Typically the first Pre-Law Society meeting of each semester holds a special sense of excitement, as returning members renew acquaintances and new members integrate into the organization. But this semester’s meeting was particularly special: we featured three LEAP/SHSU alumni who know a lot more about law than we do.
Also making the meeting interesting was kicking off the semester with a new President (Sawyer Massie)…
…and a new Vice President–Membership and Finance–(Ilexus Williams). We also scheduled an election for the first meeting, to select a new position: Vice President–Historian and Archivist. In terms of officers, our institutional memory consisted of Sydney Perkins, our Secretary, who is now beginning her third semester as a member.
Our first order of business was voting on a motion to donate money to an endowed scholarship for Pre-Law Society members. That passed unanimously.
And by unanimously, we are happy to announce that we had 65 members on hand, with 10 more members unable to make the first meeting. With a total of 75 dues-paying members, we have our largest membership total ever.
The second order of business was electing a new Vice-President, and we had three quality applicants:
…and Olivia Kelly.
In a close race, Heather Barodi–who had an internship with the Attorney General’s Office this summer–won the day, and she began work on photographs right away!
But the stars of the show were our three alumni: (1) Alejandra Galvan, (2) Jessica Rodriguez, and (3) Megan Chapa Martin.
They were ideal alumni to feature in many ways: they had each made good grades, positioning themselves well for the law-school application process; they went to different law schools, offering a broader perspective to us on choosing the right school; they are interested in different aspects of the law, providing diverse viewpoints on potential careers. All are female, which matches some 85 percent of our membership, and all are 27 or younger, making them better able to relate to our students.
Alex Galvan is a 3L at UH School of Law, where she served as student bar president. She hopes to work in real estate law, with an emphasis on eminent domain. While at SHSU, she had internships with the Walker County Republican Women, the DA’s office, and the Texas Legislature (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst).
Jessica Rodriguez is a practicing attorney at Ramsey Law Group, where she specializes in personal injury law. She attended Depaul Law School, before transferring to South Texas College of Law. While at SHSU, she interned with Huntsville Main Street, worked at the Wynne Home Arts Center, and interned with the Texas Legiaslature, for Rep. Senfronia Thompson.
Megan Chapa Martin is a 3L at South Texas College of Law, where she served as student bar senator. She also works part-time at the Harris County District Attorney’s office, and hopes to continue work as a prosecutor following graduation. While at SHSU, she interned at the Wynne Home Arts Center, and was also chosen from a long list of national applicants as one of seven “Running Start Fellows.” In this capacity, she interned with Rep. Martha Roby in the US Capitol. Fittingly, she was the first Pre-Law Society President!
The three offered excellent advice. When asked how to prepare for law school, they encouraged students to take the Mock LSAT as often as possible; make good grades; take advantage of opportunities, even if they didn’t fit a traditional “law-school path;” and to find a mentor.
They also discussed what to expect from law school: lots of reading; critical thinking; an emphasis on communication; and a really challenging first year. Their takeaway: take classes or learning opportunities that prepare you for these things while an undergraduate. Alex Galvan was particularly adamant about learning from your classes, even though it’s often easy for smart students to make an A in a class by simply memorizing material.
The alumni also reflected on their time at SHSU, relaying their most memorable experiences and reflecting on what they learned. For three students who took advantage of many opportunities, it was a pleasant and educational trip down memory lane.
Their experiences included travel to more than 20 states, trips to Presidential and Gubernatorial Inaugurations, participation in political conventions, and attendance at hundreds of events.
Their formal discussion prompted many more questions from the students, who hovered around them following the meeting.
And the three also had a chance to renew friendships with Dr. Ralph Pease and his wife, Linda (it was fitting that we meet in the “Ralph Pease Auditorium” in the Evans Building). Two of the three had interned for Linda Pease, and all three had volunteered at the Wynne Home. Interestingly, two other Wynne Home interns are members of the Pre-Law Society, so it was like an intern reunion with the wonderful Peases.
It was a wonderful cap to a rewarding first meeting. Our next meeting is October 16, 2019, and we will have three law school deans on hand to advise students “How to Get Into Law School.”