Feb. 12, 2024 — For University of Houston Law Center graduate Jack Frazee (J.D. ’17) the journey to legal education was sparked by a unique blend of professional guidance and personal curiosity. Frazee, who is the Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel of the Texas Nurses Association, was influenced early in his career by the mentorship of a UHLC graduate.
Reflecting on his time at the University of Houston Law Center, Frazee shares insights gained from diverse experiences, including a fellowship in the Texas Legislature, valuable lessons from moot court, and a data analytics class. He underscores the significance of aligning one's career with personal values and offers counsel to students interested in health law, legislation, and law school in general.
What led you to pursue a legal education at UHLC?
I used to be an administrative assistant at the Baylor Scott & White Center for Health Care Policy in Austin, Texas. My boss was an attorney who went to the University of Houston Law Center, and she mentored me. While working there, I became interested in the Texas Legislature and wanted to learn how to write laws and bills. My boss recommended the University of Houston Law Center because they have an incredible health law program and a fellowship program that puts students in the Texas Legislature.
My career goal was to get into law and get into the Texas Legislature. I ended up getting into that exact fellowship program that she had recommended. I worked for Representative Garnet Coleman, who at the time was the ranking member on the House Public Health Committee.
What was a valuable lesson learned while at UHLC?
I had zero interest in courtroom litigation before going to law school. I did not even really know that going to law school meant that you would primarily be studying things that happen in court. Nobody in my family had gone to law school, and I was thinking about law from a legislative policy standpoint. I heard about the moot court competition and decided it sounded interesting and quickly fell in love with litigation. The moot court experience was extremely valuable for me because I have since gone on to appellate litigation.
I have done appeals in state court and the Fifth Circuit. It is incredible to see how you can affect policy from the judicial side of the equation.
I was fortunate that I got to start doing appeals quickly into my legal career. Within about a year of getting my license, I started working on my first appeal in the Fifth Circuit.
What were some of your favorite law school professors or memories?
There was one class, called Analytic Methods, taught by Seth Chandler. It was a fascinating class, one of a kind.
He taught us the intersection between big data and data analytics, programming methods, and legal problems. We learned how you can use analytic methods in data science to solve different legal issues, but then also what legal issues that are emerging because of the growing data analytics technology and artificial intelligence. It has been important in my career in ways I did not expect. In litigation, we get huge data sets from these companies and often I am the only attorney on the team that has any experience in data analysis and large-scale data analytics programming. That has put me in an advantageous position to be able to work with data analysts and try and solve some of these larger questions that we have in our investigations that are driven by data.
What were the key takeaways from your law school experience?
Law school taught me the importance of aligning my career with my core values and the impact of mentorship. It also highlighted the significance of embracing the field's versatility and the opportunities it presents for addressing societal issues.
Any advice for students thinking about working in health law or legislation?
It is essential to focus on building consensus and understanding the perspectives of all stakeholders. For those interested in health law, it is important to have a sharp mind and consider programs like the one at the University of Houston, which is renowned for its health law curriculum.
What insights can you offer to prospective law students?
The legal profession is diverse and offers numerous paths to make a difference in society. Prospective students should be open to the field's flexibility and the potential for personal and professional growth. The legal field is about more than seeking justice; it is about personal evolution and the impact one can make. There is always potential for growth and learning, no matter where you are in your legal career.
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