For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We’ve found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?
Most important career lesson: Integrity matters. Be the same person at home, at work, and in the world. Be consistent.
Bet you didn’t know: I married my high school sweetheart, who was the homecoming queen. We’ve been dating, going steady, broken-up, engaged, or married since she was a sophomore and I was a junior in high school.
Another little known fact: My daughter was homecoming queen 31 years later.
Current Project: Surviving a kitchen remodel.
Favorite TV program: Daily Show
When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Drive my Miata, ride my motorcycle, make sawdust.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Overcoming the image that we will lie and misrepresent in order to serve our clients.
Family: I am married to Beth, a reading specialist who recently retired from teaching in public elementary schools. I have two adult children, a teacher and a sound engineer.
Areas of practice: Governmental relations; higher education general counsel practice.
Education: B.A., U.T. Austin with Honors (1973); J.D., U.T. School of Law (1976)
Bad habit: Giving the urgent priority over the important.
Culinary talent: Marinara, Alfredo, all things Italian
Community Involvement: Leadership roles in church and our neighborhood association. Formerly active in leadership roles in school district.
Mentors/heroes: H. Malcolm Macdonald (U.T. Government Professor); Bernie Ward (U.T. Law Professor); Pat Currie (a deeply spiritual and gentle lady)
Latest pursuit: Contentment
Favorite saying/quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Philo Judaeus
Pet peeve: People who think the world is their personal trash can or ash tray.
Secret for staying young: Exercise, reading, involvement.
Favorite album: Blind Faith/ Blind Faith
Favorite place to find albums: My son’s collection of his (and mine)
Favorite movie: Paths of Glory (1957; Kubrick)
The last movie: Up!
Favorite magazine: Popular Mechanics
Favorite sport: High school football
Favorite food: Italian
Collects: Vintage mechanical watches
Generally likes to read: History, including historical fiction. Last book read: American Gospel, Meacham.
Memorable vacation: A month with no plans or obligations.
My favorite weekend retreats are: Kairos Prison Ministry
If I had more time, I would: Ride my motorcycle more.
Best thing about being a lawyer: Being a problem solver.
The part of my job I do best is: Thinking and communicating.
The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: People are always more important than stuff. Jack Collins (my dad).
If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? I don’t care to be anybody else.
Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Atticus Finch, because he acted with integrity.
If you weren’t an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Pastoral care.
What’s the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? High school speech and debate.
Who are the people you admire most, and why? Those people who have learned to be content with whatever their circumstances.
What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Having been licensed for 33 years, EVERYTHING has changed technologically. I am barely Westlaw literate; I still prefer BOOKS.
How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? As with many other professions, ours will have to learn to deal with the ever-growing abundance of bad information and bad legal advice that circulates on the internet.
Read Steve’s Texasbar.com profile
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Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects – not the State Bar of Texas.