The Legal Minute Fall 2013

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Title

The Legal Minute Fall 2013

Subject

St. Mary's University School of Law

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The Red Mass: A Celebration of Law and Faith, Study Abroad: China Offers Hands on Experience, Rio Grande Valley Spring Break and Internship, Getting Out of the Law School Bubble at the Fitness Center Zumba!, VITA at the Center for Legal and Social Justic

Creator

St. Mary's University School of Law Student Bar Association

Publisher

St. Mary's University School of Law San Antonio Texas, St. Mary's University School of Law, Sarita Kenedy Law Library

Date

2013

Contributor

Lauren Anderson, Amy Bresnen, Kerriann Britt, Sasha N. Kiger, Thomas Madison, Coatlicue Molina, Nick Moore, Seth B. Sullivan, Delilah Torrence, Albert Kauffman

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NULL

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The Legal Minute

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RFC3778

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English

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Text

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STMULawTheLegalMinute_2013Fall

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2013

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elebration of Law and Faith
Seth B. Sullivan, 2L
Contributing Writer

great experience. Getting to meet judges, local attorneys, members of the
If you have not had a chance to attend San community, clergy, professors and fellow students was a rare opportunity.
Antonio's annual celebration of the Red Mass, The beautiful San Fernando Cathedral is a really intriguing place, and the
you are truly missing out on one of San Anto- reception was a blast. Too bad Red Mass is only once a year!"
nio's treasured traditions.
The Red Mass was first celebrated in the Cathedral of Paris in
This year's 61st celebration will be held on Thursday, October 1245 to officially open the court term, and it continued to spread through24, 2013, at 6 p.m. in the San Fernando Cathedral. Archbishop Gustavo out many European countries. The tradition's U.S. beginnings were in New
Garda-Siller, M.Sp.S;, is presiding, The Rev. Martin Leopold will serve as York in 1928. Under the auspices of the Archdiocese, St. Mary's School
homilist, and the Hon. Larry Noll, 408th Bexar County Civil District Court, of Law and the Catholic Lawyers Guild began the tradition here in San
will offer reflections.
· Antonio 61 years ago. The annual celebration brings the legal community
Clem Vetters, an attendee of last year's celebration and sec- together to ask for guidance, strength and enlightenment in the process of
ond-year law student at St. Mary's School of Law, stated, "Red Mass was a administering justice. This tradition is shared in Washington, D.C., where
the John Carroll Society first organized the event in 1953 and continues
today with Justices of the Supreme Court, members of Congress, and other dignitaries and government leaders in attendance. All officials attend in
their capacity as private individuals, rather than as government representatives, in order to respect the separation of church and state.
The celebration is appropriately named the Red Mass because of
the red vestments (or robes) worn to symbolize the Holy Spirit in the early
European celebrations. The traditional red vestments continue to be worn
by clergy and many of the members of the legal community in attendance.
To add to the pageantry, members of the legal community enter the Cathedral carrying red banners, representing the different legal organizations
from around San Antonio. Many law students also serve in the procession
displaying banners and bearing candles.
The Hon. Larry Noll commented, "I have been coming to Red
Mass for more than 40 years. When I was in law school at St. Mary's, this
was the one event all of the law students attended. It was a nice break from
studying, but more than that, it allowed all of us time to reflect on what it
was we were really learning:' He went on to say, "The Red Mass is a time
for all of us to take a step back and make sure we take into focus what the
RED MASS, 2012, AT THE SAN FERNANDO
CATHEDRAL, ALAMO PLAZA, IN DOWNTOWN SAN
ANTONIO, TEXAS. PHOTO BY MELANIE RUSH DAVIS.

practice oflaw and judging is all about. It is all of our jobs to ensure that

................................. continued on page 2......................................................... .

