08:00 AM

Closing statements: Why did you become a lawyer?

Vol. 80, No. 1 / Jan.-Feb. 2024

Whitney Scurlock, chief deputy counsel, Missouri Public Service Commission, Jefferson City

“I always think it’s funny when someone asks why I became a lawyer because I never even thought about going to law school as a kid. I loved to read and write my whole life and in my second year of college I thought, ‘Maybe I should try going to law school?’ As if going to law school was the same as going somewhere on vacation! But I think in hindsight I have spent my whole life advocating for what I believed in and listening to all of the facts of a situation before I come to a decision. Deep down I think my soul always knew it wanted to be a lawyer; it just took time for the rest of me to catch up.”

Jessica Chinnadurai, attorney advisor, U.S. Copyright Office, Washington, D.C.

“I’ve always deeply appreciated the creative arts. My love of music started with piano lessons as a young girl, while college courses in photography expanded my artistic interests. Today, I still finish a good book or movie and reflect on the story, in complete awe of the author or director. I became a lawyer because I’m fascinated by the human mind—how we perceive and process our experiences and feel inspired to create music, artwork, literature, and more. It’s a privilege to educate people about their intellectual property rights and help them understand the economic and cultural value of their creativity.”

John Gunn, The Gunn Law Firm, St. Louis

“Becoming a lawyer was never really on my radar. As a senior in college, I realized that I had no job prospects and no clue where I even wanted to live. My parents understood how difficult this might become and made me an offer: if I decided to take the LSAT, they would pay for it. I took them up on the offer, did fairly well on that test, and applied to Saint Louis University School of Law. I was accepted and enrolled. By the end of the first semester (while studying for a torts final) it washed over me like a warm bath that this, the legal profession, is where I belonged.”

We were wondering… Who is your professional mentor? Share your answer by writing to hkiddoo@mobar.org or filling out a form at mobar.wufoo.com/forms/closing-statements.