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UHLC alumna Mary London Fuller ’13 makes partner at Frost Brown Todd, shares insights in working on product liability cases

Jan. 18, 2024 — Mary London Fuller, an alumna of the University of Houston Law Center and new partner at Frost Brown Todd, shares her legal career journey and advice for those considering law school and working in the product liability realm.

Mary London Fuller

Name: Mary London Fuller
Current location:
Houston
J.D.:
2013
Role:
Partner at Frost Brown Todd

What does joining Frost Brown Todd as a Partner mean for you?

I am extremely honored to join Frost Brown Todd (FBT). Being a partner represents all the hard work, time, and commitment to the profession and the development of my skills paying off. It also represents an acknowledgment from a group of exceptional attorneys, that I now call my colleagues, in the strength of my practice.

What are you most looking forward to in the new role?

I am looking forward to working with the people in the environment FBT fosters. Who you work with not only impacts the continued development of your practice, but also impacts your day, so I’ve worked to surround myself with exceptional people who will push me to do better in a collaborative environment. In my short time here, it has become clear that FBT fosters a supportive environment not just for attorneys but also for support staff. It has a growth mindset toward individuals and works to grow and support your practices and skills.

As a partner, I am also looking forward to mentoring younger attorneys. I have been fortunate in my career to have had phenomenal mentors who invested their time in developing my professional skills. I had people who helped shepherd me through my early years of practice, and I am excited to have a chance to pay that forward.

Any advice for students thinking about working in the product liability space?

So much of a product liability case hinges on a good working understanding of the product at issue. To present your best case, you need to know and understand the product. My advice is to be curious and ask a lot of questions. Specifically, in the product liability realm, you need to learn the nomenclature used for the product and its parts, what are the industry terms and why, what are the applicable design standards, what goes into the design process, etc. Take a deep dive into learning the product at issue. This will allow you to better see the potential strengths and pitfalls in a case.

How did you end up working in this area of the law?

When I was in law school, I never imagined I’d be working with manufacturers. Early in my career, I worked with a partner who handled product liability cases. It was off to the races after that! The experience and types of cases you will work on as an associate are often based on the industry and realm of the partners you work for, which can open new paths to other areas of the law.

What advice do you have for individuals considering law school as their career path?

Be 100% certain you want to go to law school. Being a lawyer requires strong oral and written communication skills, as well as good judgment. But, at the end of the day, the practice of law is a customer service industry, which can make it a challenging career to leave at the office. So, make sure this is something you want to do before investing your time and money.

My advice for being in law school is to start implementing good work habits and boundaries so that when you transition to the practice of law it will be easier to balance aspects of your professional life and your personal life.

What led you to pursue a legal education at UHLC? 

Being in Houston allowed me to build my network in the city where I wanted to practice. The University of Houston Law Center was more cost-effective than other schools in Texas and I appreciated that UH Law Center emphasized acquiring practical skills during law school. UH Law Center students can learn these skills in a myriad of ways, including specialized classes focused on practical skills such as negotiating, through a very robust internship and externship program, or through the Advocacy Center.

What were some of your favorite professors or memories here?

My favorite professor was Ronald Turner, who taught me constitutional and employment law. He had a respectful way of pushing his students to broaden their understanding of the law and nuances of the law while maintaining an atmosphere of courteous, collegial debate.

Turner taught me the importance of advocating for your client and your argument while still being respectful of the person on the other side of the argument. Outside of Turner’s classes, my favorite memories were made at Moot Court.

Law school is very individualistic, but, in my opinion, the practice of law is very collaborative. And often, we lawyers are at our best when we collaborate with one another. Moot Court provided me with a collaborative environment and allowed me to see how working together as a team helped me develop better arguments and sharpen my written and oral advocacy skills. The skills learned here are ones I still use to this day. I highly recommend Moot Court to anyone going to law school, but especially for those considering litigation., but especially for those considering litigation.

What is one valuable lesson you learned at UHLC?

So much of what I learned while at UHLC was how to represent your client, and how to make your point and argument while still being respectful and courteous. You can disagree with someone, but you do not have to be rude about it. You can disagree with someone, but you do not have to be rude about it.

For more news on UH Law Center alumni, click here.

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