Employer: Thompson & Horton, LLP
Current City: Houston, TX
Please tell us about your career
I am a partner at Thompson & Horton, LLP, a public law boutique that primarily provides legal services to governmental entities. I represent cities, counties, school districts, junior colleges, and other special purpose districts in all aspects of business operations, real estate, facilities and land use planning, and intergovernmental relations. My work regularly involves issues of policy and politics, in addition to the law.
What motivated you to obtain an M.A. in political science?
I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies with a concentration in Political Science from Wellesley College. I seriously considered obtaining a joint J.D./Ph.D and teaching political science or law, but decided I would try an M.A. first and realized my true love was the law.
What are the links between your political science studies and your career?
Aside from the obvious connection between political science and the practice of law, my job is particularly connected with political science because I represent governmental entities. Constitutional questions and the theory and history of governmental duties and liabilities underlie everything that I do. Something as simple as government contracting can involve issues related to expenditure of funds, competitive bidding, and governmental immunity.
Do you have any advice for students who aspire to hold a job like yours?
Start networking early by making and maintaining relationships with your classmates and professors. Also, intern, intern, intern. If you are interested in government, volunteer and intern at all levels and in different entities. One of the best ways to learn is by doing.