Marty Thompson

Favorable Verdict on Prep for Law School

Marty Thompson, class of ’99, was only 8 years old when she realized she wanted to be an attorney. Today, she is one of two litigation lawyers managing cases worldwide for Hess Corporation, a major oil company.

Never wavering in her early choice to practice law, she was equally certain years later when she chose the University of St. Thomas as the right place to prepare for the demands of law school and life.

“I absolutely made the right choice,” said Thompson, who majored in international studies. “But I had to overcome the objections of my father who wanted me to go to a bigger school with a bigger name.”

Thompson was drawn to the many benefits of UST. She favored the faith-based liberal arts focus that would underscore critical thinking, decision-making and solid communication skills — all essential in her chosen field. And she knew the small class sizes would be a plus.

“Small class size keeps you from falling behind,” Thompson said. “Professors know you at UST, so they notice how you’re doing if you start to slide, and they step in to support you, filling a gap while still holding you accountable.”

Similar to making a real estate purchase, she also was influenced by location, location, location.

“I grew up in the suburbs of Houston, and UST is situated in the most richly diverse, coolest urban area. It’s loaded with art museums, restaurants and music, residential neighborhoods and it is just a stone’s throw from the Texas Medical Center as well as Downtown.”

A great educational value was made even more appealing when financial aid was offered.

Once enrolled as a student, Thompson wasted no time embracing the full experience. She served as president of the Student Association and helped to found the student volleyball club that later became the varsity Women’s Volleyball program.

Thompson’s shining list of post-UST accomplishments, both professional and personal, is impressive. To cite a few, she was named by Houston Business Journal among the City’s top leaders under the age of 40; served on the UST Alumni Association board of directors; contributed on the board for the Houston Downtown Alliance; and started a business etiquette consulting business with her mother.

To this day, she values the moral compass she relies on to keep her pointed in the direction of integrity.

“Grads are sharpened in every way by UST in the same manner that iron sharpens iron,” Thompson said. “It really happens there. The professors and lifelong friends I made at UST sharpened me, and I helped to sharpen them. It’s a remarkable place.”

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