The Witan, 2002-2003 Academic Year Issue 28, April 7, 2003

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The Witan, 2002-2003 Academic Year Issue 28, April 7, 2003


St. Mary's University School of Law


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St. Mary's University School of Law Issue 28 April 7, 2003

HOMECOMING 2003 by Dean Bill Piatt

This is a particularly busy week for all. Fiesta Farewell (Wednesday, April 9) and the finals of the first year Moot Court competition (same day) are always an exciting time. On Friday, April 11, you will have some unique opportunities to meet the alumni whose support you can count on during your time here as a student, and in your careers after graduation. During that day, we will have alumni on campus to attend our Continuing Legal Education Program. At 5:30 in the evening, in the Alumni Room of the Library, we will have an alumni reception and a brief recognition ceremony for some of our recent donors. I have been telling you of the wonderful support our alumni offer; I hope you will take the opportunity to get to meet some of them in living color. Business attire would be appropriate for the evening event. Take some time to introduce yourselves to our alumni. You will soon be their colleagues in the alumni association. Networking is always a good career move, and you will reap personal and professional benefits from getting to know the fine men and women who preceded you at St. Mary's. TORT REFORM The Democratic Law Student Association invites you to attend a panel discussion on the tort reform and medical malpractice bills (Hb4 and HJR3, respectively) that have recently passed the Texas House of Representatives, on Friday, April 11, at 12 noon in the Atrium of the Law Administration. The panel will include District 125 State Representative and local attorney, Joaquin Castro, a local Medical Malpractice/Personal Injury attorney, Ernest Valdez, and Toxic Tort/Personal Injury attorney David Leibowitz. The panel will talk about the debate surrounding the bills, the significance and scope of the bills, and how these changes might affect this area of the law in the future. Lunch will be provided. OFFICE OF CAMPUS MINISTRY Fiesta Farewell: The Fiesta Farewell will be held on Wednesday, April 9, from 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in the Law School Plaza. Graduation pictures (wear business attire) will be taken and Campus Ministry Service Awards presents. All are invited.

Easter Extravaganza: On Tuesday, April 15, from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. the Law Campus Ministry and Phi Delta Phi will co-sponsor a Easter Extravaganza. On Monday, April 14, at 3:30 p.m., in the Foyer of the Law Faculty Building, volunteers are needed to stuff Easter eggs. All law school families are invited to participate in games and egg hunt. Volunteers are needed to help host children from area shelters and George Gervin Youth program. First-Year Section Candy and Plastic Easter Egg Competition: The section that brings in the most bags of candy or plastic Easter eggs receives an end of the year social. Barrels are located near the Law Campus Ministry office for donations. Any Phi Delta Phi member who participates will also have a donation pledged in their behalf to a Phi Delta Phi event. Donations must be received by noon Monday, April 14. Baby Shower at Healy Murphy: The Women's Bar Association in conjunction with campus ministry will be sponsoring a baby shower for infants and toddlers at the child care center at Healy Murphy on Friday April 11. Healy Murphy is a alternative educational program that provides child care and support service for at risk youth in order to assist them in completing their high school education. Anyone who wishes to donate new or gently used baby items can drop them off at the Law Campus Ministry office. EXAMSOFT ExamSoft has just posted a MANDATORY Service Pack that must be installed prior to taking any additional exams. The Service Pack is available at the link provided below and will only take a few minutes to download, even on a slow dial-up connection. If you already took the Qualification Exam when you initially installed SofTest, the qualification exam need NOT be retaken. At the end of the SofTest Service Pack installation, you will be prompted to enter your Student ID and Password. Once again this is a MANDATORY Service Pack so you are required to install it if you intend to use SofTest to take exams this semester. The address is: Among the functionality enhancements included are: 1) Significantly improved spell checking program for those schools that permit its use. 2) Under the VIEW menu, a new "Hide Exam" option is available to block your screen when/if you walk away from your laptop during an exam (i.e., for restroom breaks). 3) Enhanced character & word count feature providing information on selected text, the current essay answer and for all essay answers combined. -2-

