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Third-year UH Law Center student charts new course with maritime law internship

March 26, 2024 – For the past year, University of Houston Law Center 3L Bailey Pruitt has been interning at Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea, BenMaier & Eastham PLLC, focusing on maritime law. Pruitt credits her passion for sailing for being the driving force in focusing on maritime law.

In an interview with the Law Center, Pruitt said she believes that there is no singular path for law students, and that everyone’s journey to obtain a J.D. is different.

Name: David Segal Hometown: Houston, Texas Year: University of Houston Law Center 3L

Name: David Segal Hometown: Houston, Texas Year: University of Houston Law Center 3L

What led you to pursue a legal education at the Law Center?

I grew up in Austin, Texas and I left to attend the University of Alabama. After college, my family moved to Houston, so I came here to be closer to them. I was a teacher and then COVID-19 hit. The retirement age went up and we were having trouble with just overcrowding in the classrooms, and a lot of pushbacks from the education system.

I started looking into which graduate program would open the most doors for me moving forward, and law school made sense. It was a big shift from being a teacher. I wanted to pick a program that had the most flexibility.

When reflecting on your time at the Law Center, what are some of your favorite memories?

During my 1L year, I really enjoyed taking contracts with Professor Jim Hawkins. The class was amazing.

Then I spent the last three semesters studying under Professor Justen Barks in the intellectual property and entertainment program. That was a blast. He has been probably my biggest mentor.

How has your experience at SBSB & Eastham PLLC benefited you?

I’m a captain and I sail a lot. So maritime law just stood out as an area of interest to me, and I thought I’ll try it and it ended up being super interesting.

Working at SBSB & Eastham PLLC has been amazing, I started there last January. I’ve been there just over a year and the mentorship is amazing. The structure of the firm is so amazing. Everyone is always willing to help, and it’s been great so far.

What is one valuable lesson you learned at the Law Center?

If you ask for help, people are always willing to give it. If someone asks for help, I’m more than willing to give help.

What advice do you have for individuals considering law school?

There is no right way or wrong way to go into law school. I taught elementary school music and I feel like I’ve had a decently successful time here. If you feel underqualified, don’t let that be a barrier.

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