6/14/23 - News
Meet Summer Associate Austin Fuller
Austin is a rising 3L at University of Virginia School of Law, where he participates in the Virginia Journal of Law & Technology and the Extramural Moot Court Team. He also belongs to Lone Star Lawyers, UVA’s networking group for students interested in the Texas legal market. Previously, Austin interned at the Travis County District Attorney’s Office in Austin. He graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Social Studies.
What made you decide to pursue law?
During college, I was a member of the Harvard Institute of Politics, and I greatly enjoyed the policy work I was doing. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that if I wanted to engage meaningfully with the issues I was interested in, I had to look at the law. Policy allows you to approach those issues from 30,000 feet, but you need a legal background to be a part of the story. Even though the legal issues I’m dealing with now are different from what I did at Harvard, I’m able to dig in at a fundamental level, which is really rewarding.
How did you connect with SHJ?
Since I started law school, I’ve had my eye on a career in Texas. Being a Texas native plays a pivotal role in that, but I also think the Texas market has an exciting, innovative energy. I want to be plugged into that growth.
I joined the Lone Star Lawyers group at UVA to network with firms and lawyers in Texas, and they connected me with SHJ when I was looking for summer associate jobs. SHJ ticked all the boxes: a Texas firm that handles top-tier work, serves some of the state’s most prosperous industries, and frequently goes to trial. As someone who comes from an athletic background, I love the competitive, high-stakes nature of trial work. You’re put on this island all on your own and have no choice but to succeed or fail, which I find thrilling.
What were your first impressions of the firm?
I interviewed with several other firms during OCI season, but SHJ easily emerged as the front runner. It was clear they had a good thing going, and they were seeking people who could help them maintain that. They exuded a lot of confidence in their practice, their approach, and their culture.
What do you hope to get out of your time here?
As much hands-on experience as I can. This is exactly the kind of work I want to do in my career, and SHJ is an ideal training ground. There are countless opportunities to take initiative in areas that resonate with you. You definitely hit the ground running—I got my first assignment about 20 minutes after the welcome tour concluded. The partners expect you to carry your weight, but they still take time to make you feel like you’re appreciated and supported. They’re also invested in helping you become a well-rounded lawyer. Besides honing my litigation skills, I’m being exposed to tremendous diversity in subject matter and clientele.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to be a successful trial lawyer with a strong practice in Texas. Even just a week into my time with the firm, I can tell that SHJ is going to be instrumental in helping me achieve that.