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'Suit Up Station' changing lives at a law school in Texas

Inside the closet you will find belts, blouses, suits, ties and even shoes.

SAN ANTONIO — A closet inside St. Mary's University School of Law is changing the lives of its students.

The 'Suit Up Station' sponsored by Patel Gaines is a much-needed resource for future lawyers. Inside you will find belts, blouses, suits, ties and even shoes. Attorney Rahul Patel said the idea is to help the students have the best first step possible.

"You get to go shopping and the best part is you don't have to pay for it," he said.

 Professional clothing is not cheap. Robin Thorner, the School of Law's Assistant Dean Office of Career Strategy, said this has been around for five years.

"Suits, jackets, blazers, the things that students need either for a job interview or once they landed a job and need professional attire and the ability to show up and know that they look the part," she said.

The Suit Up Station is for St. Mary's law school students.

 "A lot of our students come to our law school straight out of undergrad, many of our students are first generation they may not have had a reason to have professional clothing," Thorner said.

 Libby Harlos is a third-year law student who has benefited from this resource. 

"We've come in here regularly to find suits that might work for us," she said. "I have never had a suit before that fits just right that was the right color, or the right size."

 She now owns her very first suit. 

"I looked, and I saw this suit that I am wearing, and I decided to try it on," she said. "I tried it on, and it fit like a glove."

Everyone involved said the Suit Up Station is more than just about the clothing.

"We all know, how you look can give your confidence in your interview and really set you up for success, Patel said. "I can remember the times when you had student loans, didn't have a lot of money and you had to make things work."

 Harlos said this perfect fit has not only boosted her confidence, but she isn't so stressed. She didn't have to spend a lot of money to look good.

 "I feel like I can go out there and do what I need to do as a professional," she said. "And not worry about how much am I going to have to work to pay this thing off, or if I have to return it."

The Suit up Station is always looking for donations. Below is the information, if you would like to help. The Office of Career Strategy is on the second floor of the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library in Room 216. The OCS Office phone number is (210) 436-3511. OCS Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


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