Alia Heintz (JD '16)
By the time Alia Heintz became a senior at Vassar College, she had already concluded that she did not want to take the traditional path with her AB in economics and psychology. Instead of pursuing an MBA or a PhD, Alia chose a different route to build on what she had learned at Vassar: law school, followed by a position at a top national law firm.
“I thought that understanding how our economy operates and how the human mind works would give me a different perspective about the legal profession. I also hoped that it would make me an appealing candidate for a large law firm,” Alia recalls.
As she considered her options for law school, in the fall of 2012 Alia received a letter of interest from The University of Tulsa College of Law. She knew that TU Law was a Top 100 law school, but she wondered how earning her JD in Oklahoma would impact her career goal of landing a job at a Big Law firm in Houston, her hometown.
Alia applied to TU Law and soon received a letter of acceptance and an invitation to attend Pre-Law Day. Alia made the trip to Tulsa to visit the campus and quickly knew it was the right place for her.
When Alia told the director of admissions about her goal to practice law in Houston, she learned more about the kind of legal education that she could expect at TU Law: the possibility of a generous tuition scholarship; a challenging curriculum; an outstanding faculty and staff who care about every student; experiential learning opportunities that could lead to top externships; and access to an active network of TU Law alumni who were practicing attorneys in Houston.
That conversation was the deciding factor for Alia. She was confident that TU Law would be the best place for her to get an excellent legal education, one that would serve her well in Houston and enable her to graduate without a mountain of student loans.
When Alia arrived at TU Law, “Like most first-year students, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” she says. “But everyone at the College was a source of constant encouragement. They took a personal interest in my future career, which I truly appreciated.”
Alia’s fondest memories of TU Law reside with its faculty. “My professors constantly challenged me to think about the law and how it works outside of the classroom. I could spend hours visiting with professors and learning more about the law than what I ever could by just reading the casebooks,” she says.
In addition to serving as the editor-in-chief of the Tulsa Law Review, Alia participated in TU Law’s Lobeck-Taylor Community Advocacy Clinic where she worked with low-income clients in Tulsa’s courts under the supervision of Professor Anna Carpenter. “The clinical experience gave me a big head start on how to think like a lawyer, how to understand my clients’ problems, and how to advocate on their behalf,” Alia explains.
After her first year at TU Law, Alia worked as a summer intern for a state appellate judge and a federal district judge in Houston. She also attended an open house event for potential recruits at the Houston-based firm of Baker Botts LLP, where she met some of the firm’s 725 attorneys and learned more about its national and global leadership. She left the event certain that she wanted to build her future as a lawyer at Baker Botts.
With help from TU Law’s faculty and staff, Alia applied for and received an offer with Baker Botts -- a summer associate position after she completed her second year. She excelled at the firm and learned new skills from its partners and associates. At the end of the summer, the firm’s leadership told her that she had a full-time job waiting for her after she graduated and passed the bar exam the following summer.
When Alia received her JD in May 2016, she also carried with her three of TU Law’s most prestigious awards, including one from the faculty that is bestowed on the most outstanding graduating student.
As one of TU Law’s newest and youngest alumni, Alia sat for the Texas bar exam in July 2016 and will learn her results in November. In the meantime, she’s working at Baker Botts as an associate where, as any faculty or staff member at TU Law will say, Alia is destined to have a great future as an attorney.