David N. Calvillo

Interview by Will Korn

Photo courtesy of David N. Calvillo

Position: Shareholder in Chamberlain Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry in Houston
Board Member: At-large director since 2020

My parents said that I always wanted to be a lawyer. I don’t remember that, but I do remember I always wanted to be a law student. After watching the movie Paper Chase in the early 1970s and the related TV series, I wanted to study law under Professor Kingsfield! I actively practice in multiple areas. As a CPA, CVA, and attorney, I am a multidisciplinary professional. I thus think it is natural for me to apply those broad interests in the practice of law as well. My father, an educator, has always encouraged our family to learn new things and to become licensed in as many areas as possible. From my perspective, I don’t want to be a “jack of all trades” because then that might suggest to some that I am a “master of none.” Rather, I would like to think I embrace the “Swiss army knife” metaphor instead. My father, a spry 84-year-old, loves to learn; he has bequeathed that love of learning to all of my siblings in their respective careers. I pray that my wife and I do the same with our children.

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed my service for our noble profession. it has been very invigorating and inspiring.

For example, I served on a regional grievance committee for six years. I volunteered to serve because I wanted to ensure that we had good, serious people serving the public doing that important work. As an exam commissioner for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the civil trial law specialty, I enjoyed grading the civil trial exam papers with my team members knowing that helping to maintain those standards of excellence is an important service to the bar. While a member of the State Bar of Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council, I was privileged to know and work with the pinnacle of the state’s neutrals who emphasized ADR as its own practice area. As a member of the bar’s Hispanic Issues Section Council, I experienced the joy of practicing law with these attorneys—many of whom represent the first in their families to pursue this career and find the profession an important platform to help people.

Serving as a State Bar director is very satisfying in multiple ways.
While one quickly realizes how important the work is to the operation of the profession in the state of Texas, it is very satisfying to develop relationships with so many good people, one’s fellow directors, and the State Bar staff.

My service on the board is another reminder that all lawyers should volunteer time to their respective bar associations.
Such service improves the administration of justice, ennobles the profession in the eyes of the public, and enriches the career experience of lawyers. Service to one’s bar association, and thus the profession, is the fundamental point at which our daily endeavor changes from just a job to a profession. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed meeting the dedicated and wholesome people whom I’ve been privileged to meet during my various service opportunities—my fellow directors and the State Bar staff.

Prepare to excel. It takes hard work to become good at what you do for a living, so prepare if one wants to excel.
I also counsel young lawyers to reinvest their time and talents in their community and the profession. I encourage all lawyers to serve in community activities in areas of interest to them where they can help people and serve the profession as active members of your various bar associations.

My Christian faith is the most important thing in my life.
It keeps me focused and grounded in the most important things in life. It enhances the joy of loving my family, who are my vocation to love and serve in this life. My new and old friends provide me with an opportunity to enrich my life and experience even more joy. I love to relax by staying physically active through my children’s Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA) troops, through fitness (running, swimming, etc.), and through my family activities. I enjoy reading and was inspired to author a book, published in 2013, titled Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer. TBJ

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