Pre-Law Society: First Meeting of 2021

By: Kiarra Flores

After the winter storm delayed our first meeting of the Spring 2021 semester, we were at last able to meet. We had an excellent turnout, with 20 new members joining, bringing us to a total of 50 PLS members this semester!

President Quinn Kobrin introduced the officers to the new members and kicked off the meeting.

SHSU, Sam Houston State University, Pre Law Society, PLS, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, LEAP Center, Marcy Greer, Alexander Dubose and Jefferson, Quinn Kobrin

After a brief overview of how the Texas court system works, we were introduced to our guest speaker of the evening. We were fortunate enough to have Marcy Greer, an appellate attorney currently employed at Alexander, Dubose, & Jefferson. Greer joined our meeting to share with us some insight about her career and what it takes to be an attorney.

SHSU, Sam Houston State University, Pre Law Society, PLS, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, LEAP Center, Marcy Greer, Alexander Dubose and Jefferson

We learned that she studied History and French at Emory University where she graduated with her B.A. After starting law school at the same university, she decided to uproot and move with her fiancé to study law at the University of Houston Law Center.

Next, we learned exactly what being an appellate attorney entails. Mrs. Greer’s job is to find potential errors from trials which could warrant an appeal, such as inadmissible evidence being presented to the jury or improper jury selection being practiced. Greer will work with a client’s team during trials to guide them and tell them what might be grounds for an appeal, which she said is one of the best parts of her job.

She explained that a large portion of her job is also to persuade, by a written brief and possibly oral arguments, an appellate court to evaluate the trial court decision and to reverse or affirm that lower court decision. Mrs. Greer informed us that we can watch these arguments via Zoom and YouTube to see how the cases work and how the decisions are made.

SHSU, Sam Houston State University, Pre Law Society, PLS, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, LEAP Center, Marcy Greer, Alexander Dubose and Jefferson

Toward the end of her interview, she gave us some tips about law school. She said it might be in the best interest of a student who feels unprepared for law school to take a gap year and work, which can give the student the chance to mature and experience a professional environment. She told us to try our best in law school; to find a great study group with the same mentality and goals as you, go to class prepared and to treat law school as a job, because you will likely succeed and have better options when it comes to job opportunities if you do.

SHSU, Sam Houston State University, Pre Law Society, PLS, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, LEAP Center, Marcy Greer, Alexander Dubose and Jefferson

Once her speaking portion was complete, she did a Q&A with Pre-Law Society members:

Q: When did your daughter take her gap year?

A: She took it after she graduated from undergrad and before her first year of law school. During the break, she decided to start her own baking business which has taught her a bit about responsibility. She loves it.

Q: What can you tell us about your experience working in a clerkship?

A: Clerking for a judge is a lot of hard work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Greer explained that the judge she clerked for would not tell her what she expected, nor did she want to be told what people thought she wanted to hear. Greer was given complete autonomy to research cases and present her honest answer to whatever case was at hand.

Q: When is the best time to seek out Clerkships?

A: Try to find and apply during your 2L year.

After the Q&A, we thanked her for her information and advice. To finish off the meeting, President Quinn discussed upcoming events, including a Mock Trial that is expected to occur at the end of the Spring semester. The PLS members were stoked to sign up. This gives us all a great opportunity to study our roles and put them into action, all the while learning about the legal process! Our next meeting will be on March 24th, 2021.

SHSU, Sam Houston State University, Pre Law Society, PLS, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, LEAP Center, Marcy Greer, Alexander Dubose and Jefferson, Quinn Kobrin

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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