Philosophy and Managerial Studies Double Major | Business Minor | Martel College, '20
“If you know what you want to do, hit the ground running. Pursue it early on so you can see if you can spend your time at Rice going in further and taking routes that you didn’t initially think of.”
Since stepping foot on campus, Selase Buatsi has moved at top speed to pursue her ambition of being an attorney, taking full advantage of professional opportunities offered for pre-law students. As early as her first year, Buatsi participated in two law practica experiences: interning with the Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office in 2017 and the Texas Innocence Project, Non-Capital Division, in 2018.
With funding from the School of Humanities’ HEDGE program, the Martel senior secured yet another professional workplace opportunity — a summer internship in 2018 as a legal assistant in the Law Office of Stephen E. Toomey.
This law practice deals with construction and probate law, a judicial sector that diverted from Buatsi’s previous experiences. “I came in to Rice wanting to explore different fields of law,” she says. Her assistantship equipped her with practical skills applicable to any legal realm. “I think what I learned most was how to be a more organized and efficient worker. It helped me with my people skills as well.”
Buatsi credits the Rice Pre-Law Society as a platform for gaining a deeper insight into the profession and learning of opportunities like her assistantship, which was advertised through the club listserv. “I became more involved with the Pre-Law Society because I want students to know more about law school and have more experiences with actually being in the law field.” Now, as society president, she hopes to grow the organization and cultivate enduring practices of promoting real-world experiences to Rice students.
In addition to Buatsi’s ventures beyond the hedges, her academic experiences on campus have played a vital role in broadening her scope of study and inspiring her to explore diverse approaches to law. “When I got to Rice, my plan was to go straight through, but now I’m considering taking a gap year just to see what else I can do before I go to law school,” she says.
This year, Buatsi will be participating in the Kinder Institute’s Community Bridges program, an experiential learning opportunity that combines research and fieldwork to address inequality and poverty in Greater Houston. “Law is more than just reading books or arguing in court,” she says. “It's about making change.”
Profile written by Katelyn Landry, Editorial Assistant, Office of the Dean of Humanities