🤘Student Spotlight: Zach Gilstrap

For this edition of Texas Law’s Student Spotlight series, meet 1L Zach Gilstrap!

Zach Gilstrap

Before starting law school, you were a litigation paralegal at Weil. How did that experience inspire you to get where you are now?
I was a paralegal at Weil in Dallas for a year (July 2022-August 2023). It was incredible to experience what the day-to-day environment was like in a law firm. I worked under two incredible paralegals who taught me the ins and outs of complex commercial litigation, including pretrial motion drafting and e-filing. I worked primarily on bankruptcy cases, but I also got to work on a large multi-district litigation matter that involved thousands of plaintiffs. Overall, I had so much fun being a part of that team and quickly discovered that I wanted to be a lawyer and go deeper into that world. 

What made you choose Texas Law?
When I visited Texas Law, I immediately fell in love with the school’s commitment to fostering a strong community. Aspects like the Society Program and the amazing student groups let me know that I would be able to find a home on campus. Moreover, I am extremely grateful for the school’s generous financial aid, which allows me to focus on my studies without worrying about finances. Also, I’m from Dallas, so I was excited about being just two and a half hours away from home. 

What do you like the most about living in Austin?
I have deeply enjoyed interacting with Austin’s vibrant film scene. I go to the Alamo Drafthouse all the time (maybe way too much) and have also gotten to see movies at Richard Linklater’s Austin Film Society. I nerd out every time. Also, the food here is incredible! I love Cuantos Tacos, Taqueria Los Altos, Raku Sushi, Gus’s Fried Chicken, EurAsia Ramen, and Black’s BBQ (especially the Lockhart location). 

What is something you’re passionate about outside of classes?
Outside of being obsessed with movies, I’m also really into music, specifically R&B. I’m constantly trying to find new artists that are pushing the sound forward, while also replaying my favorite classics. I’m also really into reading comics/graphic novels. I find it sad that some people look down on that hobby because, if you ask me, writers like Daniel Clowes, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison have written some of the most boundary-pushing and inventive works out there, in any medium. 

What did you wish you knew before becoming a law student at UT?
I wish I knew that I would somehow grow tired of eating breakfast tacos.

Category: Student Spotlight