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Student Spotlight, Sümeyye İslamoğlu, 2L

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Sümeyye İslamoğlu, 2L

Meet Sümeyye İslamoğlu, 2L, and learn more about her story at South Texas Law in this Student Spotlight by the Career Resource Center. 

Name & class year?

Sümeyye İslamoğlu, Class of 2025

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

I joined South Texas Law, like many of my colleagues, because of its exceptional advocacy program (mock trial, moot court, dispute resolution).

Where are you working next summer?

I will work with both Fee, Smith & Sharp LLP (primarily an insurance defense firm) and Patel Anderson LLP (a boutique commercial litigation firm).

How did you secure that employment opportunity?

Through multiple rounds of on-campus interviewing.

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

The CRC is the best. If you let them, CRC will be the biggest advocate for your career. For example, Katie Silver is an amazing resource on Big Law. Every 1L who is interested in Big Law needs to make sure they understand how it operates.

CRC is there for you, but they cannot help if you don’t reach out. I was exhausted at the end of my 1L year. I had worked during the spring semester, and I was tapped out. But the CRC pushed me. They knew experience was key, and time was running out (only two summers to explore different areas of the law). I was very fortunate that Shantal Formia sent my application material to the Harris County DA’s Office. I am continuing that position today.

What are your career goals for the future?

Going into law school, I made it a point not to pigeonhole myself into a certain area of the law. So far, I have worked in family law, criminal law (prosecution and defense), and state civil defense. I will see a lot more civil litigation this summer. At this point, I am not sure what kind of law I will practice. But matter what, I hope that, in the future, I will be zealously advocating for someone somewhere.

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

Try everything. Seize all the opportunities you can. If you make a choice, commit. For example, if you go to an event, be there, be present, and interact. If you choose not to go, be OK with not going. It’s OK not to attend every event, but every networking opportunity you take advantage of will come back and benefit your life at some point.

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

Professor Katherine Vukadin is a real inspiration to me. Prof. Vukadin gave me an understanding of legal research and writing. And her commitment to continuous education and broadening our minds is beyond admirable. Likewise, Professor Denise Peterson, who is teaching Negotiation for Litigation for the first time at South Texas, is another professor I hope to be like as an advocate. Professors Vukadin and Peterson encouraged me to be myself in my legal writing and my negotiations. When we put less effort into trying to fit some arbitrary standard, we become more persuasive.

What student organizations have you been involved with?

When I joined South Texas, my colleagues and I were disappointed to find out the Muslim Legal Society no longer existed. We quickly solved that issue by restarting MLS, and it has been a blessing to share my law school journey with individuals I can relate to and bond with.

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

The advocacy program here is great. All my colleagues interested in being persuasive should take as many advocacy courses as they can. Take advantage of the advocacy classes, clinics, teams, and study abroad programs. The law school teaches you the law. The advocacy program teaches you how to be a lawyer/advocate.

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