2009 Archives

Cutting Through the Clutter


The following is from the July 5, 2009, edition of The New York Times. Angla Braly, who wrote Sunday's article about her life and becoming CEO of WellPoint, is a 1985 graduate of SMU's Dedman School of Law and was named a distinguished alumna of the law school earlier this year.

July 7, 2009

By Angela Braly

I grew up in Texas, the fourth of five children. We all had jobs growing up. When I worked at a drive-through photo booth, I had to answer the phone by saying, "It’s a great day at Fox Photo."

I was also a waitress. Waitressing taught me about hard work and serving people. I worked with a woman who told her young children that Christmas was actually after the holiday so she could buy their presents on sale. It was the only way she could afford them.

I remember thinking that life isn’t easy for everyone. It inspired me to work hard and have opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise come along.

I was a business major at Texas Tech University and decided to become a lawyer when I kept running into the same answer. Whenever I would ask the reason behind a certain business decision, the professor would attribute it to a legal requirement. I didn’t want that to be the end of the story; I wanted to understand why.

I graduated in three years, in 1982, with a degree in finance, and then enrolled in the School of Law of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I’ve found that a legal background allows you to cut through the clutter and identify the important issues.

Read the full story.

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