If you have any questions, please contact Joe Bravo at (210) 431-6702. STUDENTS TAKING THE BAR If you are graduating this semester, the deadline for registering for PMBR is April 18. Also, April 18 is the deadline to pay your balance and receive the tapes or CDs you ordered. This deadline and notice supercedes all other notices regarding the deadline for paying your balances. This includes those students who paid a deposit during their first or second year, or the fall of their third year in order to get the CD’s you ordered for free, you must pay your balance by April 18. If you have any questions, please contact any PMBR Rep. On and after April 18, you must call PMBR at 1-800-523-0777 in order to enroll and/or pay off your balance for the workshop(s). PMBR ANNOUNCEMENTS ATTENTION 3LS, IMPORTANT PMBR CHANGE: Dates for the 6-day workshop in San Antonio will be Saturday, May 10, and end on Thursday, May 15. The 3-day workshop in San Antonio is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15 through Thursday, July 17. The 6-day workshop in Austin will begin on Sunday, May 11, and end on Friday, May 16. If you are attending another location, please call PMBR at 1-800-523-0777 to verify the workshop dates. ATTENTION 3Ls $200 PMBR REBATE St. Mary’s will, as announced earlier, rebate $200 to any graduate taking the Texas Bar Examination for the first time in July 2003 who registers for the combined 6-day and 3-day workshops. If you did not lock in an earlier rate, the cost is $790 (ABA/LSD members) or $890 (NonABA/LSD members) for the combined workshops. The rebate works this way: PMBR periodically submits to the law school a list of students who have paid for the combined workshops. If you are on the list, the law school will then credit your student account with $200. You can sign up with the following PMBR Reps: 3L Reps Sheri Palma #151 Rolando Charles #39 Edward Castillo #33 Gaylia Brunson #25 2L Reps Sarah Schroeder #388 Chuck Ruhmann #380 Willie McAllen #339 Susan Goodson #305 1L Reps Annabel Lewis #573 Kim Frost Gonzales #503 Brooklynn Chandler #466


ST. MARY’S LAW JOURNAL ATTENTION FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS All first-year law students are encouraged to apply to be staff writers for the St. Mary’s Law Journal. There are many benefits to being a staff writer, including the chance to publish a comment in the Journal, which is one of the country’s top ten law reviews most frequently cited by state and federal courts ( For more information on the application process, the St. Mary’s Law Journal invites all firstyear law students to an informational dinner on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 at 4:30 p.m. in the Alumni Room. Please join us for an informal discussion on the benefits of being a Journal staff writer and what the application process entails. In addition, on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Journal will have an Open House. Please stop by the Journal office for refreshments and an office tour. Representatives from the Journal will be there to answer any questions you may have concerning Journal membership. Please join us to consider this rewarding endeavor. The Law Journal Bylaws are listed on the website (; click “Programs”; click “Law Journal Bylaws”). ASK-A-LAWYER CLINIC Last Chance this Year! The last Ask-a-Lawyer Clinic this semester is scheduled for Thursday, April 10. This is a GREAT opportunity for all law students to put into practice what they have been learning in the classroom and apply it to real life. Plus, you get valuable pro-bono hours, which count towards a special certificate of recognition at graduation. Ask-a-Lawyer is a collaborative “clinic-like” experience with Catholic Charities. We (law students) do the intake for a variety of legal issues presented by the parishioners of St. Jude’s Church (divorce, custody, employment, wills).

OFFICE OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE Endowed Scholarships: Applications may be obtained by requesting them at or at the Office of Financial Assistance. Deadline for the applications is 5:00 p.m., Monday, April 7. We recommend that you review the list of Endowed Scholarships on the St. Mary's School of Law website (, under the “Admissions” section). If you find that you fit the criteria for one or more of those scholarships, it would be to your benefit to address in detail how you meet the criteria and include it in the narrative. For instance, there is one scholarship that is awarded to a student who is from a single parent family, whose parent works or -4-

