ldave, for her part, has another fixture in mind: the school is attempting to raise three million dollars to buy a former Marianist retreat center it currently leases. The Center for Legal and Social Justice, as it is called, currently houses St. Mary’s four legal clinics: civil justice, criminal justice, immigration and human rights and community development. At the same time, the clinics face the challenge of finding “WITH THE EXCEPTION OF LONE-WOLF LAWYERS WHO HELP THE POOR AND UNPOPULAR, THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN TEXAS HAS BECOME A SEA OF SELFISHNESS SINCE THE RISE IN POWER OF LARGER AND LARGER LAW FIRMS.” Maury Maverick Texas Lawyer survey, law students slammed her for “political correctness” and complained she was “openly biased against men.” Old-line San Antonio lawyers are clearly more comfortable with the old St. Mary’s. The school was run by just two deans, Ernest Raba and James Castleberry, in the forty-three years before Aldave signed on in 1989. “I just don’t like the agenda,” says Charles Smith, a former president of the Texas and San Antonio bar associations. “From my view, the faculty and the direction are far too liberal. To my way of thinking, that’s just not the way the law school should be involved.” Leaders of San Antonio’s big homegrown firms wouldn’t discuss Aldave. Part of their reluctance almost certainly stems from the knowledge that Aldave is so entrenched that no amount of bad-mouthing would hurt her. Besides, homegrown San Antonio law firms have other things to worry about. In recent years they have been overtaken, in prestige and in revenues, by branches of the state’s megafirms. Those local firms that haven’t been merged into large law firms are hurting financially. The local firms lag in other areas as well. Cox & Smith and Thornton, Summers, the city’s largest two homegrown firms, together employ about one hundred ten lawyersbut just one Hispanic, in a city where Hispanics comprise almost half the population. “There’s a funny South Texas mentality here, a way of doing business that says there’s always a quid pro quo,” Aldave says. “There’s so much more of that than I ever expected.” MALDEF’s Kauffman knows what she’s talking about. He says he once asked a San Antonio big-firm lawyer to help with a community board related to issues in a MALDEF-filed suit. A year or so later, Kauffman says, he wanted to depose a client of the firm in an unrelated suit. The firm came down hard on him, Kauffman saysthe complaint being that one lawyer’s time at a few committee meetings was worth a lifetime of professional good will from MALDEF. But even her critics admit they are vulnerable to the peculiar charms of Aldave, an exceptionally blunt woman who towers over most men and delivers her message in a forceful, Julia Childs-like voice. “I can put horns on Barbara, you know, demonize her, ,until I get to meet her somewhere,” Charles Smith says. “Then I start to like her. When I’m with her I really like her.” When Aldave replaced Castleberry in 1989 the confrontations between newcomers and old-school loyalists were immediate. For one thing, Castleberry wouldn’t immediately give up the dean’s office to Aldave, and it required the help of the university president for Aldave to move in. Castleberry no longer maintains an office at the law school, and Aldave is in her third three-year appointment as deanwith the strong support of St. Mary’s president, Reverend John Moder. He sees the clinical programs as “a social commitment side to legal practice.” “The dean is a fixture,” Moder says. “Seven years is a long time.” Maury Maverick Andy King funds to replace grant money that is drying up. Co-directors Dittfurth and Dubin have raised more than a million-and-a-half dollars to get the clinics running over the past five years; the clinics took in four hundred fifty thousand dollars in grants for the current fiscal year. “WHAT DOES MARY MEAN TO US?” Not all members of the San Antonio community have welcomed the establishment of these clinical pro grams. Because many more people are executed in Texas than in any other state, it is hardly surprising that our efforts to assist those convicted of capital murder have been particularly controversial. Whenever anyone is so bold as to complain directly to me about our clinics, however, I have a ready answer. We at St. Mary’s University School of Law are virtually obliged to sponsor the particular clinical programs that we have initiated, I aver. After all, for whom is our school named? Once we strip away the heavily romanticized tradition that surrounds her, what does Mary mean to us Catholics? In the early part of the New Testament, Mary is introduced to us as an unmarried, pregnant teenager. When we last hear of her, she is an old woman, at least by the standards of her timea widow who looks to friends for sustenance and support. Between her major appearances, she has searched for shelter, fled from persecution, and watched the execu tion of her son. Somehow I have to believe that such a woman, whom I view as a strong and courageous figure, would heartily approve of programsinstituted at the only law school bearing her name that are designed to aid the poor and the homeless, immigrants and refugees, the young and the elderly, the inhabitants of death row. Barbara Bader Aldave, “The Reality of a Catholic Law School,” Marquette Law Review, Winter 1995 : JUNE 14, 1996 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11
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