Oct. 8, 2020 - As the founder of the First-Generation Law Students group at the University of Houston Law Center, Adrianna Langemeier wanted to build a space for first-generation students to become next generation leaders.
“As a first-generation college student and law student, I felt very lost and behind the curve when I started law school,” Langemeier said. “It seemed like the legal world spoke a different language than the one I grew up with. I remember wishing that someone would just tell me straight what I needed to do to succeed.
“I wanted to make sure I passed this ‘insider knowledge’ on to the next group of first-gen students at the Law Center.”
Her shift toward a legal education was impulsive. She had a passion for reading, writing and research and really wanted to go into a career with room for growth.
“It was a happy accident that I fell in love with the law as soon as I began my studies,” she said. “Looking back now, I can see how a lot of pieces of my seemingly random path to law school actually prepared me to succeed.”
Langemeier was able to use the skills she gained from her first career as a marriage and family therapist to develop a healthy approach to her legal education.
“The coping skills I once taught as a therapist also helped me maintain my own sanity as a 1L,” she said.
Additionally, Langemeier hosts the Houston Law Review’s new podcast “Emphasis Added.” She said she sees the podcast as an opportunity to amplify diverse stories and voices, said that her involvement with the show has been a source of encouragement and inspiration.
“I love my role on the podcast because I get to speak with accomplished, innovative, and diverse members in the legal community and pick their brains about their careers and the lessons they've learned along the way,” she said. “This ties back to my goals with First-Gen Law Students because it feels like I get to share the "roadmaps" to the careers of attorneys and scholars I admire.”
Langemeier split her 2L-summer between internships with Gibson Dunn and Pirkey Barber PLLC. Despite the virtual nature of the program, Langemeier was able to connect with the attorneys and recruiting teams through social events such as virtual escape the room and virtual chocolate tasting.
“I returned to my 1L firm, Gibson Dunn, and worked primarily in the corporate transactions group,” she said. I loved this experience because I was able to experience a variety of real-world projects such as reviewing a contract for a potential breach, creating a checklist for a finance deal, and researching the impact of COVID-19 on health care technology and investments.
“At Pirkey Barber, I worked on a wide range of trademark and copyright projects. I am grateful to have had the chance to try something completely new and the attorneys at Pirkey Barber were amazing mentors.”
After graduating from the Law Center Langemeier will work as an associate at Gibson Dunn’s Houston office where she will be learning a wide range of corporate transactional practice.
“I know that I will build a strong base of skills that will serve me wherever I end up in the long-term,” she said. “One day I would love the chance to join an in-house legal team and learn more about the business side of a large company. Somewhere between all that, I hope to keep up my hobbies of writing creative fiction and taking walks with my husband, Bryce, and our Irish Setter, Molly.”