South Texas College of Law, The Annotation (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 5, January/February, 1986 Page: 1 of 8
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Williamson Continues at South Texas Helm
By Paula Kathleen Andreoli
The Board of Trustees of South
Texas College of Law (STCL) has
concluded its 7 month nationwide
dean search with the appointment of
W.J. Williamson as the new Dean of
STCL. Dean Williamson, who cur-
rently serves as President of STCL at
the pleasure of the Board, has served
as Interim Dean since November,
1984, and accepted the appointment
as Dean for a term of 3 years.
Dean Williamson was chosen
from a field of more than 60 appli-
cants and nominees for the position,
of whom 7 were semi-finalists and
four were finalists. The four can-
didates recommended to the Board
by the Dean Search Committee
were: David L. Crump, Professor of
Law, STCL; Frederick Davis, Dean
and Professor, University of Dayton
School of Law; T. Gerald Treece,
Assistant Dean and Professor,
STCL; and Dean Williamson. These
candidates were all interviewed by
the Board, which made its final deci-
sion in mid-January, 1986.
Dean Williamson was pre-
viously employed as a lawyer and ex-
ecutive with the Shell Oil Companies
and as a Professor of Law at both
the University of Houston Law
Center and STCL. He was gradu-
ated from Rice University, B.A.
1934, with honors in History and
was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He
was graduated with highest honors
from the University of Texas at
Austin School of Law in 1937,
where he was a member of the Texas
Law Review and was elected to the
Order of Coif. Dean Williamson is
an Academic Fellow of the Ameri-
can College of Probate Counsel and
he is principal draftsman of the new
Texas Trust Code.
When asked to comment on
what he might do differently at
STCL new that he has the perma-
nent title of Dean, he responded,
"We just plan to continue the pro-
gram that we commenced during the
past 14 months, which has just bare-
ly started. We just hope to carry that
Although the appointment was
announced for a three year term,
Dean Williamson hinted that it
would be possible for the term to be
extended, but said, "we'll just have
to wait and see."
The Dean is teaching classes this
semester at STCL, but admitted that
there is a strong possibility that he will
discontinue teaching after this
semester because he might not have
enough time to perform his duties as
Dean and teach simultaneously.
With regard to the future of
STCL, Dean Williamson predicts a
possible small expansion of the
Williamson at helm Seepg.7 .
Non Profit Org.
Volume XIV, No. 5
1303 San Jacinto, Houston, Texas 77002
Lewis & Davis Pleased With Bar Review Results
By William L. Yanger
The passage rate on the Texas
Bar Exam is a continuing concern to
students, faculty and administrative
officials here at South Texas College
of Law. Two professors have decid-
ed to do something about it; it is ap-
Professors Peter Lewis and
Byron Davis have developed a review
course covering what some consider
the most difficult portion of the bar
exam: Day Three. Subjects tested on
that day are Texas evidence, criminal
procedure and civil procedure.
What sets that last day of the
bar apart from the first two, though,
is not the subjects tested. It is the test
format. And that is where the Lewis-
Davis course comes into play.
The structure of the third day
examination is very specific ques-
tions calling for very specific
"There is no room for guess-
ing. It is not multiple choice," Lewis
said. "For instance, one of the re-
occurring questions is, 'What is the
accomplice witness rule?' I can't
think of any way, if you don't know
the rule, that you could bluff your
way through it. You either get it all
or you get nothing," he said.
The course was offered for the
first time last year to those preparing
for the July bar. The results were im-
pressive by anyone's standards.
"For South Texas — and those
are the only statistics we can get —
eighty-seven percent (87%) passed
that third day. That is, of those that
took our course," Davis said. Of
those STCL students that did not
take the course, only sixty-five per-
cent passed, according to Davis.
"What made me happier than
the passage rate was the average
grade, which was an eighty-three
(83)," Davis continued. "Obviously
we had a lot of heavy eighties, so
that pleased me a lot," he said.
And it impressed the folks at
BAR-BRI, a national company of-
fering bar review courses in most
every state. After these results came
out, BAR-BRI approached Lewis
and Davis and, "made us an offer
we couldn't refuse," Davis said. The
course will now be offered through
BAR-BRI, but will be basically the
"It's going to be the same ap-
proach that we had before, only this
time we will be doing it with them,"
It was Lewis that originally
thought this type of course was
"I'd been doing bar reivew for
four years with PMBR (a company
offering review courses for the
multistate portion of the bar) so I've
been acutely aware of what goes on
in the Texas Bar and the multistates,"
Lewis said. After results on the third
day of the bar came back consistent-
ly low, he decided something needed
to be done.
"My impression was that it is
the easiest day of the bar. And I still
think it is," Lewis said, "and to
have a low passage rate was remark-
able. I couldn't understand it.
"I decided nobody else was of-
fering a supplemental course on the
third day," Lewis continued, "so I
decided I needed to line up some-
body good in civil procedure. I ap-
proached Byron (Davis) and he was
Davis reviews the civil proce-
dure content of the class while Lewis
handles the review of evidence and
criminal procedure. But the course is
not limited to merely a review of the
tested materials. Lewis and Davis
include some strategy hints in their
"We show them what we feel
would be the appropriate way to
study and to answer the questions,"
Davis said. "The third day has been
such a killer, 1 think, greatly because
students were not completely pre-
pared for the type of exam.
"It is not that difficult of an ex-
am if you know what you are doing
and are prepared for it. And it can
be a monster if you aren't," Davis
Texas apparently is the only
state using this type of exam ap-
proach, according to Lewis and
"From what I understand,"
Davis said, "this exam came about
because of the complaints by the
judiciary that no one really knew
how to try a case. It's a dangerous
thing if you don't know how to use
some of these rules.
"So I think that is what this
type of exam is trying to focus on,"
he said, "just to make sure that we
have some degree of confidence in
The quality of the course
depends a good deal on Lewis and
Davis being able to predict what the
bar examiners are going to ask.
"We took the questions that
had been asked for the last two or
three years to find some sort of basic
outline of where the examiners were
going," Davis said, "and then we
limited our areas and actually tried
to second guess." And they guessed
"Lewis was a prophet," said
James Brock, who took the July
1985 bar exam and the Lewis-Davis
course. "Nearly every question on
that third day we had seen in the
class. It was amazing," he said. In-
cidentally, Brock passed.
"The riskiness," Lewis said,
"is that the bar examiners could
change the format without prior
notice. I do my review assuming they
are going to continue this format
and if they pulled a big switch I
would have egg on my face, at least
for that time. He has no duty to call
me up and say he is switching the
format," he said.
"Actually, this happened on
procedure in July," Davis said. "He
did change his format but it didn't
seem to be a problem, our pass rate
was still high. People realized, once
they looked at the questions, that it
was actually the same information,
just a little different style," he said.
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Yanger, William L. South Texas College of Law, The Annotation (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 5, January/February, 1986, newspaper, 1986; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth144436/m1/1/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting South Texas College of Law.