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Judge Gray Miller ‘78 tells UH Law Center students court clerkship produces better lawyers

Judge Gray H. Miller ’78 discussed the significance of judicial internships and clerkships during a recent visit at the University of Houston Law Center.

Judge Gray H. Miller ’78 discussed the significance of judicial internships and clerkships during a recent visit at the University of Houston Law Center.

Nov. 11, 2019 — U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller, of the Southern District of Texas, recently visited the University of Houston Law Center to urge students to seek invaluable legal experience by clerking or interning for state or federal judges.

“We want to encourage people to think about interning in the federal courts,” Miller said. “Of course there’s a state court system as well, so you can intern for state court judges.”

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University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes, center, gives Judge Gray H. Miller ’78, right, a commemorative gift from the Law Center.

Miller ‘78 was joined by his own interns and clerks who shared their experiences and answered questions. They included: Career Law Clerk Anna Archer ’06, Term Law Clerks Matthew A. Harper and Jessica L. Waddle and Law Center students 3L Khanh (Nguyen) Leon, and 2L Matt Hudson.

“When I hire interns, and particularly law clerks, I’m looking for people that have really good experience in law school, and if they’ve worked at a big law firm, they kind of know how the law works,” Miller said.

According to Miller, advantages of interning are learning how to act in court, ascertaining if litigation is the right fit, and determining what differentiates a good lawyer from a bad one. Similar benefits applied to a clerkship, as well as being a competitive applicant to law firms and receiving bonuses for clerkship experience.

“If you don't get a clerkship when you come out of school originally, don't be disheartened, because you can go and work for a law firm and then apply again,” Miller said.

Panel members continually emphasized the value of interning and clerking with judges, stating repeatedly that the operations undertaken as an intern, law clerk or associate at a law firm are very learnable.

“Don’t let your fears paralyze you,” Miller said. “If you think you can’t do it, you’re right, but if you think you can do it, you’re also right.”

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