Other than a layover, my first trip to Houston was for my interview with the South Texas College of Law in 2011. But I was slated to travel to Houston three years earlier during my first round of clerkship interviews. As I recount in my article about my path to academia, I never did make it there:
My schedule for nine interviews in seven cities in five days was insane. Wednesday night I took off from Reagan National Airport to a city in the Midwest, where I was to meet with a circuit judge first thing in the morning on Thursday. That interview went really well. It was one of the most probing, congenial, and revealing discussions I had ever had. The judge had a really solid knack for getting to know me well in a short period of time. I left that interview with a very good feeling. The judge told me I would know by Monday, at the latest, whether I had the job.
Immediately following that interview, I was ready to run to the airport to fly to the south [Houston] for an early-evening interview with a district court judge. Except for the fact that the judge had left me a voicemail at 9:00 that morning informing me that he had already filled the position, and my interview was cancelled. He hired someone for a vacancy an hour after the hiring season began, and a few hours before my interview was scheduled. I never made it there. Fortunately for me, his message came a few hours before that city issued an evacuation order for an impending hurricane [Ivan]. Had I traveled to that city [Houston] the night before—as I might have if my schedule was slightly different—I would have been stuck for quite some time, and likely missed the remainder of the clerkship season. In this case, a judge cancelling an interview a mere hour after the start of clerkship season began was a blessing.
Nine years later–this time by my own volition–I’ve skipped town in advance of Hurricane Harvey, and temporarily relocated to northern Texas. I pray that everyone in Texas will remain safe.