Study Abroad: China, offers hands on experience
You receive your grades for the first semester of Law School. You breathe a sigh
Kerriann Britt, 2L
of relief to know you're still here. Now you
Contributing Writer
have to make a major decision: how should I
spend my first summer ~fLaw School? There
are plenty of options to choose from, which does not make the decision
easy. Do you choose the public or tM private sector? Do you go with
criminal or civil? Do you want a big fi;.Jfi or a small firm? Do you intern
·.i
at all, or just take classes in order to get ahead and have a lighter load
during the school year? Do I 'possibly study abroad? For students at St.
Mary's University School of Law, study abroad is a very real possibility.
St. Mary's offers two programs, one in Innsbruck and one in
Beijing. When asked why he finally decided to go to Beijing over Innsbruck, 2L student Clement Hayes said, "I knew that China would be
more of a growing experience. I also knew that China is the future and
I will undoubtedly benefit from my experience:' Rachel Moreau-Davila,
3L, said "The cultural experience, travel opportunity... [and] the exposure
to the legal community in another country provides an incredibly valuable perspective:' Professor Hu states, "the China trip provides a tremendous opportunity for students to see and experience the world's oldest
and emerging country and its legal system in a meaningful way. Besides
study in the classroom, students visit Chinese legal and government
CHINA STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS & PROFESSORS,
institutions, and observe Chinese law and practice first hand. Students
CHINA, 2013.
will also meet a friendly people and see some amazing landscapes and
culture. On a personal level, successful participation in the program will
satisfy the law school's requirement for public international law credit:'
doing business with America, and edit documents written in English.
Students who choose to attend the Institute on Chinese and
Ever since the beginning of the program, internships have been
offered. Slowly, the amount of companies grew, as more students with conBusiness Law have the chance to intern at some of the top firms in China.
Some of the internships were paid, while others were not, but all provid- nections to St. Mary's University have graduated. For Example, Jia Ping, a
ed students the opportunity to get hands on experience with a Chinese human rights attorney in Beijing, was a student of Professor Johnson's and
company. Students had the opportunity to intern at a variety of places, in- now usually takes two interns every summer. The CEO of China Law Info
cluding China Law Info, King & Wood Malleson, Mary Kay China, Yingke and Professor Hu are alumni of the same university in Beijing, Peking ..... ..
Law Firm, and Jia Ping, to name a few. Among other duties, students had ................................. continued on page 2........................................................... .
the opportunity to attend client meetings, give presentations regarding

Legal Experience
Study Abroad, China... by Kierran Britt

2

CONTRfBUTf>NG WRITERS

....u..v

Bresaea

erriaaa Britt
Saslta ll. Kiger
lessor Thomas Madiso:a
atlieue Moli:aa
iokMoore
Setll B. Sulliva:a

elilah. Torre:aee
F ACULTY ADVISOR

b ert Kauffma:a

For suggestions,
comments, concerns,
submissions, and/ or
letters

to

the

Editor,

please e-mail

Lauren Anderson
-

at:

·-· 1-

thelegalminute
@gmail.com

...continued from page 1... University Law School. One of the Chief Counsel for Mary Kay China is actually a
St. Mary's University School of Law alumni.
Francesca Di Troia, 2L at the University of Texas at Austin, speaks about how her involvement
abroad has helped her after returning to America. ''At every interview, the first question I am asked is concerned with China. Also, China teaches you to be very independent and show personal drive:'
Kenny Lam, 2L, was one of two students selected to continue his experience in China after the
school session ended by interning with Mary Kay China in Shanghai. Of the experience, he says, "Mary Kay
was a great working experience. As a lL, there are only so many things you learn about, but working at Mary
Kay... opened up my eyes to International Business Law and International Intellectual Property. It was one of
the best experiences I have ever had, and definitely helped broaden my horizons:' International Business Law
and Intellectual Property Law are two of the classes students have the chance to take while abroad.
Classes are taught in English by either American or Chinese professors from Beihang University.
This year, the classes offered will be Introduction to Chinese Law, International Business Law, and Intellectual
Property Law. Law students from Beihang University also attend
classes so that they can learn a bit of American Law. Classes are
held in the mornings so that students can work at their internships, go sightseeing, or study during the afternoons. On some afternoons, there are special field trips to law related locations, such
as one of China's Intellectual Property offices and Jung He, one of
the top Chinese law firms.
Internship opportunities aren't the only reason why a
student should elect to attend the China program. St. Mary's provides many opportunities to encounter the Chinese culture. The
schedule permits two three-day weekends and one six -day break.
These breaks provide students will ample time to travel farther
outside of Beijing. Groups were able to visit Xian, Tianjin, and
Shanghai, among other cities, during the breaks. This gave the
more adventurous students a chance to explore China on their
own.
During one of the three-day breaks, the school charters complimentary trips to the "must-see" Beijing monuments,
including Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden
City, and the Temple of Heaven. The Great Wall is, of course, on
the agenda as well! All of the tours included a private bus, an English speaking tour guide, admittance into the monuments, and at least lunch.
St. Mary's provides ample support prior to arriving in China, as well. They set up your room reservations, get your visa for you, and correspond with your internship coordinator in China on your behalf. They
were able to give suggestions as far as flights, but students were given the freedom to choose their own flight.
This also gave students the ability to travel to other locations before or after their stay in China. One group
of students visited Dubai, UAE before arriving in China. Another group spent a week in Japan after leaving
China.
All in all, the study abroad program, directed by Professor Hu and Professor Johnson, is an amazing
experience every student should take advantage of!

