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Erica W. Harris
Partner, Susman & Godfrey
Erica Harris
When people ask why I became a lawyer, I start my answer with Rice University. My first semester at Rice, I took a variety of upper level Social Science courses in an effort to figure out my major. I took an economics, a history, an English, and

a religion class. By my fourth week, I knew I had found my calling: my economics class was “Economic Analysis of the Law,” and I loved it!

From Rice, I went on to the University of Texas School of Law. Thanks to all those essays and papers at Rice, writing law school exams was a breeze, and my success there presented me with great opportunities. Immediately after law school, I clerked for Judge Lee Hyman Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas. (After accepting, I had a “small world” moment: Judge Rosenthal’s father, Professor Harold Hyman, had taught me the history class I took my first semester at Rice.) Following my judicial clerkship, I accepted an Olin Fellowship to become a Visiting Lecturer in Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.

When I finally entered private practice, I joined Susman Godfrey LLP. It was and is a litigation only firm, specializing in complex commercial cases. Last year, Susman Godfrey was named as one of the top two litigation boutiques in the country. I’ve been a partner here for several years now, and my work remains exciting for me. I have litigated antitrust, employment, breach of contract, business torts, patent, and ERISA cases in federal and state courts and in arbitrations across the country (and even some international arbitrations outside the country). I love my work.

Surprisingly, my ties to Rice have strengthened, not weakened, since graduation. The professor who taught me that life-changing economics class my first semester is now one of my closest friends. One of my partners married another Rice professor who taught me that first year, and we have become close friends as well. Several of my other partners are
Rice alumni, one of whom was in my economics class. My wedding reception was at the Rice Faculty Club, and I return there several times a year for the meetings of the Houston Philosophical Society, of which I am a member. I live within walking distance of the university and so pass my alma mater on a daily basis. I have taken my husband and friends regularly to the Shepherd School music performances and this year will take my little girl for the first time. It’s been a wonderful thing to grow with a school rather than away from it.



  Rice Alumni Association  
So you want to get together with fellow alumni and friends? A number of groups provide opportunities for members of the Rice community to unite around common interests:

Special Interest Groups are largely Houston-based groups that are formed on the basis of shared ethnicity, career or leisure interests, and so on.

Regional Groups provide a means for alumni and friends living outside of Houston to interact with one another and to stay in touch with Rice.

School-Based Alumni Groups provide opportunities for alumni with common academic backgrounds to stay in touch.

Graduate-Degree Alumni can stay connected through networking events, educational opportunities, career assistance, student mentoring programs, and much more.

Friends Groups offer ways for individuals to support with their time and means various academic schools, departments, and other university entities and interests.

More on: http://alumni.rice.edu