Meet Janie Wilbur, 2L, and learn more about her 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?
South Texas College of Law Houston is an independent law school; it’s not part of some much larger university with a multitude of competing programs. All this school does is law, which means all the resources are focused on developing and maintaining strong, competitive programs and a highly dedicated staff and faculty. I think that shows in the school’s reputation within Houston, the state, and the region, generally. People know that when you come out of STCL, you are trained and ready to practice law.
Where are you working this upcoming summer?
I have an internship with Gray Reed for my 2L summer, and I am hopeful for a future within that firm.
How did you secure that employment opportunity?
My opportunity with Gray came through OCI Phase 1 for 2L’s. More than that, it was probably a result of grades — staying on top of coursework and sticking hard to my study plan when it came time for finals prep. The final, brilliant polish came from the CRC. I felt prepared when it came time to apply because I knew my materials were ready and I had practiced interviewing.
How did the Career Resource Center help you successfully navigate the recruitment process?
- Understanding the importance of OCI and how the process works
- Learning how to narrow my “job” search based on qualities important to me
- Editing and proofreading materials from resumes to cover letters
- Coaching on how to interview successfully
What are your career goals for the future?
I think everyone says “Make Partner” here, which sounds great; I would certainly like to make partner too. To me, that’s an objective sign of excellence and success that you’ve mastered a certain practice area of law.
What piece of advice would you share with the future generation of South Texas College of Law Houston students going through recruitment?
Get in touch EARLY with your CRC counselor. Get to know them; let them get to know you. Be honest with your interests and career goals. If that’s a big blank for you, that’s OK. There are plenty of opportunities available to let you explore and try things out.
Which professors have influenced you and or your career path the most?
Prof. D’Andra Shu – Hands down, she has been an amazing resource. From teaching students how to develop excellence in their legal writing and research to demonstrating a care for the overall development of students as legal practitioners, Prof. Shu is a powerhouse with a heart.
Prof. Bruce McGovern – Going in, I thought tax law was definitely not my thing. By the end of the semester, I was signing up for another tax class. His passion for tax law and his ability to make it understandable are top notch. I wish he taught every subject; he’s just that good at teaching.
What student organizations have you been involved with?
- Corporate Counsel Review (1L spring to present; associate editor)
- Phi Delta Phi (1L spring to present; member)
- Research Assistant (Prof. Shu, 2L spring)
- Women’s Law Society (1L fall and spring; member)
Beyond Career Resource Center, how has the South Texas Law community supported your growth?
As a second-career student and a mom, there is a delicate balancing act in maintaining a mountain of demands on my time. It’s tough and certainly feels like a tightrope walk at a circus at times. However, STCL Houston fosters a close community. From professors and staff to organizations to my own close-knit group of friends, I have found support through every step of this journey. Having that community in place keeps me present, focused, and motivated. Get plugged in, stay in touch. It takes time and effort, but the benefits are worth it.