Red Mass, 2013 ...by Seth B. Sullivan
... continued from page l ... justice is done, and that it is not denied:'

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Writers
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Noll's comments capture the spirit of Red Mass. This celebration is not only a blessing on the legal
community, but also a time for those administering the law to reflect and receive a fresh perspective on their
profession.
Members of the community from all faiths and backgrounds converge on the beautiful and historic space of the San Fernando Cathedral
in downtown San Antonio every year to celebrate the Red Mass. Each
year more and more people join in to make this a special tradition in
the community. Local attorney Carla Riedl commented, "Red Mass is a
great opportunity for people of faith to come together and pray for the
legal community. The music is angelic, the prayers are powerful, and
the reception after the mass is spectacular:'
Red Mass in San Antonio is a unique opportunity for law students to
witness the faith of members of the legal profession and attend a reception that enables them to meet many legal professionals. For those considering whether to come to Red Mass for the first time, this celebration
is open to people of all faiths. Each year this celebration brings members of the legal community from various aspects of the law together for
guidance in administering the common cause of justice. Local attorney
Kevin Yeary, a St. Mary's alum and member of the Catholic Lawyers
Guild, stated, "I can think of no better way for the legal community
to ask for the
of
guidance
the Holy Spirit each year than to attend Red Mass together - it is the highest form of prayer:'
The celebration is focused on a time of reflection and for blessing law students and the legal
community as they begin the academic and judicial
year. All members of the legal community and their
families are invited to come join in the celebration of
the Red Mass this October!
Seth B. Sullivan is a St. Mary's School of Law Law Ministry assistant for Red Mass, 2013. Red Mass 2012 photos are
courtesy of Ralph Mawyer Photography©, San Antonio.

Legal Experience

3

Rio Grande Valley Spring Break and Internship
Earlier this year, I was desperately looking forward to spring break. My
mind was entrenched in law school studies, and I was writing and researching my
brief for Legal Research and Writing, or
as we call it, "LRW' I wanted nothing more than a respite from the
high intensity of school and endless reading it required. My plan
was to return home to McAllen, TX, in the Rio Grande Valley,
kick my feet up, relax, and possibly head to South Padre Island
during that short week I would be home.
My spring break ended up being better than that, a lot
better. Through Sister Grace Walle I discovered St. Mary's School
of Law's spring break trips to Dallas, New Orleans, and the Rio
Grande Valley. Every trip provides the opportunity for law students to get hands-on work in the legal work place as well as a
chance to take part in a greatly rewarding community service. All
the while Sister Grace coordinates the programs and makes an
effort to visit every location herself.
I figured, "Why not? I'm headed to the Rio Grande
Valley anywaY:' Law students Anietie Akpan and Maria Holmes
headed the trip where we had a discussion with the South Texas
Civil Rights Project, took part in the Proyecto Azteca community
service program, and worked in the Wills Clinic with the Texas
Rio Grande Legal Aid. Each experience progressively opened my
eyes to the problems and legal issues that faced my hometown.
The experience shattered my perception of my home in a good
way and inspired me to give back to the home that had given me
so much.
At the South Texas Civil Rights Project, one of the staff,
Jaime Ortiz informed us of the horribly minuscule wages being paid to the alien workers at construction sites. These workers work all day in the Texas sun sometimes without any water
breaks. Mr. Ortiz shocked us with one case where employees at
a carwash center were being paid under a dollar per hour. The

Nick Moore, 2L
Contributing Writer

hopeless pinata. The kids were left with huge smiles on their faces
and pockets loaded with candy.
At the end of the week, after we had all bonded, made new
friends and improved existing friendships, we got together for a
big dinner. The dinner was hosted by Judge Israel Ramon Jr., the
St. Mary's School of .Law's Law Alumni President. Along with Judge

