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When I graduated high school, I was not interested in criminal justice. I got my fair share of tickets and citations and, like many people, I didn’t like cops very much. I first wanted to learn auto mechanics and worked for an auto dealership in management over the repair department, but the work was boring and unfulfilling. I constantly found myself looking out the window because being outside the building looked infinitely more interesting. I had always watched police officers at work, so I decided to apply to be a police officer because I liked working with the public and having the variety in my job that the dealership sorely lacked. 

However, after 15 years in law enforcement, I decided that I didn’t want to grow old fighting people. As a police officer, I spent plenty of time in court. I saw the lawyers doing their job and I thought that it looked like something I would like to  do. While I was in law school, I wanted to be a corporate lawyer, but the more I learned, the more I realized it was as boring as my management job. So, I went back to what I knew and became a defense lawyer. I knew how police operated and I knew how criminal cases were prosecuted. It was a perfect fit.

As a former police officer, I know how the police operate. They can’t hide errors from me.

My experience as a police officer has taught me how to understand where people are coming from when they are arrested and how to properly help them. Being able to help people who really need it is also one of the reasons I chose to practice bankruptcy law. I am able to make sure that the law treats people fairly and doing so is one of the best parts about my job, along with being able to tackle new challenges each day and, of course, helping people when they need it most.

But just because I have practiced law for 20 years doesn’t mean that I’m like other lawyers. I’ve never been one for wearing an expensive suit all day because, frankly, casual clothes are just so much more comfortable. My experience speaks for itself, and I don’t feel the need to impress someone with nice clothes when I am perfectly capable of doing my work in jeans and a t-shirt. It makes for an easy transition to life outside the office where I love to ride my two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, play with my dogs and spend time with my wife and grandchildren.

  • JD, Washburn University School of Law
  • BA, Wichita State University