July 14, 2017 – Still in the early stages of her legal education, University of Houston Law Center student Mariesha Keys says she is leaning toward practicing in the area of family law.
She is getting her first taste of working in that area with a summer internship at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, an advocacy group based in Houston.
"Even though I haven't taken any classes about family law yet, my heart has always had a special place for helping others overcome adverse situations or circumstances, " she said. "With family law and with a lot of the experience I've had working at AVDA thus far, I've had a chance to see a lot of the face-to-face human interaction and how lawyers get to wear multiple hats.
"It's not just litigating or working behind a desk. They're really working to get to know their client, and I really like that component of family law."
Keys expressed her interest in working for the group during the spring semester at a government and public interest table talk hosted by the Law Center's Career Development Office.
"I admire the work done at AVDA," she said. "I just gave them my resume, hoping something would come of it. I had a callback interview and was very excited to accept the summer internship."
Keys said a typical day could involve discovery, document drafting and document review, or going to family court or a mediation.
"It's so unpredictable and I love it," Keys said. "It's been a variety of different activities."
After completing her first year at the Law Center, Keys said she is looking forward to the next two.
"I'm proud of myself for making it through the first year, because I found it to be just as challenging and difficult as most people say it can be," she said. "It was a really great learning experience. Something it taught me was that I have to teach myself how to learn, because it's a different type of studying and a different type of classroom environment."
Prior to law school, Keys worked as an associate teacher with the Houston Independent School District. She graduated from the University of Houston in 2015 with a concentration in creative writing, and was a member of the Law Center's Pre-Law Pipeline Program's inaugural class.