I am a partner in the Jackson office of Jones, Walker, a multi-state law firm headquartered in New Orleans. I practice primarily in the areas of creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, and commercial litigation arising out of the debtor/creditor relationship. Much of the legal work I perform is for banks and other lenders; I also do quite a bit of work for commercial landlords. I live in Madison, Mississippi, with my wife and two children.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how the sociology program at Ole Miss has affected my work life and law practice. The short answer is that there is no direct relationship. Representing creditors in the business world, in business disputes, is far removed from graduate work in sociology. Notwithstanding that shorthand response, the longer answer is more complex. Attending graduate school in sociology at Ole Miss, along with studying, working, and playing with the faculty and other graduate students was one of the great formative experiences of my life. When I look back at “the good old days,” that period of time was the good old days for me. Let me rattle off some examples: serving as Vaughn Grisham’s graduate assistant, and participating for two years in his leadership development group; getting out of hand (to put it politely) at conferences with Larry DeBord, C.B. Hopper, and Michael Reese; having long hair and writing a weekly column for the Daily Mississippian; studying theory and learning to write concisely under Gary Long; the bull sessions in the sociology lab in the basement of Bondurant Hall; . . . . The list goes on, and I smile fondly when I think of those days, which is often.
Moreso than providing any concrete job skill, my MA in sociology took me to a new level of understanding of – to borrow part of a definition of sociology here – human society and social interaction. For me, it’s not a work skill. It is a life skill.