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<<"These experiences give me credibility with students because of the variety of things I was able to do," she explained.
Fletcher said that it is the responsibility of the career services office at Texas Tech University School of Law to serve as an information source for students and alumni as they begin, transition from, or completely change careers. She added that her office offers counseling on everything from judicial clerkships to areas of practice to resume preparation and interviewing skills.
Fletcher described how she continually works at improving the methods she employs to help students find practice areas best suited to them.
"This is something that I am constantly trying to do better," she said. "Students come to law school with a variety of preconceived ideas of the types of law in which they think they want to practice. As students matriculate and take a variety of courses, participate in advocacy competitions, or work in clerkships with practitioners, they begin to see their strengths and realize where they will find the most satisfaction in law as they begin their careers. The process can be stressful, so we try to provide information and support throughout the process. Getting to know the students is critical to our being able to help with job searching strategies."
Fletcher commented that the school's alumni often seek help from the career services office, as well.
"This week I talked to an alum who is starting her own practice after nine years in a county attorney office," Fletcher said. "She was asking about the basics for setting up an office. Because I serve on the State Bar of Texas Law Practice Management Committee, I was able to provide help in this transition."
Fletcher, herself an alumna of Texas Tech University School of Law, completed her undergraduate work at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, receiving a degree in Home Economics Education (later renamed Human Sciences) in December 1972. After that, she taught school for a short time in Midlothian, Texas. In 1973, she began working for Texas Power and Light Company (now Texas Utilities) in Brownwood, Texas. There, she worked as a Home Service Advisor (a position she says no longer exists), presenting programs to schools, clubs, and ladies groups on food preparation, the wise use of electricity, cooking with microwaves (new at the time), and cooking with small appliances. Fletcher worked there until 1977. That same year, she enrolled at Texas Tech University School of Law.
Fletcher explained why she decided to go to law school.
"I wanted to pursue a law degree because I saw it as something that would be intellectually challenging and would allow me to have an impact on some areas of society," she said. "I was very interested in consumer law because of my home economics background."
Fletcher earned her law degree from Texas Tech in 1980 and worked as an attorney in Lubbock, Texas for seven years. She joined the career services staff at the school as Assistant Dean for career services in November of 1987.
Fletcher was enthusiastic about returning to her alma mater.
"As a graduate of this law school, I practiced law in Lubbock for seven years," she said. "When this position became available, I was eager to become part of the university."
She said her decision to quit practicing law and join the career services staff at Texas Tech was also greatly influenced by child-care issues.
"My husband travels across the nation in his business, and I needed more manageable hours," she explained. "Our youngest daughter was in daycare when I started, and the oldest was in kindergarten."
She added that she likes "the rhythm of academia" and that her father was a public school administrator for almost 40 years.
"So thinking in terms of semesters and summers was very natural for me," she said.
Although she has spent nearly 20 years in career services, Fletcher still enjoys coming to work.
"I get to work with astonishingly bright and capable law students who become wonderful friends along the way," she said. "Our faculty and administration are top-notch, motivated, and compassionate professionals who take legal education very seriously. What is not to like about a place that offers this atmosphere?"
Fletcher said one of the most difficult challenges of her job is working with students who are disappointed with their grades.
"There are always students who are disappointed with their grades," she explained. "Helping them see that they are going to be able to contribute to society as lawyers even if they are at the bottom of their classes takes a lot of energy and counseling. Being a sounding board can be wearying, but it is also something I think is critical to the job."
Fletcher said one of her favorite parts of her job is helping students find the jobs of their dreams. She added that she also likes the fact that the staff is so accessible to students.
"It is great when students say that we always have time to listen and offer encouragement to them no matter [what] their academic rank [is]," she said.
Additionally, Fletcher said that graduations are a very enjoyable part of her job.
"I also supervise our law school graduations," she said. "When I see proud spouses, parents, and grads celebrating the wonderful accomplishment of completing law school, I am thrilled!"
Fletcher and her husband, who is an auctioneer, have been married for 32 years. Their oldest daughter is a Texas Tech University graduate and teaches English in Wink, Texas. Their youngest daughter is a junior at Texas Tech, studying in a Pre-Physical Therapy program. Fletcher said that she loves to read and is very involved in the music program at her family's church, where she serves as an organist. She added, "Big XII sports are another very serious interest of mine!"
When asked if she would do anything differently if she had the chance to do it all over again, she answered:
"The 'smart' answer is that I should have invented some computer operating system and become enormously wealthy," she said. "But I am pretty satisfied with my life. At the end of the day, I am proud to be doing what I am doing."
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