In recent years, the St. Mary’s Law Journal has been cited by the supreme courts of twenty-two states. Eight of the citations by the state supreme courts have been to comments written by students on the St. Mary’s Law Journal. In addition to the numerous citations by state supreme courts, during that same time period the St. Mary’s Law Journalwas also cited by United States Courts of Appeals on sixteen different occasions. A breakdown of the citations by circuit courts shows that, over the last ten years, the First Circuit cited the St. Mary’s Law Journal once, the Second Circuit cited the Journal twice, the Third Circuit cited the Journal two times, the Fourth Circuit cited the Journal in a dissent, the Fifth Circuit cited the Journal six times, the Seventh Circuit cited the Journal twice, and the Ninth Circuit cited the Journal two times. The frequency of citations by federal appellate courts reinforces the Journal‘s longstanding belief that publishing quality legal scholarship will assist in understanding and administering the law. The St. Mary’s Law Journal has also been cited by the United States Supreme Court on three separate occasions. Justice Powell cited the Journal in 1975, Justice Marshall cited the Journal in 1979, and most recently in 2006, the St. Mary’s Law Journal was cited by Justice Thomas.
The St. Mary’s Law Journal has won the Texas Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Article Award on several occasions, including twice recently. In 1999, the Journal also won the best article award from the State Bar Labor and Employment Section.
In August 2002, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court relied upon a student-written work in deciding a case involving police use of a “stun belt.” Chief Justice Ronald George wrote, “The St. Mary’s Law Journal comment cited by the Court of Appeal is a lengthy and well-researched article that has been cited in a number of prior judicial decisions.” In April 2003, the Texas Court of Appeals cited Robert J. Kramer’s (class of 2003) authoritative review of the Texas Arbitration Act as the basis for deciding legal malpractice issues before the court. In November 2003, the Texas Court of Appeals cited the work of Daniel M. Martinez (class of 2004) in deciding whether insurance companies can provide representation to the insured by using in-house counsel without violating the prohibition against unauthorized practice of law. In June 2006, Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court cited an address by former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist that the St. Mary’s Law Journal published in Volume 21. Additionally, in May 2008, a panel in the United State Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit relied on Heather Harrison Volik’s article, addressing the classification of the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle as a crime of violence, when urging an en banc reversal of circuit precedent.
Among the authors who have published in the St. Mary’s Law Journal are the Honorable William H. Rehnquist, former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; the Honorable Carla Hills, then a member of the Cabinet; Father Robert J. Drinan, S.J., a former member of the House Watergate Committee; Broadus A. Spivey, President of the State Bar of Texas; and numerous Justices of the Texas Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals.