Welcome to West Mermis! We are very excited to have our 2023 summer clerks Michael Abel and Anna Elwood, who are both attending the University of Houston Law Center, join our team this year! We look forward to helping you in gaining valuable construction law experience and hope you learn all you can from our exceptional team.
But first, let’s get to know a little more about Anna and Mike:
My name is Anna Elwood, and I am a native Houstonian. I spent 4 years in Austin at the University of Texas, but I always knew I wanted to come back to Houston. I just finished my second year at the University of Houston Law Center.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors, taking Solidcore classes, and trying new restaurants around Houston with my friends and family.
My dad inspired me to become a lawyer. He is a personal injury attorney, and I grew up hearing about his cases. They always fascinated me which made me realize that I had an interest in pursuing law as a career.
My favorite law school subjects so far have been property, criminal procedure, and business organizations. My least favorite subject so far has been federal income tax.
The most challenging part of law school so far has been making time for myself and my interests. It is super easy to get caught up in the stress of law school, but I have learned that when I prioritize spending time with friends/family, working out, and/or joining an intramural sports team on campus I end up doing even better in my classes. I am constantly working to find a better “balance”.
I am very excited to learn more about construction law topics from such a welcoming, kind, and experienced group of attorneys. I also hope to be pushed out of my comfort zone so that I can become a better researcher, communicator, and ultimately a better lawyer.
I am originally a native New Yorker, from Staten Island and completed my undergraduate at SUNY Binghamton. I’ve also always enjoyed traveling, and spent time living in Honolulu, North Carolina, and Washington D.C.
I quickly fell in love with Houston because of the sheer amount of activities and opportunities available; particularly Houston’s unique food and arts scene. In my free time, I enjoy watching football, reading comic books, and listening to electronic music.
I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. In high school, I was very involved in debate and enjoyed public speaking. Growing up, I did not have any family members who were attorneys, so I lacked a real understanding of what lawyers actually did until I interned for a Judge in the local courthouse. Watching the attorneys represent their clients in front of a Judge, then hearing the Judge’s outcome greatly excited me. I found it glamorous, and when I realized that I could turn it into a career, I knew that it was for me.
My favorite classes in law school, so far, have been civil procedure and legal negotiations. I enjoyed civil procedure because of how unique it is. Throughout my time in student organizations, I’ve drafted sets of bylaws and Constitutions and ensured that they were followed. I liked legal negotiations because it provides me the opportunity to test my debate skills in simulated legal scenarios. Debating has always been a passion of mine, and being able to continuously improve my skills with Professors is exciting.
My least favorite class in law school has been evidence as it mostly consists of memorization, with limited room for argumentation.
The most challenging part of law school has been learning how to “turn off” my legal mind and take a break. I enjoy the entirety of the law school experience, from reading to outlining and participating in class, but I tend to keep pushing myself because I’m enjoying the work.
During my first year, I’d frequently pushed myself past exhaustion which would lead to being counterproductive. Throughout this year, I’ve focused on taking one day off from work entirely and learning to place boundaries on myself late at night. Since then, both my grades and overall mood have improved greatly.
Over the last year, I’ve been emphasizing on improving my legal research and writing skills. Legal writing has been a struggle of mine since 1L, so I’ve been making a conscious effort to improve those skills. Last semester, I interned for a Judge and served as an editor of a journal. I believe that my legal writing and research skills have improved, and I hope to continue honing them at West Mermis.
I’m also excited to learn more about the construction industry, and litigation generally. I’ve enjoyed my past legal experiences because they provided me with an opportunity to test myself and learn more in real-world legal contexts, and I look forward to doing the same this summer.
West Mermis provides practical legal solutions for our clients in the construction industry. Our attorneys have proven courtroom experience before federal and state courts, and routinely represent clients in high-stakes commercial arbitration. We provide high-quality legal advice throughout the life cycle of construction projects, prioritizing the business interests of our clients.
As my term as Chair of the HBAn Construction Law Section draws to a close, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation.
West Mermis PLLC is pleased to announce that Francis D. McWilliams IV, a partner in the firm’s Houston office, has been elected to serve ...