Project provides free legal service to low income individuals and . Ral;l}on .w~re other alumni from St. Mary's Schoo' of Law who wer~

offers internships for law students.
Proyecto Azteca was an opportunity for us to do some
real hands on work and help poor communities in the Rio Grande
Valley. Through Proyecto Azteca we worked on construction sites;
building homes for low-income families so they can develop a
neighborhood and community that gives people a real shot at life.
The experience was more fun than work as we all enjoyed each
other's company and became more adept with using a hammer
and nail gun.
Potentially the most rewarding experience of the Proyecto Azteca program was when we got to throw a party for the children of a poor community. In the neighborhood where we threw
the party, houses were put together with scrap metal, wild dogs
roamed around, and the kids played in the street. Despite this dire
setting, the families could not have been friendlier; inviting us
into their houses while we set up the party. We set up stations for
the kids where they were able to make fake tattoos, create snacks
with Rice Krispies and Fruit Roll Ups, and eventually destroy a

working and practicing in the community. We feasted on botana
platters full of fajitas, chicken, and nachos, sipped on margaritas,
and shared in the stories of the alumni and listened to their advice.
Through the dinner, I was able to establish an observership with Judge Ramon at the 430th District Court in Edinburg, TX.
During the summer I spent six weeks working alongside the judge,
sitting in his court room, witnessing two jury trials, three bench trials, and several hearings. Beyond observing in court, Judge Ramon
offered me several opportunities to prepare legal re~earch and to engage in legal discussions related to hearings in his court room.
The observership was a front row seat to what attorneys
really do day in and day out. Sitting in a court room every day, I
would see undisciplined lawyers, who did not prepare enough research, and fantastic lawyers, who knew the law better than the back
of their hand. The unpredictability of a jury was one of the bigger
eye openers of mine, where their verdict would result opposit~ of
my expectation. However, the biggest takeaway was a better understanding of the legal issues that persist in the Rio Grande Valley.
The 430th district court dealt with all
kinds of legal issues: civil, criminal, divorce, protective orders, custody issues, juvenile cases, tax,
and a large amount of cases dealing with undocumented aliens. Cases of the latter form typically
resulted in deportation. The 430th also handles
veteran's court and hosts panels for the grand jury
where they produce their indictments.
The spring break program and the observership with Judge Ramon were a chance
for me to see a real life use for my studies. The
amount of St. Mary's School of Law alumni in the
Rio Grande Valley was surprising and encouraging. I continue now with a sense of eagerness to
finish my studies, but I learned that I do not have
to wait until then to make a difference. St. Mary's
School of Law provides many opportunities for
students to make a difference, and from first hand
experience I can attest that they can be rewarding,
enlightening, and even entertaining.

