Aug. 5, 2019 — Eight years into his legal career, Andrew Cobos is branching out. The 2011 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center recently established The Cobos Law Firm, which specializes in personal injury law.
After participating in the J.D./MBA program and earning both degrees from the University of Houston, Cobos has been able to tap into his entrepreneurial skills in addition to his legal training.
“Starting my own firm has certainly presented challenges, but I have benefited from numerous lessons taught by many great professors at the UH Law Center and at the Bauer College of Business,” Cobos said. “Much of my work lately has focused on the business of law. There are many consequential decisions early on that will set my firm on the right trajectory. It's been a ton of fun and I'm fired up about what the future holds.
“I would encourage any law student to get the JD/MBA degree. My business background has supplemented my law practice and has greatly helped as I navigate the accounting, business and marketing challenges that accompany firm ownership.”
Cobos previously worked at McKool Smith, The Buzbee Law Firm and was a partner at the firm formerly known as Bell, Rose & Cobos. Providing legal representation to individuals who have suffered a traumatic event was an influence on his decision to practice in the personal injury field.
“I enjoy speaking for folks who don’t have a voice, or whose voice has been marginalized by powerful forces. This desire to help the powerless was a tremendous influence in my decision to practice personal injury law,” Cobos said.
He also attributed his military background to his current practice, stating “my mindset is to stay on the offensive and to strategically position each case to one where defending the case is difficult and undesirable. I enjoy winning and understand that winning can only happen by thoroughly preparing my cases and by continually honing my argument and advocacy skills."
Cobos attributes some of his success as a trial advocate to an acclaimed storytelling course taught by Jim Perdue Sr. ’63.
“For me, Jim Perdue's storytelling class recharacterized the trial to focus on the overall case story and narrative,” he said. “Without a doubt, the procedure is important, but at the end of the day it's all about being able to explain the client’s situation in a way that is descriptive and compelling, and to further explain why the plaintiff deserves to be made whole from whoever caused their injury.”
As a Law Center student, Cobos gained valuable experience when he was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Perry in 2010 to the UH System Board of Regents as student regent.
“To be honest, that appointment was probably the best thing that happened to me during my time at the University of Houston,” Cobos said. “It gave me a good launch point and good connections. But more than that, it allowed me to emulate the actions of my many role-models on that board — folks who are business leaders and community leaders — and to get an up-close view of how they operate and what attributes make them successful.”
Cobos decided to pursue a legal education during his time as a U.S. Army officer from 2003-2008. He was in Iraq in 2005 during the country’s constitutional referendum and the first elections of the Iraqi parliament.
“Our job was to guard and to prevent terrorist attacks at the polling sites,” Cobos said. “Part of that job required us to patrol the Baghdad neighborhoods, during which time I would talk to the Iraqi citizens about issues important to them. We would routinely discuss topics such as what the proposed constitution meant, the rights inherent to a free country, and the need for a strong judicial system. I had a lot of really good debates with the Iraqi citizens and developed a love for constitutional law.”
“Much of my mission, particularly when dealing with the Iraqi police, became advocacy. The most important weapon was the ability to take a complex thought and distill it in a way that was understandable and acceptable. During that process, I discovered that I was good at advocacy. After that I decided law was my future.”
Cobos has traveled to more than thirty countries and attributes such travels to the way he has developed as an attorney and person.
“Those experiences allowed me to view different cultures and to empathize with people in different walks of life,” Cobos said. “The common thread between every culture, in every country, was the aspect of humanity. Folks deserve to be treated right — with dignity and with respect.”
To learn more about The Cobos Law Firm, visit https://www.cobos.law/.