Myron Minn-Thu-Aye

Myron Minn Thu Aye

Weekend Warrior: Myron Minn-Thu-Aye

Myron Minn-Thu-Aye, is a 3LW student with a unique background in mathematics and computer science. His legal journey includes internships at the EEOC, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Federal Public Defender, and the National Consumer Law Center. Myron secured a Summer Associate position at Robinson Cole, aiming to explore private practice and gain insights into different legal fields.

You have a very unique educational background prior to coming to law school. Can you talk about your other degrees and why you chose to pursue them?

I chose to double major in math and computer science as an undergraduate because I really enjoyed the problem solving that is essential to those fields.  I love thinking about difficult questions, testing different strategies for solving problems, and crafting logically sound explanations of solutions.  My professors inspired my love of abstract thinking and reasoning, so I decided to get a Ph.D. in math and become a professor myself.  Graduate school was really difficult, but I learned more than I ever thought possible, and I gained a lot of teaching experience, which was a blast.

Can you tell us about your present full-time employment as a Professor at the University of Connecticut?

I teach a variety of undergraduate mathematics courses at UConn, from small upper-level seminars to 400-person calculus classes.  I developed a class on mathematics and political processes (voting, Congressional apportionment, and political conflict), which was really fun.  I love teaching and interacting with students, it is the best part of my job, and I spend most of my time thinking about ways to improve students' learning experiences.

What made you decide to attend law school?

I was always interested in legal issues and enjoyed reading major Supreme Court opinions (Justice Breyer is my favorite: to me, he writes like a mathematician).  I decided go to law school because I was looking for new ways to employ the skills I had developed in mathematics higher education.  While I love abstract mathematical problem solving, I was hoping to work more directly with people on problems they cared about that directly impacted their lives.

Can you talk about the other legal internships you’ve been able to participate in during your time in law school thus far? (In your answer, if you can touch on what drew you to the position you held and what you were able to learn/what skills you were able to develop that would be helpful!)

I worked for an Administrative Law Judge at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to learn more about employment and antidiscrimination law.  It also helped me get some perspective on government-related legal work.  I saw lots of different lawyering styles and approaches to interacting with opposing counsel, which was really valuable.  I also got lots of practice reading and analyzing large administrative records, summarizing cases for the ALJ, and making recommendations for the ALJ's rulings on motions.

I interned with a U.S. Magistrate Judge because I'm interested in clerking and wanted to learn what that might be like.  I practiced a lot of writing, mostly memos on discovery issues but also a longer project drafting a decision, and received helpful, detailed feedback.  Possibly the best part of this internship was the opportunity to observe what was happening at the courthouse: I got to see proceedings in civil and criminal cases at various stages and discuss these with the judge.

My internship with the Federal Public Defender was in some ways an extension of my judicial internship because it was in the same court.  It was a great way to learn about criminal practice in federal court, though I also learned a little about state court practice too.  This internship was one of my favorites because it involved a lot of interaction with clients.  Although we talk about working with clients in law school, real interactions are very different and made this internship so valuable to me.

I interned with the National Consumer Law Center because I'm interested in public interest work and wanted to experience work for a non-profit.  I had the opportunity to pursue interests in housing-related work and also work on issues that were new to me, such as student loan debt, with experts in their fields.  This was a particularly helpful internship for learning about different paths to a career in public interest.  It was also my first exposure to legislative work, which I found really interesting.

What made you decide to pursue a Summer Associate position?

I have some experience with government-related positions and non-profit organizations, and I want to learn about private practice.  I've been trying to gain as much legal experience as possible because I want to pursue a legal career, but I have few set ideas about what I want to do in the legal world.  I'm hoping to learn about different legal fields and the different kinds of work a law firm might do that I haven't experienced or might not even be aware of yet.

How did you find your position with Robinson Cole?

I live in Connecticut and am planning to stay here after graduation, so I began by looking at firms that participate in our OCI and have Connecticut offices, and then began doing internet searches on Connecticut firms.  I applied directly to Robinson through their website.

Did you also participate in Fall Recruitment? Can you elaborate a bit on your experience?

I did participate in Fall Recruitment, and though it's not how I obtained my summer associateship, it did help me prepare my applications and research firms.  I learned about potential differences between firms to think about as I applied.  The process was a lot of work and everything got busy at the same time as we ramped up to go back to school and interviewing got busy as well.  Interviewing was very tiring, physically and also mentally because I ended up repeating myself a lot, but the mock interviews I did were really helpful.

Do you have any advice for your fellow weekend students as they approach Spring Recruitment, or Fall Recruitment next year?

I didn't realize till I was well into the summer associate interview process that having other work experience, even if it's not legal, can be very valuable to employers.  Really advertise your other educational and work experiences!

At Robinson Cole next summer, will you be rotating through different practice areas, or working in a dedicated practice area?

I won't be working in a dedicated practice area, but will have the chance to explore different areas and express some preferences for areas to work in as well.

What are you most excited about in starting your position at Robinson Cole next summer?

I'm excited to get more practice with legal skills in areas of the law that are new to me!