Floy Gaidarski, J.D. Candidate 2021 and Tax LL.M. 2022

1. Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Dallas, Texas. Most of my professional colleagues know me as a suited go-getter who leads non-profits when she’s not too busy studying business law or negotiating across the nation. But in the evenings or on weekends, I trade my Hugo Boss for Saucony to rack up miles sprinting up Northaven Trail or pedaling around White Rock Lake on my Cannondale Ultegra, reminiscent of training days for the Ironman Triathlon that I completed in Zurich, Switzerland.

2. Why did you decide to come to SMU Law?
I decided to attend SMU Dedman School of Law to pursue training in business law and establish a client base in Dallas. I was especially drawn to the Business Law Leadership Program and transactional opportunities provided by the Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership—which has been incredibly supportive of my ambitions. Because of SMU’s unique corporate law curriculum, I was able to achieve national recognition from the American Bar Association for negotiation and drafting in M&A, to earn the national championship title of “The Closer” for skillful dealmaking, and to realize my dream job.

3. What has been your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Corporate Finance and Acquisitions with Professor Steven Smathers, Chief Legal Counsel for Sowell & Co., because his class was a conversation. And (nerd alert) the exam was fun! Representing a buyout firm, I analyzed the potential acquisition of a private Texas-Louisiana healthcare company and advised on acquisition structure, capital structure, and risk. Assessing the target’s key revenues from services to Medicare patients by branches with quasi-monopolies along the southern coast, I calculated hurricane-related business interruption risk and gauged state policy trends on license moratoriums to artfully discount cash flows and qualify my comparable companies analysis.

4. When you are not in school or studying, what do you do for fun?
I love hanging out with my dogs and my siblings. It’s always one more round of Catan, Codenames, or Mario Kart at the Gaidarski House in Dallas or in between off-road skiing shenanigans and downhill racing at our annual, epic ski trip to Utah.

5. What extracurricular activities have you enjoyed most and why?
I have most enjoyed serving SMU’s Board of Advocates to shape the future of transactional law opportunities at SMU and to mentor students interested in corporate law. I was honored to be recognized by the Board for client advocacy in dealmaking as a Master Advocate, a title traditionally reserved for talented future litigators who excel in moot court and mock trial. As a volunteer and Rowling Scholar, I am thrilled to be a part of the Board and the Rowling Center’s mission of marking SMU Law as a university nationally renowned for a competitive transactional and business law curriculum.

6. How has law school challenged you most?
A favorite professor once warned me that, “sometimes good is good enough.” Committing to good and eschewing perfect when the moment calls is crucial to success in law school. I have begrudgingly accepted that I don’t have 48 hours in a day needed to be Super Woman in everything—at least for now. I’ve learned to prioritize matters that merit 1000% percent effort above those matters suited to be good enough.

7. What has been your most memorable law school moment so far?
Working with Professor Carla Reyes on The Closer’s deal file under a 24-hour crunch was the most memorable moment in law school. It was mind-blowing to strategize 1-1 with a genius who loves legal education as much as I do. Professor Reyes’s ongoing contribution to law at large is incredible; check out her current project on the legal nature, use, and transfer of digital assets at UNIDROIT International Institute for the Unification of Private Law.

8. What do you plan to do post-graduation?
After graduation, I will obtain a Master of Laws in Taxation to complement my future corporate practice with Locke Lord LLP. I can’t wait to rejoin my brilliant team as a full-time associate next fall. I am thankful to hiring partner Will Becker, recruiting coordinator Ashley Hightower, summer mentorship team—Jack Jacobsen, Chrissy Metcalf, Kelsey French, and Sahil Nooruddin—and Partners Don Glendenning, Whit Roberts, Kevin Twining, Jason Schumacher, and Philip Bush, who gave me substantial work experience in private equity, energy, and restructuring.

9. Have you had any important mentors during law school?
Director Eric Hinton of the Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership has been a solid mentor and role model. When I endeavor, he sponsors; when I imagine, he engineers. SMU Law students are lucky to have Director Hinton substantiate business law opportunities—like the Business Law Boot Camp, the Corporate Counsel Externship Program, and the Business Law Concentration—through which students can master the multi-faceted practice of business law and network with executives across industries.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?
I will be a partner at the firm and adjunct professor at SMU Law. I also see Goldendoodles. Lots of Goldendoodles.