The book was a gift from litigator Bill Dawson (pictured), who spoke at the school’s fall hooding ceremony. Dawson’s keynote speech explained that trials are a “microcosm of life.” Among other things, Dawson discussed his good friend Phil McGraw’s work as a jury consultant before becoming a TV star.
“Winning a trial is much the same as winning in life,” Dawson, a partner in Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Dallas, said that he told the graduates during the speech.
Key moments in every trial determine the outcome of a case, and the same is true in life, he told the graduates.
“It is how we handle those few defining moments that makes all the difference. You’ve got to be watchful for those few moments, and have the courage to act decisively,” Dawson said.
He said he discussed trial stories in which McGraw was a jury consultant. Dawson notes that lawyers tend to look for a certain trait in potential jurors, and that trait also drives success in the lawyer’s own life.
He explained, “Successful people accept responsibility for their own choices in life, and tend not to blame forces beyond their control.”
Dawson graduated from Texas Tech law in 1975, and in 2012, he was the school’s distinguished alum, noted Kari Abitbol, assistant director of communications for the law school.