15 Alumni to Serve on University’s Pre-Law Council

Appointees Hail From Some of the State’s Most Prestigious Private Firms

Jan. 30, 2008

Fifteen former UT Dallas students have been appointed to the University’s Pre-Law Advisory Council.

As members of the newly created group, they will support and counsel students enrolled in the pre-law program.

The Pre-Law Advising and Resource Center at UT Dallas

The appointees represent some of the leading private law firms in Texas, as well as components of the judiciary ranging from the Texas Supreme Court to various public sector appointments including the Office of the Vice President of the United States.

UT Dallas pre-law students have been admitted to each of the top 10 law schools in the nation. Established in 2001, the program boasts an 80 percent acceptance rate into law schools around the country. In contrast, the national acceptance rate is about 64 percent.

Dr. Anthony Champagne is the director of the program, which, among other things, helps students with academic and personal preparation for law school and a legal career.

The program provides guidance with the law school application process, holds workshops about topics of interest to pre-law students and invites speakers from throughout the legal spectrum.

Pre-Law Advisory Council

Following are the Advisory Council members, their UT Dallas majors and graduation dates, their current positions and the law schools they attended:

Mark Castillo (interdisciplinary studies, spring 1997), a senior associate in the Curtiss Law Firm in Dallas, where he specializes in commercial bankruptcy; University of Chicago.

King Fifer (government and politics, fall 1987), formerly a specialist in construction litigation, he is now a county-court-at-law judge in Dallas County; University of Tulsa Law School.

Deborah Hankinson (graduate student alumni in the School of Human Behavior), formerly a Texas Supreme Court Justice, she now does complex civil litigation in Dallas; SMU Law School.

Matt Hill (government and politics, spring 1998), the labor and employment lawyer for DART; University of Chicago Law School.

Caren Lock (government and politics, fall 1991), regional vice president and associate general counsel in charge of governmental relations for TIAA-CREF; Baylor Law School.

Deborah Miller (American studies, spring 1990), a family lawyer with Palmer & Manuel in Dallas; University of Houston Law School.

Derrick Morgan (government and politics, summer 1999), on the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney in Washington, D.C.; Georgetown Law School.

Vincent Morgan (economics and finance, fall 1995) insurance coverage lawyer at Pillsbury Winthrop in Houston, where he is a senior associate; UT Law School.

Mary Murphy (English, fall 1979), the judge in the 14th District Court in Dallas County and a candidate for Texas’ 5th District Court of Appeals; SMU Law School.

Bryan Neal (government and politics, spring 1990), a senior partner at Thompson & Knight, a large Dallas law firm; SMU Law School.

Michael Peticolas (government and politics, summer 1995), has his own law office where he handles death and serious injury cases. He recently won a major case involving a refinery explosion and as a result is semi-retired at the age of 36; South Texas School of Law.

Kimberly Phillips (criminal justice, spring 2004), a litigation associate with Gardere Wynne Sewell in Dallas and named by the American Bar Association as the Best Moot Court Advocate in the nation; St. Mary’s Law School.

Navin Rao (government and politics, spring 1998), vice president and general counsel of Associated Computer Services in Dallas; University of Michigan Law School.

Brad Soshea (historical studies, fall 1999), regional director in charge of longshoremen and harbor workers issues with the Department of Labor in Houston; University of Houston Law School.

Raul Suazo (government and politics, fall 1993), a partner in Martin, Dierdre, Jefferson & Wisdom in Houston where he is a litigator; University of Houston Law School.


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