Jacob Durst, Class of 2022

1. Tell us about yourself.
I’m a current 3L from Dallas, Texas. After attending high school in the area, I attended Emory University to study Business and Finance. After spending a summer working in the industry (and deciding it wasn’t for me), I decided to also major in Political Science. That love of the political system and process led me to spend two years after college working as a congressional staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives. While I enjoyed my time on the Hill, I always pictured myself as a lawyer, which led me to apply and to attend law school.

2. Why did you decide to come to SMU Law?
After spending six years outside of the state of Texas, and with a desire to practice in the Dallas area, I was mainly looking at law schools in the state. I ended considering options both in and out of state, but eventually decided that SMU married the best of the things that mattered most to me — the ability to spend a lot of time with my friends and family and to have a great opportunity to work in the Dallas area.

3. What has been your favorite class and why?
White Collar Crime with Professor Shipchandler. He did a great job of combining an interesting subject with his real-world practice experience and really made the subject come alive.

4. When you are not in school or studying, what do you do for fun?
I’m a big basketball and live music fan. So you can usually find me at the gym playing basketball with friends or at a live music venue somewhere.

5. What extracurricular activities have you enjoyed most and why? (SBA, moot court, etc.)
I’ve definitely spent the most time with the Federalist Society and the SMU Law Review Association (SMULRA). I’m thankful that through the Federalist Society we’ve been able to bring high-quality speakers and topics to campus, and SMULRA has been integral to my development as a lawyer and professional. So, they’ve each contributed a lot to my SMU experience in different ways.

6. How has law school challenged you most?
The transition coming back to school after working definitely was difficult at first, but I think that it ultimately helped me out and has made things easier.

7. What has been your most memorable law school moment so far?
I cannot imagine my law school experience without the friends that I’ve made here. They have enriched my time here in so many ways and have pushed me to be both a better lawyer and person.

8. What do you plan to do post-graduation?
I’ll be spending a year at the Dallas office of K&L Gates before clerking with a judge on the Northern District of Texas.

9. Have you had any important mentors during law school? If so, who?
Judge Wes Hendrix has been a great mentor to me and I’m eternally grateful for his wisdom and advice. I also would not be anywhere close to the lawyer that I am today without the guidance of Debbie Sanchez and Mike McCollum at the SMU Law Criminal Clinic. I’d like to thank them all for taking me under their respective wings.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?
I hope to be a better lawyer than I am today, to be in a position to help my community, and to be practicing in the Dallas area.