STATE BAR DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT NOVEMBER 2022
Interview by Will Korn
Photo courtesy of Carra Miller
Hometown: Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Position: Managing partner in Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea, BenMaier & Eastham in the firm’s Corpus Christi office
Board Member: District 11 since 2020
When I was 8 years old, my dad decided to begin law school.
During his four years of evening classes, he and his professors let me tag along often. The first time I attended a law school class was that year. That day, the professor covered Sullivan v. O’Connor,1 a case involving a botched nose job, illustrating the differences and availability between the compensatory and restitution measures of damages. Immediately, I became enthralled with the fast-paced nature of the Socratic Method. Then the professor asked me a question and applauded my answer. I thought that maybe I could do this too, one day.
Maritime law first piqued my interest as an undergraduate student at Texas A&M University, where I earned a degree in maritime administration.
There, I took two maritime law courses. One from Thomas C. Fitzhugh III, who is now my law partner, and the other from my late mentor Capt. William P. Glenn. Maritime law is an exciting practice area. I have handled cases involving uniquely maritime themes such as mutiny, stowaways, cargo damage, and vessel collisions. Each case is distinct, posing its own challenges and channels to victory. Never have I regretted choosing this practice area—I enjoy it greatly.
In my time as a state bar director, my proudest accomplishment is being elected to this role by the attorneys in my district.
Each attorney who voted for me did so with faith that I might represent our district well. As my three-year term on the board nears its natural end, I hope that I have met my colleagues’ expectations.
My experience as a state bar director has been positive, practical, and impactful.
It has afforded me an education in how the State Bar functions, how it interfaces with the Texas Supreme Court, and the many benefits it provides to attorneys. Overall, I learned how the missions of the State Bar of Texas and those of other related but distinct entities converge with lawyers’ practices. These lessons will benefit me throughout the rest of my career in law. Another benefit afforded to me through this position is all the wonderful, brilliant people I have met during my service to the bar.
The most important takeaway from my career as a lawyer is the immense privilege conferred upon every person with a license to practice law.
For example, I once assisted someone on the Texas Free Legal Answers online pro bono platform who had a legal problem that they had attempted to solve for 15 years. I gave the person a step-by-step guide on how to address the problem and provided them with additional written resources. They later wrote back to me that my advice had worked. Because of this experience and others like it, pro bono service is important to me.TBJ