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Liberal Arts Graduates

Meloney Perry, JD

What I do now:
I am an attorney and the founding partner of Perry Law, P.C.

My work/job consists of:
My practice focuses on defending insurance companies in coverage, bad-faith and class action litigation in multiple jurisdictions.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
While many lawyers begin their careers at a large law firm, I began at a small one, learning from an attorney who had big-firm experience. From there, I took a job with the boutique firm of McKool Smith, then went on to Baker & McKenzie, which at the time was the largest law firm in the world. Over the years, I found that more and more, clients were being drawn to individual attorneys as opposed to big law firms, so I set out on my own and opened Perry Law.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
I grew up in East Texas and moved to Bossier City, LA in 1988. LSUS was the best option in the area for a 4-year college. It was also much more affordable than the private schools. Knowing I wanted to go to law school, I did not want any student debt coming out of college. LSUS helped me graduate debt free as I entered Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1991.

Fond memories of LSUS:
Being a member of the English Club, the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society, and the Foreign Language Club. The French class and professors helped me meet others at LSUS. One memory that stands out is when we put together a Foreign Language Club inaugural event that presented foods from all the various countries.

The professors helped to foster a family atmosphere at LSUS. Each graduate from the English Department had to present a paper in front of faculty and family. My English faculty was there to support me as I read portions of the paper, and had cookies and punch with my family.

I remember LSUS as a young, growing university finding its footing in the community and the State of Louisiana.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
Mr. Patrick Frank, Dr. Ann Morrow and Dr. Evelyn Herring. They all helped me as I finished up my English degree and applied to law schools. Each one gave me great advice and support.

How LSUS helped me succeed:
I was able to complete my degree in a smaller setting with professors who cared about students as their own family. I was also able to work and attend LSUS. The classes I took and the professors who taught them helped me retain the confidence I had from high school: I knew I could do anything I set my mind to! LSUS helped me achieve my goal to go to law school.

Advice to college-bound students:
Visit any college you are interested in and sit in a class in your discipline to see how you like the environment. Students have different needs depending on whether they have to work and put themselves through college. Go in person to the financial aid office and explain your situation. Ask what you can do to apply for all scholarships and aid. Always remain positive and know you can achieve your goals no matter your financial or sociodemographic circumstances.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
Law is a wonderful profession. There are various types of law and you may have to practice several years before you know which type of law is right for you, but the principles you learn in law school help you in any field you choose.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Find something that excites you - that you have a passion and interest in pursuing. I was in debate in high school and through that experience knew I wanted to go to law school. If you have an interest in a career and are unsure, seek out a mentor in that field to answer your questions and allow you to intern to see what the job is really about on a day-to-day basis.

My toughest professional challenge:
When I had cases that were heard at the State and Federal Courts of Appeals and even the United States Supreme Court. The pressure of competing at such a high level can be overwhelming. You have to know that you have what it takes to succeed no matter what circumstance you find yourself in. The other major challenge was knowing when it was right to go out on my own and open my own practice. You have to trust your instincts.

My toughest personal challenge:
Being a single mom in an almost all-male law firm back when I was still an associate. Law is a male-dominated profession even today. Having a work-life balance is a challenge for all women in law regardless of whether they are an associates or partners in an major law firm.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
While in law school: SMU Law Review Association, Research Editor; Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity
While an attorney: Best Lawyers in America, 2019; Rated "AV Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell; Listed in 2005 Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters; 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating; being selected as a member of the Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inns of Court, Pupil (1995-96); being a member of the State of Texas Bar Association, The Insurance Law Section, The Insurance Law Council (2008-2014), Treasurer (2014-2015), Secretary (2015-2016), Chair Elect (2016-2017), Chair (2017-2018); State of Texas Bar Association, Council of Chairs, Vice Chair (2018-2019).

I've learned this from life:
As I have gotten older I have learned the value of saying No. Type A personalities, which describe most lawyers I know, have a problem with saying No. I have learned that by saying No and also not worrying all the time, your life can have more balance and everything still gets done. My faith in God and family support have helped me in this process.

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:
I would take my family and travel to places we have never been.

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