Texas Tech University law student DaNae Couch (pictured) is a member of the law school’s national moot court team, a former intern with the Texas Supreme Court and a competitor in the January 2013 Miss America pageant. Crowned Miss Texas on July 7, she is taking a year’s leave from law school to serve as the organization’s spokesperson.
Couch says she started competing in pageants when she was an undergraduate at Baylor University as a way to win scholarship money; she estimates that, so far, she has won about $30,000.
The competition earlier this month was her fourth attempt to become Miss Texas.
“Several times in law school I thought I was kind of crazy, but now I’m really glad I stuck it out,” Couch says. “Someone told me you only have certain opportunities in your life, and law will still be waiting for you when you get back to it.”
Couch says she plans to begin her third year of law school in the fall of 2013, unless she wins the Miss America contest. In that case she will represent the Miss America organization for a year and return to law school in the spring of 2014.
Couch says she’s learned time-management skills the past two years while balancing hours for her law school studies and activities with hours preparing for pageants, including her working on her talent (baton twirling), weight training and costume fittings.
This summer she’s been an intern with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Fort Worth, and she wants to be a litigator.
As Miss Texas, Couch says she hopes to raise awareness about addiction and its impact on an addict’s loved ones. “Since I love speaking in front of people and I love advocacy, I can reach out and help people who are struggling and really make a difference,” she says.
Texas Tech Law Dean Darby Dickerson writes in an e-mail that Couch is an “outstanding law student.”
“She represents Tech Law on our national mock trial team, the Board of Barristers and the Estate Planning & Community Property Journal,” Dickerson writes. “I've enjoyed working with her and am proud of all that she has accomplished. We all wish her well during her reign as Miss Texas, and look forward to possibly having a Miss America in our student body."
-- Jeanne Graham