Tell us about yourself (where you are from, your undergrad school, major, what you did prior to coming to SMU, anything interesting, etc.)?
I grew up in Northern Louisiana. For context, my hometown was the location for the filming of the reality television show “Duck Dynasty.” It’s a long drive from New Orleans, but I’m still very proud of my gumbo recipes.
I moved to Dallas in 2002 to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas. I play the double bass & piano in various jazz, bluegrass, rock, and classical ensembles, and have been performing all over the world as a full-time freelance musician for over a decade—to date, over two dozen countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Prior being accepted to study law at SMU, one of my most interesting roles was Musical Director and pianist for The Polyphonic Spree, an internationally - acclaimed rock band. In 2016, we were honored to take part in an all-star tribute to David Bowie at Radio City Music Hall in New York. I’m also a founding member of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band. You can catch us on the Main Stage at the Texas State Fair this year on October 9th.
What is your favorite thing to do in Dallas?
Running on the Katy Trail, Dallas Symphony Concerts (student tickets!), listening to live jazz on Sunday Nights at the Balcony Club, trying out that new restaurant everyone’s been talking about on date nights with the wife, and Sunday morning worship at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.
Why did you decide to come to SMU Law?
I have had the privilege of working with many talented individuals, but among my many colleagues, the SMU alumni stand out. Whether graduates of law, business, music, or divinity, they are all distinguished by the caliber of their work and the integrity of their character. It is my desire to one day count myself among them and contribute my own passion, creativity, and excellence to the SMU legacy.
The city of Dallas is a major factor as well. In all my travels, I have yet to discover a better “total-package economy.” With its affordable cost of living, high wages, and ease of travel, this city is hard to beat.
What advice would you give anyone applying to Law School?
Everything happens for a reason. Some of the greatest gifts we receive in life come in the form of obstacles. Stay true to your values. Persist. Believe in yourself. Case in point, I was rejected the first time I applied here. I studied hard for a year and improved my LSAT score. The next go ‘round, they “gave me a shot,” and now I’m here! That interim year set me up for success in so many unexpected ways—financially, personally, and professionally. I saved money, got married (!), and expanded my legal network, just to name a few.
What classes are you enrolled in this semester?
Maybe I’m partial, but I think I lucked out and got all the best professors!
Legislation & Regulation - Mayo
Torts - Bavli
Contracts I - Rogers
Criminal Law - Offit
Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy - Walls
When you are not in school or studying, what do you do for fun?
All the things listed above under favorite things to do in Dallas.
What extracurricular activities are you interested in at SMU Law?
Association for Public Interest Law, Board of Advocates, Christian Legal Society, Corporate Law Association, Intellectual Property Organization, OWLS, OutLaw, SMU Law Review Association, Sports and Entertainment Law Association.
How do you think law school will challenge you most?
Time management and efficient study techniques are critical. I’ve already had some very late nights studying because I “went down the rabbit hole,” chasing interesting tangential topics.
What do you think you would like to do after graduation?
My heart is to serve. I feel my professional background would especially enable me to serve my entertainer comrades—be they musicians, athletes, actors, or dancers. While I’m in school, though, I intend to keep an open mind to the various practice specialties. That’s the great thing about law school—you can try it all!