A note: Since sharing this with us, Mr. Perry has been appointed Chancellor of the Chancery Court for the 30th Judicial District of Tennessee. He’ll be a participant at our Pre-Law Conversation hosted by Sigma Tau Delta and the English Student Association on September 13 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. Students can email firstname.lastname@example.org for the registration link.
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Major and Graduation Year: B.A., English, 2004; MA.Ed., Secondary English, 2005
Current Employment: Chancellor, Chancery Court for the Thirtieth Judicial District of Tennessee
What role has the English major played in your career path? I’ve done the two things that I knew a person could do with an English degree when I left Wake: teach English and practice law. I stayed at Wake for an extra year after finishing my English degree for a graduate program in education and then taught eighth grade English and reading in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, for three years. In 2008, I started law school at the University of Tennessee, and I returned to Memphis after passing the bar exam in 2011 to work at my present firm. In law school, I won a writing award, was a member of a law journal, and was a teaching assistant for a legal writing course. After working as a litigation associate for two years, I spent a year writing legal opinions as a law clerk for a judge on a federal court of appeals. My current practice focuses on commercial and appellate litigation, both extremely writing-intensive areas of law. I’m also one of the editors of my firm’s BizLitNews blog, and I have taught legal writing as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis Law School. So, to say that my English degree has played a role in my career path would be the understatement of the century. My career path probably would not have been possible without my English degree—although I must give quite a bit of credit to my mother, who’s a retired high school English teacher. I am very thankful for the education that I obtained at Wake Forest.