Yesterday it was a great pleasure to meet Dean Jennifer Collins to discuss my Endowed Scholarship.
I made this gift to thank the school for teaching me the subjects and skills I needed to become a trial attorney.
I requested that the funds be designated for student scholarships for Fort Worth and Tarrant County residents. This is the first time in the history of the law school that this has happened. SMU Law School will request that TCU, UTA, and other local universities advise their students to apply.
I am hoping that this enables our local college students to attend SMU Law School and encourages other alumni to contribute.
I have been blessed with many wonderful clients over the years and am grateful to be in a position to make this donation.
As I walked around yesterday it was hard to believe that I received my degree almost 40 years ago.
I had forgotten how attractive the quadrangle is. This is one of the buildings where I studied torts (civil wrongs), trial procedure, evidence, constitutional law, and other legal subjects.
SMU Law School does an excellent job teaching its students. Many students in my class have become prominent lawyers, politicians, and business executives. My Moot Court instructor is the governor of Florida. I attended classes with the owner of one of the largest hotel chains in the world and the CEO of State Farm. Another was the mother of quarterback Drew Brees who was a well known attorney in Austin before her death.
When I started in 1976, very few scholarships existed and there is still a severe shortage. I took a part-time job to help my parents pay the hefty tuition, fees, books and other expenses. They both worked and came from modest means. Later I worked for attorneys and a government agency in downtown Dallas to earn some money and further my legal education.
One reason I decided to specialize in personal injury law was because I enjoyed helping people who did not have the means to take on giant corporations and insurance companies after they were injured. It seemed right out of the David vs. Goliath Bible story. I have never forgotten my roots and want everyone to have an equal chance.
We must support our children. It is common knowledge that our public schools are under funded and need help.
Trying to make a small difference, I have adopted a Fort Worth Independent School District elementary on the economically challenged North Side of Fort Worth for the past 13 years. I have supported the school financially. mentored the students, encouraged them to graduate from high school, college and even graduate school, and to work hard.
I have also donated 20 incubator-type college scholarships to the students. I will again attend its fifth grade “step up” ceremony in several weeks and will enjoy learning who the next five recipients are and where they hope to attend college.
While my law firm is best known for protecting the rights of those people who have been injured, I take a great deal of pride in supporting our community, especially our children.
After meeting Dean Collins, I attended the meeting of the Board of Directors of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, another cause I strongly believe in.
For almost 40 years, my Fort Worth personal injury law firm has given back to local charities and organizations devoted to improving the lives of others.