Student Spotlight: Omar Husain cultivates legal relationships

Omar Husain is pictured with Judge Paul Gurney and Arleen Schuman, Judge Paul Gurney’s Administrative Assistant.

To say that Omar Husain is “busy” is an understatement.

Husain is a KU Law Student Ambassador, vice president of the Student Intellectual Property Law Association, secretary of the Environmental Law Society, a research assistant for Professor Andrew Torrance and a student representative for the American Bar Association. He is also a member of KU Law’s Student Bar Association, Asian Law Students Association and the intramural basketball team.

The most recent addition to his resume? A clerkship with Judge Paul Gurney of the Johnson County District Court as part of the school’s Judicial Field Placement Program.

Husain, a second-year law student from Lenexa, has enjoyed getting firsthand experience of how the law works and seeing civil procedure, motions and hearings in action daily.

“I get to learn what the judge considers when he is making his decisions,” he said. “I get to see and hear what attorneys, judges and staff discuss when talking about an attorney, both good and bad. I am learning the ‘what-to-do’s’ and ‘what-not-to-do’s’ of being a lawyer — the savvy and experience that get added on to the academic knowledge from school that turn a ‘lawyer’ into a ‘good lawyer.’”

At his field placement, Husain researches and writes memos, observes court proceedings, and reads and proofreads orders. His favorite part of the clerkship so far has been forming connections.

“By far, the most rewarding part of the job is getting to meet and build relationships with so many people I hope to be colleagues with and interact with one day,” he said. “More so in this profession than most, it always helps to know people. Not just attorneys and judges either, it helps to know the clerks, administrative assistants and other court staff, too.”

Through Husain’s clerkship, he is gaining invaluable hands-on experience and knowledge about how court systems operate.

“There is just something about writing for a judge that is unlike anything else I have done,” Husain said. “It feels so much more important and official than doing an assignment for a professor.”

He has also learned some valuable life lessons at his clerkship. Husain said the best piece of advice he has received is to be mindful of your reputation and to always try to make a positive impression.

“If you are ever in an unfamiliar place, being nice to the assistants and clerks will help because they can fill you in on the details and rules of that court,” Husain said. “I have seen many examples of lawyers whose names are followed up with strong reactions, both good and bad. Especially as a young lawyer, it is imperative to have a positive reaction follow your name.”

Husain chose to get both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of Kansas. He’s a fan of KU’s rich history and the opportunities KU Law offers to students and graduates in both the Kansas City area and across the country.

He hopes to combine his undergraduate degree in biology and his law degree to pursue a career in either patent law or intellectual property.

“Although my plans for the future are not set in stone, a combination of these areas would be ideal,” Husain said. “I am also taking everything step-by-step and trusting the process to find where I belong.”

— By Ashley Hocking

This post is the first in a series highlighting the diverse internships and jobs KU Law students and recent graduates are engaged in over the summer and early in their careers.