OU Law Conversations: Desi Martinez

May 15, 2020

Desi I. Martinez, OU Law alumnus (’00) and attorney at Martinez & Associates, PLLC, discusses his experience practicing personal injury law during the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects on important lessons learned during law school.  

I chose it and it chose me because it has a heart,” said Martinez in reference to his career in personal injury law. It allows me to have a real interaction with people and actually help people. I can see how what I am doing is actually helping somebody.  

Martinez stated that attending law school helped him form the correct habits. The best advice given to him by his professors and peers was that you must treat studying like it is your job in order to succeed.  

Stay the course,” advised Martinez. Just stick with it. Don’t get frustrated because there are going to be good times and bad times. But you have the work ethic if you got into law school and you got out. Understand you are going to have to amp it up even more so. 

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What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.



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What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.


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