The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Lawyers, judges come to campus to share advice, expertise

The Collegian logo
The Collegian logo

By Crystal Cantu/reporter

Five men and five women, who all share the same passion, came together to speak about their personal experiences on what it took for them to become the lawyers and prosecutors they are today.

Pre-law advisor Dr. Julie Lantrip and the Pre-Law Society coordinated a panel event March 6 on NW campus where lawyers introduced their different specialties and answered questions from a large crowd of about 100 attendees from all six TCC campuses.

“Events like these are for students to begin to build a pathway into pre-law,” said Lantrip, who also practiced law and is now a government professor.

Most students who attend TCC typically don’t choose to pursue a law degree, Lantrip said.

“It is hard to build the confidence to pursue this career,” she said. “When deciding to pursue this prestigious career choice, students hear that going into law can be a bit of a challenge.”

“Being a lawyer is really hard,” said Andrea Palmer, whose specialty is in risk management law. Palmer started out at a community college and completed her law degree at Baylor University.

Diversity was reflected throughout the panel. Lawyers who were also wives and mothers said time management is key and to not let anyone say that it’s impossible to be both a great lawyer and a mother.

Susan Smith, whose specialty is in family law, is a mother to a one-year-old and a four-year-old. There has to be a sense of balance, she said.

“There are times she is a great mother but feels like a bad lawyer, or when she is a good lawyer, she’s a bad mother but you keep on going on,” Smith said.

SE student Gabriela Guzman can relate to Smith’s perspective because she also is a mother who chose to go into law at the age of thirty-one.

“I was a stay-at-home mom for ten years,” said Guzman, who now wants to pursue a law degree and specialize in corporate affairs.

Included in the panel was lawyer Chris Lankford who serves as the presiding judge for the municipal court in Godley, Texas, and labels himself a “proud TCC graduate.” A student at the event asked the panel if any one of them had a learning disability that made things a bit more challenging.

Lankford, who is also a Marine Corp veteran, said he has a mild traumatic brain injury that sometimes causes him to have a hard time memorizing some things.

All the lawyers agreed that current students who are thinking of going into law or simply starting in pre-law should realize it is never too late to choose to take onto this challenge.

“All day, no day, is the same day,” criminal defense lawyer Bobbie Edmonds said.

She advised students to always keep their integrity intact because that is one thing that “follows you everywhere you go and in everything that you decide to take on.”

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