What drew you to the law?
In college I was interested in pursuing social work as a career, believing it was a profession that helped and empowered those in need. After examining the possibilities and learning about law practice, I realized that lawyers were ideally situated to serve others as agents of change and to make a long-term difference in their communities.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
As a teacher, I see myself as a lifelong student. My students inspire, challenge and enlighten me on many different levels. It is a joy and privilege to get to know students and an honor to play a small role in their professional development.
What do you hope students gain from your courses?
I hope students develop the skill of ethical decision making. Most fundamentally, this involves knowing what questions to ask and where to go for answers. In tackling legal ethics concerns, I urge future lawyers to never stop with asking whether a particular move is legal or ethical, but to also seriously consider how the conduct makes them feel about themselves.
What did you do prior to entering academia?
I worked in the public sector as an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. After I left government service, I practiced securities and corporate law with law firms in Texas. Using that experience, I started to handle professional liability claims against corporate and securities lawyers. That practice evolved to the point where the majority of my work involved the defense and insurance coverage of legal malpractice claims. When practicing, I started teaching professional responsibility as an adjunct professor. I fell in love with teaching and pursued a full-time academic career.
What are you passionate about outside of the law?
Although I run at a snail’s pace, I love long-distance running. My favorite travel experience is exploring hiking and running trails.
What are your research interests?
Generally speaking, my research interests largely deal with legal ethics and malpractice. More specifically, many of my scholarly endeavors involve law firm ethics and governance. I have conducted a number of empirical studies related to law firm ethics and culture, as well as lawyer conduct and regulation.