Sept. 7, 2016 - Clerkships or internships are a necessary career building block for law school students.
Paige Bailey, a 2L student at the University of Houston Law Center, interned this summer for League City's City Attorney Nghiem Doan and Deputy City Attorney Michelle Villareal.
The hands-on experience proved to be more than just a way to occupy time between semesters for Bailey – it also confirmed her decision to attend law school.
"It was amazing," she said. "It was my first legal internship, and it affirmed everything I knew about being a lawyer. It feels good to know that I made the right choice to be at the Law Center.
"Law school isn't easy. Knowing there is work I can do in the law field that I enjoy was really encouraging."
Doan, a 1998 graduate of the Law Center, was named city attorney for League City in 2015. He said providing internships to Law Center students is a small way for him to show appreciation to the school that has helped him so much in his career.
"When I set out to recruit interns, tapping the talent available at the University of Houston Law Center was the obvious move, and not merely because I am a UHLC alumnus," Doan said. "UHLC is a top law school in Texas and has no peer in the greater Houston area."
During her internship Bailey observed what a city attorney does, and how a municipal court operates. Two days a week she worked at the municipal court and learned the duties of a city prosecutor, assisted with pre-trial arraignment hearings, and helped write plea deals for defendants.
She also witnessed several bench and jury trials, spent time working on contract amendments, wrote criminal complaints for the court, worked with League City's city council on ordinances about animal care and sign codes and provided attorneys with critical research and writing assistance on a variety of projects and areas of law.
Bailey, a resident of League City, said working at an institution in her area made the work more gratifying.
"When I picked the job it was about the opportunity to make a difference in my own community," she said. "I got to see some changes that will affect my day-to-day life."
Doan said Bailey showed a work ethic that makes him look forward to working with Law Center students in the future.
"A perfect affirmation of my confidence in UHLC students can be seen in Paige Bailey," he said. "She was by far the best intern that I've ever had the pleasure to mentor. I can only hope that she enjoyed her experience with us as much as we enjoyed having her for the summer."