May 17, 2018 -- Two University of Houston Law Center students will gain practical legal training on a local level during a public interest fellowship with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Porscha Allen, who will enter her 2L year this fall, and Jonathan Alvarado, a rising 3L, are both interested in becoming prosecutors after law school, and look forward to seeing if it is the right career path for them.
"I want to be a prosecutor upon graduation, so I hope to get hands-on experience in what a prosecutor does every day," Allen said. "I would also like to see how the work environment is at the DA's office so that I can determine whether it will be a good fit for me."
As a 3L, Alvarado will be able to obtain a bar card which will permit him to participate in hearings and argue in front of a judge or with opposing counsel.
"It's an important job to be a district attorney, because you have a lot of power and a lot of influence on the criminal justice system," Alvarado said. "I want to be in a place where I feel like there's a big impact to be made and I feel like the DA's office is a good place to do that."
Allen and Alvarado will work directly with experienced trial attorneys and help them with a wide range of duties that prosecutors perform.
During the internship, Allen said she wants to sharpen her skills in legal research and writing, learn to draft various court documents and gain experience in litigation. Alvarado said he hopes to focus on his research and teamwork skills and to be able to make persuasive arguments to a judge.
Allen attended the University of North Texas for her undergraduate education, and majored in Criminal Justice and with a minor is Psychology. Her family sensed that she was drawn to the legal profession at a young age.
"I have always wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember," she said. "My parents told me, 'You love to argue, so you should just go to law school.' Law became a passion of mine."
Houston's vibrant legal market drew Allen to the Law Center.
"The Law Center is the top school in Houston and one of the top law schools in Texas," Allen added. "I just thought that it would be a good fit for me with the resources it has, the network and how distinguished the professors are. I have been loving it so far."
After completing his undergraduate education at Cornell University with a focus in history and government, Alvarado decided to return to his home state for his legal education.
"I decided to come back to Texas to study law so I could practice here," Alvarado said. "The Law Center is the best law school in Houston, and Houston is a good legal market. I know that after I graduate with a law degree here I'll have a good advantage to get ahead of my competitors in the legal market."