Erica Schwam

Erica Schwam

Sr. Assistant City Attorney


city of houston

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Financial challenges.
Quit a job that paid well because it wasn't a good fit for pursuing my educational goals.
Ignored anyone who said I could not do it.
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Clear Lake High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
University of Houston
graduate
Graduate
J.D.
South Texas College of Law
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
University of St Thomas
Career

Career

Sr. Assistant City Attorney

I am a government lawyer and prosecute cases in municipal court

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Government
Government
Law
Law
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

I arrive at work at 8 a.m. I usually report to a courtroom and work a trial docket. I speak to people representing themselves, and opposing attorneys. I review my cases and witnesses (usually police officera). I negotiate deals, and offer legal advice to people who work for the city (my client) as assigned through the legal department. Sometimes I have a judge or jury trial if my cases are not able to be settled by early afternoon.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Getting a law degree was hard work! The most valuable skills I learned while working outside the legal profession were people skills. I was a sales person, worked in retail, and participated in legal clinics as part of my education. All of these "hands-on" experiences really helped me build confidence to be a good lawyer.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Find people who do what you want to do, and take their advice.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
graduate
Graduate
J.D.
undergrad
Bachelor
Political Science and Government, General
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"I did not have the right personality to be a lawyer, that I was not aggressive enough."

I realized that I wanted to be a lawyer badly enough despite this discouraging feedback, and knew I could make my way and learn how the career path I wanted could work for me.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

Financial Aid, working part-time, and family support.