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Student Spotlight: Jacob Manley, 2L

Home Law School News Student Spotlight: Jacob Manley, 2L

Meet Jacob Manley, 2L and learn more about his story at South Texas Law in this Student Spotlight by the Career Resource Center. 

Why did you choose to attend South Texas College of Law Houston?

I came to South Texas for the advocacy program, to learn how to become a great litigator. This is the best school to do just that. Funny enough, when my dad was in high school, he and his buddy had a lawn service, and Dean Treece was one of his clients. They noticed he had a dusty old car under a tarp in the garage… a ’66 fastback Mustang that didn’t run. They asked if they could work on and fix it up, and if they got it running, could they drive it? They even offered to do his lawn for free if they could get it running. Obviously, thinking they could never get it running, Dean agreed. When they actually fixed it, he couldn’t believe it! So, they got to drive it once, and then he changed the deal back to paying them to mow his yard instead of two high schoolers driving his classic car around the town. My dad still laughs about that to this day. 

My dad never became an attorney. He never wanted to be one, but Dean Treece (and by extension the STCL Houston Advocacy program) impacted his life. ​I never met the man, but he was a part of my dad’s life, and the stories he told me… the stories I hear from every graduate from South Texas Law about him… make it well known what kind of man he was. He is one of the reasons I wanted to come here.

Where are you working this summer?

I will be clerking at the Abraham Watkins Law Firm.

How did you secure that employment opportunity?

With a lot of emails! I sent so many emails they probably just got tired of seeing my name pop up. But seriously, I was very persistent. I reached out to multiple people within the firm, multiple times. I probably sent 20 emails to one of the partners, 8-10 to a few associates, 4-6 to previous employees of the firm, even 5 or so to an Of Counsel Attorney…all in the span of a few weeks. I had in-person conversations with each of them at different times, whenever I was able to. Honestly, any way I could leave an impression, I did. My goal through all this was to show the firm that no matter how I stacked up against the other candidates, I would outwork all of them.

How did the Career Resource Center help you successfully navigate the recruitment process? 

Katie Silver has been in my corner since day one. Over winter break, I started a long interview process with another PI firm, one that went into deep rounds, and it took a very long time. I didn’t end up getting the job, and I felt a little beat down. But Katie encouraged me to keep going, to be patient, to be PERSISTENT, and don’t settle.

What are your career goals for the future?

The end goal for me is to have my name on a wall somewhere — whether my own practice or with people who share the same goals as me. But for the near future, I would like to get in the courtroom as early as possible. If Abraham Watkins will let me, I’d love to get my 3L bar card and, under the supervision of an attorney, take on a hearing or deposition. I want to get in the court and get some real experience as early as possible. I want to be the best advocate for others I can be, and for me, that journey started long before law school was even on my radar. It’s really cool to see how much I’ve grown, and my goal is to keep growing.

What advice would you share with law students going through recruitment?

Know your strengths and be confident. Your strengths, whatever they are, define you. If you know your strengths, use them throughout recruitment! Once you know what they are, don’t ever shy away from using them. Confidence is key.

For example, one of my strengths is public speaking and my people skills. I take deep pride in being able to have a spur-of-the-moment conversation with someone I don’t know, or asking the interviewer a question and engaging with the response. To me, it makes the process feel more like a conversation. It’s more comfortable for me. And if I’m more comfortable, I know they are, too!

Which professors have influenced you and or your career path the most? 

I have become close with the Advocacy professors and staff (Rob Galloway, Stephanie Sullivan, Dom Hinson, Hayley Stenhouse, Rebecca Hogg, Mark Murray, and Hunter Barrow). All these professors and staff have helped me pursue my goals. For that, I’m forever grateful.

What student organizations have you been involved with?

I am an officer on the Board of Advocates, the vice president of social and events for the Aggie Law Students Association, and one of the State Bar of Texas reps on the Board of Governors for the Student Bar Association.

Beyond the Career Resource Center, how has the South Texas Law community supported your growth?

It’s connected me with some of my closest friends and confidants that I have in my life right now. There are so many people both in school right and former students who I rely heavily on when I’m in need of advice — personal, school, or career related. It’s a real community, and it’s what I love about this place. It feels like more than just a school.

What is something interesting about you that we can’t learn from your resume? 

I make a mean loaf of sourdough bread… from scratch!

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