Featured DBA Member
Each month a 2014 Section or Committee Chair is selected as a featured member. This month we are pleased to feature:
Stephanie Luce Ola
Sorrels Udashen & Anton
Criminal Law Section Chair
University of Oklahoma / Texas Tech University School of Law
Years Practicing: 6
How Have You Been Involved in the DBA?
I have been a member of the Dallas Bar Association and DAYL my entire practice. I learned about the enormous reach and good works of the DBA while working with Barry Sorrels, a partner at my firm who was the 2011 President of the DBA. I participated in the E-Mentoring program with DISD, facilitated a SLIP internship, and I wrote an article on criminal law for Headnotes in 2012. I regularly attend CLEs and public forums at the Belo, and I am the 2014 chair the Criminal Law Section. This year, we have made efforts for the Criminal Law Section to work with other committees and sections to support high-profile presenters like Marja Mills, Michael Tigar, and Jerry Kang.
What Do You Like Most About the DBA?
I love that we have a facility like the Belo to bring the lawyers of Dallas together to serve the community through volunteer activities and provide educational opportunities to lawyers and the public. The top-notch continuing legal education offered at the Belo by the different sections and committees and the interesting public forum debates create a lively atmosphere on a daily basis for lawyers to learn with and inspire each other.
What Drew You to Your Area of Practice?
I was drawn to criminal defense before I attended law school when I saw a play called 'The Exonorated' about wrongfully convicted individuals who were freed because of their actual innocence. It made me want to protect people from the horror of wrongful conviction and stand up for our Constitution. What I learned in law school only reinforced that this was the type of law I wanted to practice, and I feel very lucky that I was able to start my legal career as a criminal defense lawyer.
Most Rewarding Moment in Your Practice?
While "not guilty" verdicts and favorable rulings on Constitutional issues are incredibly thrilling, I think the most rewarding moments in my line of work are the ones that no one ever hears about, like when an investigation or prosecution can be altogether avoided and my client can be relieved of that experience without having his or her liberty put in jeopardy for a moment.
What Makes You Most Proud of Being a Lawyer?
I believe that lawyers have the freedom, knowledge, and responsibilty to protect some of the most valuable tenets of American government and society. They help people to exercise important fundamental rights and protect people from injustice. When I see a lawyer who is courageous in fighting these battles, that makes me most proud to be a lawyer.