Getting Out of the L
VITA, at the Center for Legal &

So~~al JtJstice

VITA is St. Mary's University's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. It is supervised bfThoinas F.:Madison, Ph.D., CPA,
professor of accounting, and Chair of the Accounting Department, at the Bill Greehey School of Business, here at St. Mary's University.
Dr. Madison answered some questions about the VITA program. Here is what he had to say...
The St. Mary's VITA site has been in operation since 2003 and is a partnership between the University, the School of Law, the
Bill Greehey School of Business, and is supported in part by Wells Fargo and the IRS.
The St. Mary's VITA site is under the overall supervision of Dean Ana Novoa, JD, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for
Clinical Education and Public Interest for the School of Law and myself. Rachael Rubenstein, JD, Senior Tax Fellow at the CLSJ, Nicole
Monsibais, JD, Clinical Administration Fellow at CLSJ, and George Posada, JD, Clinical Fellow at the CLSJ are responsible for program
operations.
· · ·.. : ~. ;. ·
Training for the St. Mary's site occurs in a class room setting on campus and is conducted by St. Mary's students and faculty.
Most college students, regardless of major, can be trained to do the types of income tax returns completed at the site with one
day of training.
Additionally, VITA volunteers will learn to do their own income tax returns.
.
A major purpose of the VITA program is to insure that low income working families receive the income tax refunds and credits to which they are entitled, primarily the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); which is a public policy initiative to provide additional
income to low income working families without the necessity of creating federal welfare bureaucracies, and it can increase the taxpayer's
disposable income by as much as 20-25%.
Most of the families served by the St. Mary's VITA site are residents of the neighborhoods around campus.
All returns volunteers prepare for clients are checked for accuracy by business school faculty, law school faculty, or experienced
volunteers.
VITA is a tremendous community service activity which should be of interest to students interested in law, public policy,
economics, sociology, ethical leadership, and corporate social responsibility because it gives them "hands on'' experience in the actual
implementation of public policy designed to foster a degree of economic equity in our society.
In the spring of2013, the StMU VITA volunteers contributed over 1,600 hours to training and just over 4,300 hours to processing, preparing, and filing 1,200 tax returns with refunds totaling $2,000,000. The program has more than doubled in size over the last
5 years and we expect even more demand for our services in the spring of 2014 since many low-income West Side residents will need
income verification for applying for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program was created in 1969 under a congressional mandate to the IRS to provide assistance to taxpayers who could not afford paid preparers. The IRS has partnered with several organizations in order to assist targeted
groups of taxpayers in need of substantial assistance. For example, under the VITA mandate, the IRS and the American Association of
Retired Persons collaborated in the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program to assist retired and elderly taxpayers, but the creation
of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in 1975 has created the most substantial impact on the VITA program.
The ElTC most closely resembles .t he negative income tax proposed by Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman and
others in the 1960's. The negative income tax was seen as a means of providing economic assistance to the poor without the cost of
creating huge federal welfare bureaucracies as mechanisms for delivering the aid. The rationale for the program was simple; income tax
compliance created a way to identify low-income, working taxpayers for whom Congress wanted to provide economic aid, and the existing tax refund system provided a low-cost way to deliver the aid.
The EITC also lacked some of the weaknesses identified in other welfare programs. It targeted those who were poor, but who
were trying to raise their standard of living by working. It was structured such that recipients would not be discouraged from working by
the fear of losing more benefits than they earned in income from additional work. It was neutral with respect to family structure, unlike
aid to dependent children, in that it was available to both single parent families with children as well as two parent families with children.
The creation of the EITC represented a bold experiment in public policy. It represented a major public policy effort to provide a measure
of economic equity without reliance on a costly and often suspect federal welfare bureaucracy.
Concurrent with the creation and expansion of the EITC, software companies began to offer tax compliance software that greatly simplified the completion of simple tax returns, including those that required an EITC calculation. As a result, private tax services
realized that the EITC created a tremendous opportunity for their services, and began to market their services to low-income taxpayers.
Their offering included electronic filing, refund loans based on the taxpayer's refund, and automatic deduction of tax preparation fees
from loan proceeds. Due to the limited number of taxpayers that IRS volunteers could assist through the VITA program, the number
of for-profit tax preparation services that targeted low-income tax payers increased substantially and increasing numbers of low-income
taxpayers turned to tax preparation services for assistance with their returns.
Although the tax preparation services marketing efforts created substantial awareness of the EITC among low-income taxpayers, they were criticized for taking advantage of the working poor with high preparation fees and refund loans with excessive fees and exorbitant interest rates. Some businesses began to partner with tax services in order to direct taxpayers' refund loans into down payments
on larger high-interest, high-fee installment loans for things like electronics, used cars, furniture, etc .. These practices resulted in tax
preparation for low-income taxpayers becoming a substantial public policy issue because many thought that the current state of affairs
was ca_ sing t!:e working poor to fall prey to predatory business and lending practices.
u
"? "';!As im alternative, many communities began discussing ways to increase the ability of the VITA program to assist low-income
taxpaylrs and formed commm1ity coalitions to partner with the IRS in the VITA program. These coalitions typically involved participation.by, ~:~nicipaCecpnomic,d,$,ve~opm'¢nt departments, charitable organizations like the United Way and Catholic Charities, colleges
and untversities, and 'an IRS representative.
.
·
Through community volunteer$;-VITA programs create a substantial economic impact in communities with large numbers of
working poor, recent immigrants, and the elderly. In San Antonio, Texas, alone the VITA impact in terms of tax refunds is approximately
$50~000,000 annually. College stude11ts, regardless of major, are a significant source of volunteers in many VITA programs because they
are 'computer literate, fluent in English, and sufficiently educated to quickly learn how to do the income tax returns required for VITA
clierits._Gbviously, VITA will appeal to business, accounting, and tax students but VITA should also appeal to students who are interested
in public:policy, public finance, economics, sociology, ethical leadership, and corporate social responsibility because it gives them "hands
on'' -~xperience in the actual implementation of public policy designed to foster a degree of economic equity in our society. Students
stuqying Spanish should be interested, because many of our clients are more comfortable using Spanis_h, and the VITA experience gives
the student the opportunity to develop a vocabulary they would not necessarily develop in their course work.
The StMU VITA site has substantial participation from accounting, business, and clinical law faculty members such that our
VITA volunteers alw!lys have a knowledgeable person to turn to should they face a situation of which they are unsure. Current volunteers
at the St. Mary'~ VITA site incl~de StMU alumni, Wells Fargo employees, law students, and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff.

