Cecily Becker

Director, Externship Program & Senior Lecturer

Cecily-Becker

"To pursue a career in law, you pursue a life in service and wherever you find yourself, you are helping others achieve their goals or solve their problems."

Get to Know Cecily Becker

What drew you to the law?

I chose law because I wanted to help others and felt it was a profession that drew upon skills that I enjoyed using. In undergrad, I was a business major and my favorite class was business law. I loved applying facts to law, analyzing and synthesizing information. After graduation, I was as a contract negotiator for the government, but decided to pursue law because it would allow me to be in a career where I could aid others.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

The practice of law is challenging but can be rewarding when you find the right path. I really enjoy working with students to help them discover their potential and help set them on the right path. I like helping them see beyond the classroom and explore how they will apply what they are learning in the “real world.”

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

To grow both personally and professionally and be better prepared for the practice of law upon graduation. That students develop not just skills, but a better understanding of the profession and their role, develop their professional identity and, from the insights they gain, find a fulfilling career path that fits their values, strengths and interests.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

Before law school, I was a Contract Specialist for the Naval Air Systems Command negotiating weapon system contracts; then, after earning my law degree, I was in private practice with a focus in commercial litigation.

What are your research interests?

My focus is experiential education and, in particular, field placement experiences. I’m interested in the best practices for such programs, as well as how to improve legal education to effectively prepare students for the practice of law. I also am interested in comparative legal education systems.

What are you passionate about outside the law?

I like to learn/try new things. Favorite hobbies include 1) Collecting/Studying rocks/minerals: I love mineralogy, gemology - everything from fossils (which may or may not be a mineral (the “depends” answer is such a lawyer response!)) to diamonds; and 2) Watching old movies.

Presentations

  • Speaker: “Legal Update” (providing update on legal issues impacting internships/externships), Southwest Regional Conference, Texas Cooperative Education Internship Association, Fort Worth, Texas (July 2015)
  • Speaker: “Navigating Crosscurrents: Challenges & Opportunities in Partnerships Between Career Services & Externship Departments,” National Association for Law Placement (NALP) Annual Education Conference, Chicago, Illinois (April 2015)
  • Speaker: “What to know about Internship and Externship Programs for Law Students: Investigating the Concerns and Advantages of these Programs,” NALP Annual Education Conference (April 2011)

Expertise

  • Experiential Education
  • Field Placements
  • Externships

Academic Experience

  • Senior Lecturer
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2016 - present)
  • Director, Externship Program
    Texas A&M University School of Law (201​3 - present)
  • Director, Externship Program & Adjunct Professor
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2004-2013)

Education

  • J.D., Gonzaga School of Law, magna cum laude (1997)
    • Member, Law Review
    • Alpha Sigma Nu
  • B.A. in Commerce, University of Virginia (1987)