What is your favorite thing about the law?
One particular area of my practice, economic development, has allowed me to see that the work we do on the front-end leads to substantial transformations to affected communities through increased employment, new or upgraded infrastructure, and all the positive ripple effects that go with an economic development project. The difference can be as simple as a new job enabling someone to own a home versus renting one. We are part of the positive change and that is really rewarding.
What community projects are you involved in?
I was fortunate to be part of and volunteered to do the legal work for two (2) groups that brought the state high school boys and girls basketball (AHSAA Final Four) and football (Super Six) state championships to Birmingham. The state championship in any high school sport is a huge event but these organizations, in conjunction with the Alabama High School Athletic Association have taken it to a higher level and the positive impact for the schools and their athletes has been very exciting to witness first hand. I am presently the Chairman of the Greenville YMCA and we are about to undertake a substantial capital campaign. I also assist the Greenville community with various economic development projects.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a route salesperson for my mother’s family business, M.O. Carroll-Newton Company in Ozark, Alabama. I would drive throughout South Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and Southwest Georgia and pick up orders from small groceries and convenience stores for goods such as candy, canned goods, tobacco products and sport drinks. This job instilled in me that customer satisfaction is a top priority.
What are your hobbies?
Golf, basketball and tennis are the recreational sports that I continue to play. However, my favorite sport to play is squash which I infrequently play with my partner, Ben Johnson. I really enjoy coaching my kids’ basketball teams with my wife (who was a strong high school basketball player in her day). A recent golf trip to Western Ireland was my ultimate golf experience.
What advice would you give to a young law student?
When I interview law students at Vanderbilt, I always tell my interviewees the truth - law school gives you very little practical experience for practicing law; you will learn the most important aspects of the legal profession in the first three years of practice, so hang in there.