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King Ranch Legal Counsel Chelsea Lu ’16 Appreciates Her South Texas Law Connections

Home Law School News King Ranch Legal Counsel Chelsea Lu ’16 Appreciates Her South Texas Law Connections

Since childhood, Chelsea Lu ’16 was drawn to the idea of being a lawyer. She was inquisitive, enjoyed the spotlight, and was good at public speaking and sparring.

The tipping point came when she attended a criminal law investigation forum in Washington, D.C., as a Plano High School student. Lu experienced her first Socratic-method class, and she was hooked.

By the time she began studying philosophy and political science at Texas A&M, Lu was sure becoming an attorney was the right career choice — specifically becoming a litigator. She began engaging in more leadership opportunities, serving as president of the Pre-Law Society, serving on the Judicial Counsel, and starting an Aggie chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

After touring the South Texas Law campus during college, she recognized the elite nature of the law school’s advocacy program. Lu was drawn to that program and to Houston; she wanted to practice law in a big Texas city.

Lu attended law school full time and took advantage of many opportunities to build practice-ready legal skills. She was a leader on the Board of Advocates and competed in moot court several times per semester.

“I loved moot court! I don’t think I would have become the lawyer I am without it,” Lu said. “South Texas does a great job with setting students up with practical, real legal knowledge that can be used from day one.”

Lu carried something else away from South Texas Law — strong connections and lifelong friendships. “When I worked at a civil litigation firm, one of my advocacy partners was my first client. My close group of friends is mostly South Texas alumni, and I keep in touch with alumni professionally. Law students will often ask whether relationships from law school really endure. I tell them, ‘Yes! That time together makes a lasting impression.’ ”

After law school, Lu lived her litigator dream — first with the Mostyn Law Firm then with Adams and Reese LLP. While at Adams and Reese, Lu also became involved with the Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys’ Atlanta chapter. This past year, she served as president, and she continues on the board.

“Being around people you have shared experiences with is very encouraging, very supportive,” Lu said. “I am grateful to be involved with such a wonderful group of powerhouse women.”

In late February, Lu became legal counsel for King Ranch. She reports to the chief counsel and is part of a small legal team.

“I practiced for several years, and I planned to remain in private practice until I retired,” Lu said. “But something changed, my vision for my future changed. As I reflected on my ultimate goals, I realized I wanted to become an in-house counsel.”

She clearly loves her work. “I get to be really close to business operations — boots on the ground,” she said. “I was looking for an opportunity to be the first line of defense, to effect change and impact business decisions earlier on instead of later, in trial. This is what I needed for my professional growth, and it’s amazing. It’s an honor to be part of this team.”

Lu noted that throughout law school and beyond, she has been surrounded by “people who have grit and can rise to the challenge. I have my Aggie ring, and at King Ranch, there are a lot of Aggies… I feel that connection. But for me professionally, South Texas Law is home base.”

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