Austin Holland ’17 selected for HUD Legal Honors Program

Austin Holland '17Austin Holland ’17 has been selected for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Legal Honors Program for entry-level attorneys. The prestigious 14-month program, through which fewer than 20 entry-level attorneys join HUD’s legal staff each year, provides training and mentoring to entry-level attorneys interested in careers in government service. The HUD Honors Program is the department’s only hiring program for entry-level attorneys, and it is the HUD Office of General Counsel’s succession training program. Holland will be assigned to HUD’s Office of Litigation in HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Attorneys in the program are assigned mentors and given the opportunity to rotate through some or all of the eight offices within the HUD’s Office of General Counsel. “I came to law school because I wanted a career where I could make a bigger impact with my work—and for me, that meant government service,” Holland said. “HUD’s Honor Program is a great opportunity because of the focus on helping you hone your legal skills early in your career.”

“HUD’s Honors Program is extremely competitive, and Austin is an outstanding candidate—an excellent student whose goal is a career in government service,” said Spring Miller, assistant dean for public interest. “He’s mature, smart and will do great work.”

Holland was mentored by Mary Barrett Brewer ’86, an attorney adviser in HUD’s Nashville office. Brewer joined HUD’s legal staff in 1991 and was appointed the department’s Chief Counsel for Housing Finance and Program for the state of Tennessee in 2010. “Vanderbilt Law School graduates well-prepared lawyers ready to make significant contributions to the legal field,” Brewer said. “It is with excitement that I congratulate Austin on joining the HUD OGC team, and it will be an honor for me to have Austin as a fellow member. HUD is fortunate to have a lawyer of Austin’s caliber joining our team to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all Americans.”

Holland earned his undergraduate degree in business finance at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he minored in tactical leadership. He served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard from 2006-14. He was executive editor of the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review and an authorities editor with the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. He co-founded a new student organization, Law Students for Innocence and Prisoner Rights, which enables students to respond to the mass incarceration crisis by sponsoring educational events, review claims of false imprisonment, building relationships with Nashville organizations devoted to prisoners’ rights, and engaging with Tennessee’s prison population.

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