Student Spotlight

UH Law Center 2L and pipeline graduate Kolidakis makes her mark at national firm

University of Houston Law Center student Annie Bolding

University of Houston Law Center student Khyra Kolidakis has special interest in housing-related law.

July 2, 2018 — University of Houston Law Center student Khyra Kolidakis is enjoying her second stint as an intern at Winstead, a firm with offices around the country and headquarters in Houston.

Kolidakis is a graduate of the Law Center's Pre-Law Pipeline Program, and completed her 1L year in May. She said Winstead's diverse culture has strengthened her bond with the firm.

"I like Winstead because it's majority women attorneys, and there's a different way Winstead goes about doing things," Kolidakis said. "The partners understand that people are people, and that's why I feel I connect with them and enjoy this internship."

When Kolidakis completed the pipeline program, she started looking for employment opportunities. With the help of the program's manager, Kristen Guiseppi, she was able to find the right match.

"At the time I thought I would love to do something I was actually going to school for," Kolidakis said. "I reached out to Kristen Guiseppi and she was able to pair me with a couple different interviews. I went to Winstead and it was a natural fit. It just clicked."

Guiseppi said she looks forward to Kolidakis' continued growth in the legal field.

"From the moment I met Ms. Kolidakis, I knew that she would set the world on fire," Guiseppi said. "She is a powerful combination of tenacity and intelligence. Her determination and adaptability have gotten her this far and continue taking her places where she can achieve success

"Her continued relationship with Winstead is a testament to these abilities, and I am eager to see how the rest of her law school career, and eventually her legal career, unfolds."

During her first year of law school, Kolidakis said she encountered professors who have challenged her to think like a lawyer. For example, she said, Professor Carmen Gonzalez always made her tort class topical.

"She found a way to make it new and engaging," Kolidakis said. "She always did a policy perspective for every single case we'd go over. There'd be the typical arguments but then she'd give us a policy perspective."

Kolidakis also relished the learning experience she had in her contracts course with Dean Emeritus and Professor Raymond T. Nimmer. She took Nimmer's class in his last semester before he died in January 2018.

"I loved him," Kolidakis said. "I can still hear his voice echoing in my mind, 'It's simple, stupid!' "

As Kolidakis continues to explore her career options, she said one of the causes nearest to her heart has been a basic need for all humans — shelter. She is eager to study landlord/tenant law and other consumer law courses that relate to housing during her 2L year.

"I'm really passionate about housing and somebody having a place to live, it means a lot to me," Kolidakis said.

Kolidakis graduated cum laude from Spelman College in 2017 with a focus in political science and government. She previously interned with the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus in Atlanta and with IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm, in Washington, D.C., in 2015.