September 6, 2023 — University of Houston Law Center alumna Aletsey Hinojosa (J.D. ‘22) has become a Government Honors Attorney, serving with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor.
Being one of thousands of applicants for this position, Hinojosa sought the opportunity with the DOL because of her dedication to public service and helping others. She provided insights into her time studying at the UH Law Center, especially participating in the clinics, and advised law students to stay positive and remember to use the Career Development Office.
What led you to pursue a legal education at UHLC? What were some of your favorite professors/memories here?
I was drawn to UHLC’s excellent clinical program. The Law Center clinics all do amazing work. Participating as a student attorney with the Immigration Clinic was the highlight of my UHLC experience. I was able to work on really cool cases before Fifth Circuit. The professors, my peers, and the clients were all crucial in my development as an advocate. My favorite professors include Professors Hoffman, Vega, and Sheffy. I also chose UHLC because of its diverse and inclusive atmosphere. At UHLC, I met some of my life-long best friends who made Houston feel like home.
What did it mean to you to become a Government Honors Attorney?
Becoming a Government Honors Attorney meant the world to me. I have always been passionate about public service, so being part of this program is a dream. The Honors Program provides a unique opportunity to gain a broad knowledge of labor and employment matters and transition into the practice of law. From the start, I have received great trial experience that I would have likely not received at any other place. Most importantly, I have wonderful mentors who have helped me every step of the way as I navigate my first year of practice.
In what other ways has a J.D. helped you in your career so far?
Having a J.D. has helped me build a stronger network. It has allowed me to get to know people across different areas, within and outside of the law. This degree allows us to explore many areas and pursue very different career paths. Having a J.D. has further improved my communication skills and the way I carry myself.
What is one valuable lesson you learned at UHLC?
At UHLC, I learned that hard work and a positive attitude will lead you to amazing places. At first, obtaining an Honors Attorney position seemed like an unattainable dream. With the help of my professors, friends, and the organizations I joined, I was able to realize my goal. As a first-generation college/law student, it is easy to sell ourselves short and overthink our every move, but there is nothing you can’t do. If you put your heart into your work and your dreams, everything else will fall into place. Lastly, UHLC opened the door to several opportunities that I would have not had otherwise, and for that, I am beyond grateful.
What advice would you give to law students who are unsure of their next steps?
My biggest piece of advice to law students is to visit the Career Development Office (CDO) at UHLC. The CDO advisors listened to my dreams, addressed my concerns, and helped me develop plans of action to attain great internships throughout law school. I even learned about the Honors Program through the CDO. They guided me as I considered different career opportunities, provided feedback after mock interviews, and reviewed all my application materials. Lastly, trust yourself and trust the process. Everything will fall into place, so give yourself time to enjoy your law school experience. I can confidently say that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
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