worked in the legal community. The detailed information, such as the name of the parent, the description of the type of employment and place of employment would be appropriate to list on the narrative attached to the application. If you feel that you meet that or some other criteria and you have already turned in your application, you are still able to turn in the narrative statement so that we can attach it to your application. FAFSA Reminder: If you plan on receiving financial assistance for this coming year, you should have already completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2003-2004 year. If not, please submit online immediately. The website is Summer Financial Assistance: Budgets for summers sessions as well as the Innsbruck program are now available in our office. In order to receive financial assistance for the summer, the 2003-2004 FAFSA must be completed as well as The Loan Information Form, which is now available in our office. DO NOT TURN IN UNTIL YOU HAVE REGISTERED FOR YOUR SUMMER COURSES. The form is due April 16 and allows for sufficient time to make any course changes you might need. Please note that you must be enrolled for a minimum of 2 hours in either Summer I or Summer II sessions to be considered eligible for financial assistance. If you are planning to attend another institution during Summer 2003, and want to be considered for financial assistance, you must complete a Student Consortium Agreement Form This form is available at the Law School Office of Financial Assistance. Any grade earned while attending another institution must appear on your academic transcript in order to avoid jeopardizing future loan disbursements. Due to recent changes in federal regulations, disbursement of the Stafford Loans will be different for those students who will only be attending one summer session, whether here at St. Mary's, at another institution, or any study abroad program. Half of the disbursement will come at the start of the summer session with the remaining half coming mid-way through the session. If this disbursement schedule is inconvenient, an Alternative Loan will allow one disbursement for the one summer session. For that reason you may want to process the Alternative Loan instead of the Stafford Loan. The Alternative Loan also allows us to request the funds a little earlier for those students who will be participating in a study abroad program. If however, you plan to attend two summer sessions, then half of the funding will come at the beginning of the first summer session and the remaining half at the beginning of the second summer session. PRO BONO CERTIFICATE Oops! The following students were inadvertently omitted from the Pro Bono Certificate list in last week’s issue of the WITAN. They are: Connie L. Basel Cassandra F. Charles Amanda Doan Sheri Palma

To qualify for the certificate a student must perform 50 hours of pro bono legal work, participate in the Border Assistance Project or successfully completed a clinical course. The -5-

certificates will be given out at graduation. PHI DELTA PHI Easter Extravaganza: Volunteers are needed on April 15, from 3:45 - 6:30 p.m. for Campus Ministry's Annual Easter Extravaganza 2003. It is a wonderful opportunity to have fun and give back to the community. There are a lot of games as well as the Easter Egg Hunt scheduled and we need volunteers to join in the Fun! We also need help with stuffing the eggs on April 14, at 3:30 p.m. A sign-up sheet is on the Phi Delta Phi Board in the Law Classroom Building. If you have any questions please contact Candace Kunz-Freed (Box 109) or Sister Grace. The Annual Spring Mixer will be on April 10. Look for the posted time and location on the Phi Delta Phi Board. STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS WLA Event: There will be a general meeting on Friday, April 11, from 11:30-12:30 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Law Library. Candidates speeches will be presented. WLA is also sponsoring a baby shower for the Healy Murphy Center. The Center needs new or “gently used” clothing and toddler clothing. Please bring your unwrapped gift to the meeting. BCWBA/WLA Pro Bono Wills Clinic: The event will be held at the Center for Legal and Social Justice, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m, on Saturday, April 12. You can sign up for a shift on the WLA Board or you may contact Gail A. Jensen at Spanish interpreters are greatly needed. Vote for the 2003-2004 WLA Board: Vote for next year’s Board on Monday, April 14, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. in the Law Classroom Building. The 2003-2004 WLA Board will be announced at the End of the Year Party. WRITING COMPETITIONS, FELLOWSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS Unless otherwise noted, copies of detailed information regarding these writing competitions, fellowships and scholarships are available from Ms. Lucille Wideman, Room 105 of the Law Administration Building. Judge Lucius Bunton Memorial Law Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded through the Permian Basin Area Foundation for Fall 2003. Preference will be given to students from 23 Texas counties listed in the information regarding the scholarship. Completed applications must be postmarked no later than May 30, 2003.





St. Mary's University School of Law, “The Witan, 2002-2003 Academic Year Issue 28, April 7, 2003,” St. Mary's Law Digital Repository, accessed December 9, 2019,

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