7/24/23 - News
Meet Summer Associate April Alex
April is a rising 3L at Duke University School of Law, where she serves as staff editor of Law and Contemporary Problems and as a research assistant for the Wilson Center for Science and Justice. Previously, she was a summer associate at a firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, that handles insurance, reinsurance, healthcare regulation, and employment disputes. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Political Science.
What made you decide to pursue law?
From a young age, I knew I wanted an intellectually stimulating career. I come from a small town in Texas, but in high school, I was able to connect with some local lawyers, and what they had to say was really inspiring. They talked about how challenging the profession is, how you’re working with regulations and policies that change every day and affect the way you practice. Since starting law school and working at various firms, I’ve found all of those things to be true. It’s an eternal learning experience that keeps you on your toes.
How did you connect with SHJ?
Although I attend law school in North Carolina, I’ve always planned on making my way back home to Texas eventually. When I started researching SHJ through my school’s OCI program, they seemed like a great fit even beyond the Texas connection. I liked that they were a small, intimate firm—a place where everyone can get to know each other—with large firm resources and quality of work.
What were your first impressions of the firm?
People here are really kind and generous. They’re always dropping by my office to chat even though the firm has a big, urgent caseload right now. For instance, we just had a pre-trial conference a few days ago, and yet I had multiple partners come and chat with me during prep. I feel genuinely welcomed and at home here.
I’m also really enjoying the sophistication of my workload. In law school you write mostly briefs and memos, which I’m sure I’ll get around to at some point, but right now I’m working on documents (such as requests for production) that will actually go before a judge in the coming weeks. I can see the impact that my work will have on any given matter, which is extremely rewarding.
What do you hope to get out of your time here?
I want to make sure I completely understand—and love—the world of litigation before I commit to that path. I want to become a better writer, too, and I can already tell I’ll be benefiting from some great feedback. The firm is really good about mentorship and offering fair, substantive constructive criticism.
What drew you to the field of litigation?
I’m a people person, and I love getting to fight for the clients I represent. I also love thinking about the history of the legal system, how it stretches back a thousand years to the birth of common law in England. Getting to be a part of that grand historical tradition—and then passing it down through your own practice—is an honor.