March 22, 2021 – Bolstered by assistance and outreach from the University of Houston Law Center’s Career Development Office, alumnus Drew Kwartler recently began his new role as senior assistant district attorney for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office in New York City. Prior to his relocation to the East Coast, Kwartler served as an Assistant Distict Attorney in Fort Bend County from Nov. 2016-Jan. 2021.
“I cannot say enough about the Career Development Office at the Law Center, especially Tiffany Tucker,” Kwartler, a member of the class of 2015, said. “She helped me create my résumé, made sure it showed off my skills and taught me how to present myself to prospective employers.”
The encouragement of the Career Development Office led him to a Public Interest Fellowship and participation in previous internships with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the Galveston County DA’s Office which both provided unique opportunities for work exposure in the public interest legal community.
“When I interned with Harris and Galveston County, I loved the work,” Kwartler said. “I loved dealing with cases and helping the victims, talking and letting them know that we were going to do everything we could to get justice.”
Kwartler was encouraged to attend law school after discussing an interest in joining the FBI with an agent. While attending the Law Center he discovered that he enjoyed the potential of being a prosecutor and pursuing the truth through criminal law.
“I love being in trial, and I love that my work is meaningful,” Kwartler said. “I feel like I am making a difference, which is very important to me.”
Kwartler was drawn to the diversity of Brooklyn and enticed by the fact that it is the second-most densely populated county in the U.S., and has the highest population of the five boroughs of New York City.
“I hope to see people regain trust in the local government, to create a real harmony between people and the police,” Kwartler said. “You are taught as a child that a police officer is a safe person, and I want that to be a reality.”
According to Kwartler, the criminal justice system of New York places an emphasis on ensuring defendants have every right granted by the law, and that he was drawn to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office because of its reputation for transparency.
“I like criminal law, and I like being a prosecutor,” Kwartler said. “My only job is to find the truth and determine the best outcome, not limited by one person’s interest but for the best of everyone.”
Kwartler noted that the assistance and advice from Director of Internship & Externship Programs Bill Powers and Tucker through mock interviews were key to gaining his job. Their thorough preparation and in-depth questioning helped him remain confident throughout the interview process and provide well-thought responses without pause.
“Drew took advantage of all CDO recruiting and networking opportunities he could to help him reach his goals as a law student and later as a seasoned ADA,” Tucker said. “True to form, when Drew was seeking a position in New York, Drew reached out to avail himself of the CDO services provided to Law Center alumni forever and for free.”
Kwartler appreciated that the Law Center’s Career Development Office showed no disparity over his pursuit of public interest law. Instead of a nudge in another direction or a push to pursue a more lucrative opportunity, he found support and outreach in fulfilling his ambitions.
“We in the Career Development Office are very proud of Drew and his accomplishments,” Powers, director of UHLC internship and externship programs said. “It's always a pleasure to provide our students and alumni with resources to help them succeed wherever their careers may take them.”
In his new position, Kwartler will take cases from inception through disposition, whether that is a dismissal or a plea bargain or a trial, and will research and review evidence to determine if criminal allegations have sufficient evidence to justify opening a case.
“My brain kind of works in a litigation and advocating way,” Kwartler said. “I am a firm believer that if you can do something that is good, and you are good at it, you have an obligation to do it if it helps people. It makes a difference.”
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