Oct. 15, 2018 – Like any beginning law student, Ayla Meyer Vilander's goal was to put in her best effort while pursuing a legal education.
Vilander, 2018 alumna of the University of Houston Law Center, did that and then some as she completed law school with a 4.0 GPA, the first known instance in the school's history.
"Setting out, my goal was to do my best and hopefully make Law Review," Vilander said. "I was surprised but very pleased, because it wasn't even on my radar."
"As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I tend to worry. So while being able to maintain a 4.0 wasn't something I expected to do, it does seem some of that worrying paid off."
Prior to attending the Law Center, Vilander received her undergraduate education in mathematics from Michigan's Hillsdale College in 2015. She said she was attracted to law school because of the unique opportunity the legal profession offers.
"As someone with a math and science background, I was interested in a job with analytical aspects, but also wanted a career that involves working with interesting people," Vilander said. "Law is a great blend of the two factors – legal writing can be very analytical, but there's also client contact and many other ways to work with people."
When selecting a law school, Vilander said the Law Center distinguished itself from other institutions because of its proximity to Texas' expansive legal market across the state, among other reasons.
"While researching law schools, I was very impressed with both the Law Center's outcome statistics and the student community," Vilander said. "The University of Houston Law Center has a wonderful culture of respect and professionalism, and I wanted to be part of that."
Vilander currently works at Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe in the firm's Houston office.
"Energy law and infrastructure law are my focus right now," Vilander said. "It's a great area to be in, as there's a lot of innovation and many emerging technologies that makes things interesting."