Student Spotlight

Traci Gibson, 3L

UHLC student hopes versatile background leads to career in business law 

Third-year University of Houston Law Center student Traci A. Gibson

Third-year University of Houston Law Center student Traci A. Gibson

April 10, 2017 – In her three years as a University of Houston Law Center student, Traci A. Gibson has dedicated many resources to participating in organizations that empower minority law students.

She currently serves as the national chair for the National Women Law Students' Organization, and oversees the group's six regions. The organization provides women law students with fellowships, mentorship programs and various opportunities to progress their career and eliminate the glass ceiling.

"I have spent my entire law school tenure bringing social, economic and political opportunities to black students," Gibson said. "I wanted to expand that. I'm a double minority, and I wanted to do the same thing for women before I leave the Law Center.

"I definitely feel that I have a duty to make sure that other people are able to progress in the field. It's important to mentor, it's important to bring people with you. It's important that the legal field, the courtroom and business settings are diverse, because that's how you solve problems. When other people have different mindsets and ways to attack an issue, you get things done faster and more efficiently."

Previously, Gibson worked in a similar role as the inaugural Southwest regional chair of the National Black Law Students Association, in which she established the region's chapter and implemented the group's national goals to chapters in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. In this capacity, Gibson and the executive board organized academic and leadership retreats, conventions, job fairs and other opportunities for students.

For her efforts, her region established the Traci A. Gibson Legacy Scholarship, an annual scholarship given to a member of the Southwest region of the National Black Law Students Association for their commitment and service to the organization.

"NBLSA seeks to even the playing field and ensure we have access to opportunities. There are HBCU law schools who don't have the same on-campus interviews or alumni that the Law Center has. It's about making sure that we all have those opportunities and that we have a safe space.

"I began law school 10 days after graduating from Texas A&M, which I thought was hard. Law school is like 'The Hunger Games' in my opinion. Even if you take race out of the equation, law school is genuinely difficult for everybody. To gather people that are like-minded and have different experiences is a plus."

Gibson has also been active with several jobs at the Law Center. Last year Gibson worked as a student attorney with the Law Center's Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic where she assisted small businesses and entrepreneurs with everyday legal matters. She also was able to teach UH Bauer MBA candidates and UH SURE Incubator entrepreneurs about the legal aspects of secured financing through a self-created presentation titled, "Banking Loan Basics: What a new business should consider from a legal perspective before borrowing money." She currently works as a student mediator with the Law Center's mediation clinic.

"I wanted to make sure I got the most out of law school," she said. "I wanted to try all different facets. Now I realize business law is more of what I want to do."

Gibson has been able to dabble in her preferred field of business law with a clerkship at the Texas Medical Center that began in Nov. 2016.  In that position she does transactional work drafting and revising contracts under the General and Assistant General Counsel.

After graduating from the Law Center in May, Gibson said she plans on pursuing an MBA to make her a stronger candidate in the field of business law.

"I'm looking forward to joining the legal field and bringing a unique background and mindset to it," Gibson said. "I'm looking to diversify wherever I go, to be a brand and to be excellent at everything I do."