Dec. 04, 2023 – Andrea Martínez, an LL.M. student at the University of Houston Law Center, is fulfilling her dream of studying international law.
Martínez, who recently spoke at the 3rd World Congress of Women Leaders (III Congreso Mundial de Mujeres Líderes), encourages aspiring students: "If seeking justice and equity is your inner passion, don’t ever hesitate to go to law school. Even though it is challenging, your heart will be fulfilled every step of the way."
She shares her legal education experience and insights gained from engaging with women leaders worldwide.
What does being a speaker at the III World Congress of Women Leaders mean to you?
It was an immense honor to have been elected as a speaker at the III World Congress of Women Leaders at Harvard University in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month. I was able to share this experience alongside 39 wonderful women leaders. Although we each practice various professions in different fields, we had the common goal to generate contributions to achieve real changes in our community and real opportunities for generations of women in the future, including the integration of Hispanic women in the legal field in the United States.
What led you to pursue a legal education at UHLC?
When I moved to the United States after having been an attorney in my home country for more than a decade, especially focused in areas of oil and gas and international commerce, my biggest concern was being able to go back to the legal field. I had the idea that being able to go back to law school and resume my legal career in a new jurisdiction was extremely difficult. Even though oil and gas are open for foreign attorneys, as I was searching for job opportunities, I could only aspire for a job as a paralegal unless I obtained a Master of Laws that would allow me to gain knowledge in U.S. law and eventually take the bar examination. After a lot of research, I found that the University of Houston offers the best Master of Laws program in the city and is one of the best in the nation in energy and natural resources, so I did not doubt that UHLC would be my best option to resume my legal career.
What were some of your favorite professors/memories here?
So far, one of my favorite professors has been Professor Megan Davis who teaches Legal Writing for Foreign LL.M.’s. Even though this has been one of the most challenging courses for foreign attorneys, her passion and dedication allowed us to be prepared with excellent U.S. legal skills.
In what ways did advancing your education toward an LL.M. help you in your career?
Continuing education and preparation will always add additional knowledge and skills that increase our value in the legal field. As for foreign attorneys who now live in the U.S., it is extremely important to understand and prepare with knowledge about U.S. law, not only for taking the bar exam but to also be well prepared in the legal field in this new jurisdiction. Personally, I always aimed to study international law, so it has been a dream come true to be a student at UHLC.
What is one valuable lesson you learned at UHLC?
All the support I have received from the UHLC staff, professors, and classmates gave me back the sense of belonging that I had lost when I left my country. I found a home away from home.
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