alM School Bubble
at the Fitness Center
Cuatlicue Molina, pictured left and below, is an
undergraduate student here at St. Mary's University, studying Political Science & Psychology. She
teaches Zumba classes, at the campus Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center (AA&CC). Zumba is a
dance-workout class, where participants often have
fun and exercise to the sounds of salsa, bachata,
merengue, and reggaeton music.
I asked Coatlicue about herself, Zumba, and why
she woud recommend the classes to ANYONE. Here
is what she had to say...
Could you tell me about the Zumba classes?
They are amazing!
For how long have you been teaching Zumba?
I have been teaching since I was 14 years old. Of course, I have acquired practice over the years, in addition
to losing a lot of weight! I started teaching Zumba to elderly people in Mexico, then I proceeded to teach
small kids in the U.S. at a daycare. Afterwards, I taught in an actual Gym in Mexico for some years, and now
I am the University's Zumba Instructor. I started teaching at St. Mary's the first day I started working on
campus as a freshman. In other words, I have been teaching Zumba at St. Mary's for as long as I have been
here--3 years approximately.
How are Zumba classes beneficial?
My Zumba classes are beneficial in NUMEROUS ways!
1. Any type of exercise causes the release of endorphins in your body! Endorphins are natural hormones in
your body that encourage feelings of well-being, happiness, and satisfaction.
2. My Zumba classes are intense but fun! Some have called them "Insanity Zumba,, because of how much I
push everyone, but always with a smile on my face! The people that go to them have a love-hate relationship
with them!
3. I honestly try to encourage everyone that goes to my class to be more self-confident by fist setting the
example myself: I give my class in a sports bra and sweatpants. Knowing that my belly is not the flattest or
sexiest or hardest, I motivate myself every day by dancing away, exercising more and more to achieve _ y
m
flat-belly goal, and in the mean time, not worrying about that "imperfection, about me. I constantly encourage others to do the same, to leave insecurities behind as they walk in my Zumba class.
Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am in love with exercising, lifting weights, dancing, eating healthy and any other fitness-related activity. I
am all about fitness and health. I try to stay strong every day because I know so many girls look up to me,
and I must stay strong for them. I offer free advice, tips, diet cleaning and routines when girls ask me for
them. I was born here in the U.S. but I have always lived in Mexico, therefore Mexico is my home. I speak
Spanish, English and intermediate German. I am a member of PAD [Phi Alpha Delta] Pre-Law Fraternity &
I completed an internship at the CLSJ for an entire year. I want to pursue Law School when I finish undergrad. Afterwards, I want to get involved in the political life--run for office, and ultimately become President
of Mexico or the U.S .... but more than likely Mexico.
.(

Why would you recommend that a student visit the fitness center and/ or
take a Zumba class? ·
I would definitely recommend that a student visit the FC and/or take a
Zumba class with me because STARTING is the most difficult step to
becoming a healthier version of you. Once you step out of your comfort
zone and decide to explore the fitness world, it will become a healthy
addiction. Working out or coming to my Zumba class will become harder and harder to stop doi~g simply because of that FANTASTIC feeling
endorphins give you once you finish your workout, or even while doing
it! Start today!
·
Zumba Classes are: Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, from 5:30 to 6:15
p.m., on the middle floor, in the Movement Studio, of the AA&CG, the gym
at St. Mary's University.

Student Life

6

St. Mary's School of Law student organizations
reach out to students & prospective members
THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY
The Federalist Society at St. Mary's School of Law is ready to stir up some exciting conversations and debates this year! Not all learning can be had from textbooks. Much is learned in law school, through contact with
thinkers, judges, and civic leaders; but even more valuable is thoughtful debate between you and your friends and
colleagues. The Federalist Society, by broadening the law school debate with its publications and invited speakers,
provides a forum for a fuller inquiry into today's legal issues than you will receive from your textbooks. And, at
our events, we provide our guests with FREE FOOD!!!
For more information on joining the Federalist Society or attending our upcoming events, contact
Delilah D. Torrence and/or check out www.facebook.com/StMarysFedSoc.

