Joy Hetrick, Class of 2023

1. Tell us about yourself.
I am a rising 3L here at SMU Law. I am originally from Prescott, AZ and received my Bachelor's of Art from the University of Arizona in 2013. After graduating college, I moved to Texas to marry my fiancé, Ben. Soon after, I became an activist for the disabled community and spent the next 8 years working for and volunteering for local nonprofit organizations serving the disabled community. In addition, I worked in the Legal Department of G6 Hospitality. While I have always dreamed of going to Law School, everything I learned at G6 encouraged me to take that next step.

2.  Why did you decide to come to SMU Law?
When I decided to attend law school, I knew SMU was the place for me. SMU Law has a reputation for excellence in corporate law and public service - two things near to my heart. I was also eager to take part in the experiential learning opportunities SMU Law had to offer, such as the Judge Elmo B. Hunter Clinic and learning the art of oral advocacy by doing moot court through the Board of Advocates.

3. What has been your favorite class and why?
Criminal Law, taught by Professor Ruben, has been at the top of the list. Although I don't want to practice criminal law, I learned so much about how the law functions and the practical issues attorneys have to deal with as they defend and prosecute individuals. It was a fascinating course and truly eye-opening.

4. When you are not in school or studying, what do you do for fun?
I love to take long walks with my husband and work in my garden. (I don't have a green thumb just yet but I love to practice!)

5. What extracurricular activities have you enjoyed most and why? (SBA, moot court, etc.)
The Board of Advocates has been the most rewarding extracurricular activity at SMU Law. Participating in moot court has allowed me to meet great attorneys, build new friendships, improve my research and writing skills, and learn the art of oral advocacy.

6. How has law school challenged you most?
The most challenging part of law school is balancing time. It can be difficult to read, study, outline, attend extracurricular events, and still spend time with family. Learning to strike the right balance was challenging, but once there, makes everything much easier.

7. What has been your most memorable law school moment so far?
There have been so many excellent moments in law school! One of my most humbling and exciting moments was when learning that I was selected to receive the Texas General Council Forum Scholarship this semester. I am looking forward to attending the Robert H. Dedman Award for Ethics and Law Dinner later this month. Also, arguing with my friends before three distinguished judges during the Lynn Pinker Moot Court competition probably takes the cake. And finally, dunking Dean Yeager in a water tank during the 2021 Boo Bash law school event. 🙂

8. What do you plan to do post-graduation?
I plan to practice real estate law with a firm in Dallas.

9. Have you had any important mentors during law school? If so, who?
Yes. A few upperclassmen, Randee Williams-Koeller, Walker Smith, and Marisa Thompson have each been instrumental in helping me navigate some law school uncertainties. In addition, each of my Moot Court Coaches, Ryan Jones, Katherine Handy, Lance Caughfield, and Haleigh Jones, have passed on so much knowledge, encouragement, and wisdom in helping shape me to be a stronger advocate and successful attorney.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?
I see myself practicing real estate law in Dallas, volunteering with organizations like Attorneys Serving the Community, and continuing to support the disabled community in DFW.