Meet Ray Clarage, 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 chose to attend South Texas because of its standing in Houston, which is home for me and where I see myself practicing. I also have several friends and acquaintances who attended South Texas that had positive experiences. Finally, South Texas felt like a place where I could treat going to campus like a job, which was important to me after working for several years before deciding to further my education.
Where are you working this summer?
I will be splitting my summer between Winstead PC’s Houston office and Wilson Cribbs & Goren, where I am excited to gain valuable experience in real estate law through both positions.
How did you secure those employment opportunities?
For Winstead, I connected with an attorney in their Dallas office through a mutual friend who put me in touch with their recruiter. A few months later, the firm reached out about setting up an interview, and fortunately it worked out from there. For Wilson Cribbs & Goren, my career advisor encouraged me to apply directly to the firm, and after a couple rounds of interviews, I received and accepted an offer.
How did the Career Resource Center help you successfully navigate the recruitment process?
Bianca Edwards, my advisor, has been instrumental in helping me navigate the recruitment process since pretty much day one. We have met countless times to review application documents, discuss potential job opportunities, and break down interviews. Katie Silver has also gone out of her way to provide lots of career and interview advice. Overall, the entire Career Resource Center has always been helpful and willing to go to bat for me.
What are your career goals for the future?
As a native Houstonian, I plan to work here after passing the bar and continue to develop personally and professionally. I hope to be an involved alumnus and find ways to give back to South Texas as well.
What piece of advice would you share with the future generation of South Texas College of Law Houston students going through recruitment?
Take full advantage of the Career Resource Center, focus on excelling in class, participate in on-campus interviews, and start making as many connections as possible. You never know who is going to help you land a job, and the earlier you can solidify your summer employment plans, the better.
Which professors have influenced you and or your career path the most?
Professors Rempell and Shu, who taught Legal Research & Writing I & II, have been most influential to my development and career path. I have always enjoyed reading and writing, and I was immediately drawn to the more assignment-based nature of these classes. Both professors have distinct philosophies toward legal writing, and I am fortunate to have learned different techniques from each of them that have served me well thus far. Professor Shu’s impact also extended beyond the classroom by helping me secure my 1L summer position and providing the opportunity to be a research assistant last semester.
Professors Longoria and Festa have also helped develop my interest in pursuing a career as a real estate attorney. Their enthusiasm and knowledge of property law, especially here in Houston and across Texas, have been entertaining and insightful. Finally, I want to give a shout-out to Johnathan Trimble, my negotiation coach, who has helped me immensely in becoming a more effective communicator.
What student organizations have you been involved with?
Currently, I am an assistant executive editor for the South Texas Law Review and a competitor on the ADR Negotiation Team. I also plan to become more involved in the Real Estate and Construction Law Society given my growing interest in the field and my upcoming summer positions.
Beyond the Career Resource Center, how has the South Texas Lawcommunity supported your growth?
Everybody at South Texas is approachable and willing to help; all you have to do is ask. My experiences with the Mentor/Mentee Program have been memorable, and the Langdell Scholar Sessions were critical to my success as a 1L. South Texas is a place where I feel I can become the best version of myself, and that is invaluable.