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) is a new student organization, sponsored by Professor ,
Vincent R. Johnson. The organization works closely with the Texas Trial Lawyers Association to promote the
interests of injured people and consumers who have been wronged by others. The AAJ will provide speakers on
important issues and opportunities for networking with practicing plaintiffs' attorneys.
For at least 5 years, there has been no student association on the St. Mary's Law School campus that focuses
on preserving, protecting, and restoring the civil justice system. Of the 35 Law School student organizations, none
are focused on the role which plaintiffs' lawyers play in vindicating the rights of access to the courts and trial by
JUry.
The AAJ and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA) pursue policies--in Congress and in the Texas
Legislature-that represent the interests of injured people and consumers who have been wronged by others. In
September, AAJ hosted a panel of eminent plaintiffs' bar attorneys- Jay Harvey and Glenn W. Cunnigham·
which was held in ·the Alumni Room in the Law Library. Over 70 students came to listen to the attorneys speak
about the current state of medical malpractice in Texas.
AAJ will host another lunch event in the Atrium, located in the Law Administration building, on November 7th. The speakers who will be featured include Jared Woodfill, Harris County GOP Chairman and graduate
of St. Mary's Law School, and Robert Talton, a former State Representative in the Texas House. Both speakers will
talk about their practice as plaintiffs' attorneys and being involved in politics.
The American Association for Justice's officers include:
Amy Bresnen, President
Abel Aguirre, Vice President
Brendon Villaneuva, Secretary
Clem Vetters, Treasurer
Faculty Advisor: Vincent R. Johnson

,_

For more information on-the American Association for Justice student organization, please contact Amy Bresnen
at 512.507.7602 or amy.bresnen@gmail.com.

THE TECHNOLOGY

& INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATION

The Technology & Intellectual Property Association of St. Mary's University is reaching out to those interested in a growing and revolutionary field in the legal world. We invite you to join and to participate in our events
this year!!!
Be on the lookout for our Annual Poker Tournament and our Networking Event for the chance to meet
Tech & IP attorneys currently practicing in the field of Technology and Intellectual Property Law.
For $25, membership in the Technology & Intellectual Property Association gets you a free spot in our
Poker Night and at-shirt. To join, you can pay by check or cash to our St. Mary's Chapter President, Cornelio
Morales, who can be reached at cmoralesl2@mail.stmarytx.edu.
We are looking forward to seeing you at our events!!
Best Regards,
Delilah D. Torrence
Tech & IP Law Secretary

Student Life

7

HISPANIC LAW STUDENT ASSOCIATION
The Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA) of St. Mary's University encourages all law students to join
and benefit from the many opportunities our organization has to offer. We provide specialized support to the Hispanic community of our Law School.
The HLSA provides its members a variety of events, which, this fall, includes two general meetings with
guest speakers from the Hispanic community in San Antonio. Our first general meeting included Justice Rebecca
Martinez from the Fourth
Court ofAppeals. Our second meeting will feature
Senator Uresti, and it will
be held November 6, 2013,
at noon. All of our meetings
will have food provided for
members who attend. Also,
HLSA has a number of social events throughout the
year. This fall, we will host
a Mentor Mentee Mixer at
the Cadillac Bar (10/16/13
at 5:30 p.m.) and Hispanic Fest, at Dean Valencia's
house (10/25/13 at 7:00
p.m.).
HLSA also sponsors
and coaches a moot court
20TH ANNUAL HENRY B. GONZALES DINNER WITH JUSTICE REBECCA MARTIteam that Will participate
NEZ FROM THE FOURTH COURT OF APPEALS. PHOTO BY JUDITH CARRIZALES.
in a national competition,
hosted in Miami, FL, this
year. Tryouts for the moot
court team are currently being held and will include a brief writing tryout, as well as an oral argument tryout.
Philanthropic events are available all year. This year will include, but is not limited to, helping a local high
school's mock trial team prepare for their upcoming competition, participating in a Christmas toy drive with the
other St. Mary's School of Law student organizations, and hosting a canned food drive sand volleyball tournament.
To join HLSA, members must pay dues of $40 for membership, which covers the entire school year. It
is never too late to join. Membership includes entrance to all the aforementioned events, eligibility to apply for
Hispanic Law Alumni Association scholarships (last year five students each received $1,000 to apply to their tuition or bar prep courses), as well as admission to our Spring events, which will include the 21st Annual Hispanic
Law Alumni Henry B. Gonzalez Dinner downtown at the Marriott, an assigned mentor, a t -shirt, and access to
the TWEN outline bank. We invite everyone to join this year, and we ask that you please add us on Facebook and
TWEN to receive updates and notifications of opportunities.
The friendships and connections made through HLSA are invaluable resources that will last a lifetime.
_, ,
Please feel free to contact any of this year's officers, which are as follows,
President, Sasha Kiger
Vice President, Victor Campos
Treasurer, Omar Gomez
Secretary, Erika Salinas
Historian, Phillip
Gonzales
Social Chair, Leslie
Vasquez
Sincerely,
Sasha N. Kiger
St. Mary's University School
of Law Candidate for Juris
Doctor, 2014
President, Hispanic Law
Student Association
Teacher Assistant, Center
for Legal & Social Justice
20TH ANNUAL HENRY B. GONZALES DINNER, WITH MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO,
WHO WAS THE DISTINGUISHED HONOREE. PHOTO BY JUDITH CARRIZALES.

