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Smith Brothers Follow in Their Father’s Footsteps

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“You’re never too old to follow your dreams and strike out on a different path.”

This has been a defining philosophy in the lives of attorney Thomas Smith Jr. and his sons Thomas “Scott” Smith III and Elliott Smith.

Thomas Smith Jr. found his calling a little later in life. Having previously earned a business administration degree from Troy University in Dothan, he decided when he was in his 30s to attend law school at night while holding down a full-time job during the day.

Thomas earned a law degree from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law and eventually partnered with Shaun McGhee to form Smith & McGhee, a Dothan-based firm that practices criminal defense, family law, estate planning, and personal injury. Much like Thomas, Shaun also attended law school after spending time in the professional workplace, working as a Registered Nurse. Thomas is a Dothan native and Shaun is from Enterprise, and together they built their firm from the ground up with the mission of helping others and serving their local community.

Thomas has seen his own personal journey play out similarly in the lives of his sons, Scott and Elliott. Like his father, Scott attended law school in his early thirties after working for several years in the banking industry.  Elliott took a slightly more conventional path and attended law school in his late 20s, after earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business and accounting.

Smith Brothers Win 2014 National Trial Competition Championship

While attending law school together at the Jones School of Law, Scott and Elliott Smith served on a four-member team that won the 2014 Buffalo Niagara National Trial Competition. Since winning the competition and graduating from law school, both Scott and Elliott have experienced continued success in their legal practices.

Scott clerked for Federal Judge Callie V. Granade in the Southern District of Alabama for two years and is now an associate with Smith & McGhee, PC in Dothan. His practice areas are criminal defense, family law and divorce, personal injury, probate, and other general practice areas.

Elliott clerked for Federal Judge William R. Sawyer in the Middle District of Alabama for two years. He is now an associate with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP in Nashville, Tennessee. His practice areas are corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and capital markets and securities.

When they won the national trial competition in 2014, the Dothan Eagle published an article profiling their shared accomplishment and the brothers’ unique paths in pursuing their legal careers. In the article, both brothers talked about the inspiration they received from their father in choosing to enter the legal profession.

“I’ve always looked up to my father,” Scott said. “I’ve enjoyed banking, but it’s just not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was in banking in Dothan for years, and then I decided to go back to school to get my law degree just like my dad…I really just want to be in a position that helps others. It could be anything from being a plaintiff’s attorney, to a criminal defense attorney to a prosecutor.”

Elliott said, “I’ve always wanted to be an attorney since I saw my dad go through law school as sort of a second career for him. I think I was four at the time and I watched him start over and build his firm from the ground up…I was able to watch people come to him with their problems and see him make a difference in people’s lives. So, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. People think lawyers just solve legal problems, but they really solve life problems.”

A couple years out of law school, the Smith brothers are already “making their mark” and making a difference in the lives of their clients, and they look forward to serving their communities for many years to come.