantu said. “But it is certainly evident here at St. Mary’s.”
The school offers two seminars on canon law, one taught in Spanish. It has a seminar on capital punishment that invites robust discussion, but adheres to the Catholic church’s stance on the subject. The school also has a full-time minister who counsels students and encourages them to do volunteer work for organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
Cantu has been aggressively raising money for the school, which is 92 percent reliant on tuition. Still, the school has kept tuition at a modest $28,160.
St. Mary’s has the second-highest minority population of law schools in the state, with 34.2 percent. Most are Hispanic, making up more than 25 percent of the school’s enrollment.
The school has the only center on terrorism law in the country and offers two study abroad programs. Its Innisbrook, Austria, program is one of the most popular American study abroad programs and features a distinguished lecturer each year. This year Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will speak. The school also offers a program in Beijing that focuses on how to do business in China.
Published Winter 2012