Jason McMinn is a University of Texas at Austin alumnus and the founding attorney of McMinn Law Firm, an Austin personal injury firm. McMinn studied accounting and was a part of the Texas Longhorn baseball team, graduating in the Class of 2001. He then received his juris doctor from Texas Tech University Law School in 2004 and has since led McMinn Law Firm for the past 15 years. McMinn Law Firm is a proud sponsor of Texas Undergraduate Law Review.
TULR: What are some things that you did as an undergrad at the University of Texas that would have set you up for success later on? Is there any advice you would give to an undergraduate student who is an aspiring attorney?
JM: “I have no particular advice. I’ll just say, I played baseball at the University of Texas and did a year of junior college before I came to UT. I treated every day like a job. Have fun in college, but know at the same time that you got to start getting yourself ready for the real world. It’s not just all about work, but you have to take things seriously. Law school is not for everybody. I had a really good friend, he is very successful now, who dropped out after his first year. It just wasn’t for him. For undergrads, I will tell you I was in the professional program of accounting in the business school. I learned really quickly that I didn’t want to be an accountant. My next step was to go to law school, and it went that direction for me.”
What do you believe are important traits in an attorney?
“Focus, drive, and integrity are really what’s most important in becoming a successful attorney. As well as having good character — lawyers are held to a very high standard. You get scrutinized. Anything you do, you can lose your bar card over, you could ruin clients’ cases. It takes a lot of daily grind in making sure you’re doing your job. Their lives are in your cases. You’re zealously advocating for them to the best of your ability, but you’re doing it with integrity, character and respect.”
What core values do you hold within your firm?
“The core values of the firm have always been about the client and making sure their interests come first because that is who we are working for. It’s not just about the lawsuits or the one single event that they are involved in, we try to help them with their medical bills and everything else they have going on in life. Our work is not just about getting them a settlement and turning them away. We try to help them through all avenues.”
Are there any cases that stand out as particularly memorable to you?
“It’s a terrible DWI incident where a drunk driver ran off the road and hit a 14-year-old girl. She was in Dell Children’s Hospital for almost six months. I would constantly go up there and help her mother and see her grandmother. It was important to do everything I could for them, legally and otherwise. I was there when we took her off life support, but thankfully she survived. We were all shocked. The family was prepared for her not to make it but she ended going home. Life’s not normal for her, but that was one case where we helped the family in many different parts of their lives after they were completely turned upside down.”
Beyond the courtroom, how do you act on your values?
“We’re heavily involved with UT. We like getting involved there because those students are the ones who we find it important to support because they are the ones who are usually the next leaders in the Austin community. We want to watch them go out and help change the world. We also find it important to get involved in organizations like Kids in a New Groove and other different charities like the Boys and Girls Club of America. We try to give back as much as we can.”