Entertainment
Staying healthy & fit,
at the AA&CC, HLSA
volleyball tournatnent
s

St. Mary's University offers many opportunities for
campus recreation, including various activities at the Alumni
Athletics & Convocation Center and intramural sports.
On the bottom floor of the AA&CC, students, staff,
and faculty may exercise in the newly remodeled fitness facility,
which has machines for cardiovascular health, as well as machine weights, free weights, and equipment for resistance training. If you like to climb ~nd you have no fear of heights, you
_can try the rockwall-, featured to the right, with the assistance of
student instructors.
·
The bottom floor of the AA&CC also houses a natatorium, for swimming laps, playing water basketball, and Aquatic Zumba classes. This is also where the arena and concession
stands for St. Mary's team sports games are, in addition to two
basketball courts. Kent Royalty, LL.M., accounting professor,
. pictured bottom right, said "I enjoy playing basketball with_law
students in the gym:'
The St. Mary's University intramural program offers a
variety of sports, which are open to all students, undergraduate
and law alike, staff, and faculty members. For more information
on the intramural program, check out the website at www.imleagues.com/StMaryTx to see current sport offerings for the fall.
Intramural games usually start around 4:30p.m. or later, depending on the sport. According to Leah Bowen, St. Mary's Intramu-

ral Coordinator, "We can accommodate scheduling requests to a certain
point:'
Bowen also notes that "participating in intramurals or jn any
campus recreation event is a great way to get out of the 'bubble' at the
law school. Not only are you getting some exercise, it's a great way
to de-stress and socialize with
other students!"
Many student organizations offer opportunities to
get out and get active. The St.
Mary's School of Law Hispanic
Law Student Association hosts
an annual volleyball tournament, at Fatso's, pictured to the
left, which is also a canned food
drive for the San Antonio Food
Bank.
Law school can be stressful. To get through alive and
well, get out, socialize, and have
some fun in a healthy and productive way!

Flint Fest 201>
The annual Flint Fest has become an institution here at St. Mary's School
of Law. Each year, Professor Richard Flint, pictured below, far left, hosts a party, shares his home-brewed beer with colleagues and students, and helps to raise
money for scholarships for students attending the summer semester study abroad
·
program in Innsbruck, Austria.

This year, Flint Fest was held at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, on the evening of September 27th. In previous years,
Professor Flint hosted the event at his house, but attendance has
grown over the years, so a larger venue was needed. ·
Flint Fest event hosts, pictured above, collected $10 donations from each attendee who arrived, and each attendee received a raffle ticket. Withtheir winning raffle tickets, many students won prizes, including a printer and movie tickets.
Throughout the evening, guests socialized with classmates and professors, imbibed and tried Professor Flint's beer, and
dined on the bar-b-que smorgasbord. In addition to sharing his
home-brew, Professor Flint also cooked and graciously provided
the barbque.

Files

Collection

Citation

St. Mary's University School of Law Student Bar Association, “The Legal Minute Fall 2013,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed February 22, 2017, http://lawspace.stmarytx.edu/item/STMULawTheLegalMinute_2013Fall.

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