Alumni Perspectives

Our graduates are using the ADR skills they learned at STCL Houston on a regular basis in their legal practices. Here is a sampling of what they have to say.

 

“Every aspect of my job is a negotiation. Whether negotiating with adjusters for a greater value, my client to accept a settlement, or medical providers to reduce fees, I am constantly utilizing the core skills that I learned and practiced with the ADR program at STCL. I have also successfully settled all of my cases that have gone to mediation. Without STCL’s ADR program, I would not be experiencing the level of success that I am.”

Name: Hugo Montes ’16

Firm name: The Bergquist Law Firm

Type of Practice: Civil Litigation

 

“In my practice, I regularly represent clients in mediation. The skills I learned at STCL prepared me to negotiate effectively and to represent my clients to favorable outcomes. These skills are invaluable, no matter what type of practice.”

Name: Rachel Smith, ‘12

Firm name: Holmes, Diggs, Eames and Sadler

Type of practice: Family law / Labor and employment

“Although I practice criminal law, the skills I have learned from participating in ADR competitions carry over into my profession as a prosecutor. I negotiate everyday with defense attorneys regarding plea deals.  These skills have been invaluable in my everyday practice.”

Lynn Nguyen ’13

Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Type of practice: Prosecutor

 

Despite all the trial skills I learned in law school, the skills from my mediation and negotiation tournaments are the ones I most often use in practice. I represent clients in numerous mediations each year.  I would encourage any young aspiring attorney to become involved in the ADR program; it will serve you well throughout your career.”

Name: Anthony Vessel ’12

Firm: Marc Whitehead and Associates

Type of practice: Disability Benefits

 

“Nearly every case I deal with involves some conflict between parties who either cannot afford to litigate or simply do not want to. In other words, every case presents an opportunity to negotiate to save time and money for the client. The skills I learned while participating on ADR teams are instrumental in helping my clients achieve those goals.”

Name: Jason R. Hanna, ‘14

Firm name: Bond Law Firm

Type of practice: Elder law / estate planning / probate

 

“At the DA’s office, my job is very litigation/trial heavy. However, when I am not in trial, I continually use my negotiation skills during plea negotiations with defense counsels. The majority of the cases on my docket work out in the form of agreed plea bargains. My ADR skills come in handy every day as I diffuse tension and strike agreements.”

Name: Sherin Daniel, ‘13

Firm name: Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Type of practice: Prosecutor

 

“I negotiate every single day at the DA’s office. It is one of the most valuable tools we have to work out cases.”

Name: Kathleen Flavin, ‘13

Firm name: Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Type of practice: Prosecutor

 

“I use the skills I learned in the ADR program in my day-to-day practice. Because I work in employment law, I represent clients in mediations on a regular basis.”

Name: Mical Whiteman, ‘14

Firm name: Stanzyk and Associates

Type of practice: Labor and Employment

 

“The skills I gained in the ADR competitions are directly transferable to the workplace. Negotiating is a regular part of my job.”

Name: Adam Aldrete, ‘14

Firm name: Cosentino North America

Type of practice: In-house counsel

 

“South Texas College of Law Houston provided many resources that I use in my negotiations. I still hear the voices of my competition coaches in the back of my mind as I negotiate and structure deals.”

Name: David Wu, ‘12

Firm name: Crown Castle International

Type of practice: Real Estate / Land Negotiations

 

“At Shell, I am constantly having discussions with counter-parties, persuasively justifying contractual terms and the necessity of their inclusion in the contract, and structuring discussions.”

Name: Kristyn Koch, ‘14

Firm name: Shell Trading US

Type of practice: Transactional/Contracts

 

“I use the ADR skills that I learned at South Texas College of Law Houston in both negotiations and mediations. I especially utilize the leveraging tactics that were taught to me in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my clients.”

Name: Joni Fields, ‘15

Firm name: Lam, Lyn, & Philip

Type of practice: Personal injury and commercial

 

“I spend 80% of my day negotiating with clients, attorneys, and other coworkers. At South Texas College of Law Houston, I learned to listen to the other person first, and then respond to what was said. If a client or other attorney does not feel like you understand their point, then a resolution of the problem will be more challenging to obtain.”

Name: Scott Fraser, ‘14

Firm name: McDonald and Worley

Type of practice: Complex litigation / mass tort

 

“I use ADR skills in all of my cases in working to achieve a settlement to save my client money, time, and emotional distress.”

Name: Elizabeth Edwards, ‘13

Firm name: Tindall England PC

Type of practice: Family law

 

“The ADR skills I learned have become an essential part of my practice. The client counseling class and competition taught me how to interview and consult with potential clients. Also, mediation is court ordered in all of my family law cases. My ADR skills have helped me effectively prepare for mediation and reach settlement on some of the most difficult cases.”

Name: Rachel Davis ’16

Firm name: The Law Office of Rachel Davis

Type of Practice: Family Law