It was not business as usual for select pre-law students on March 21, not when the 80th Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzales, agrees to meet with you. His appearance was part of an interview for Channel 7, in which he discussed his legal career, his opinions on current topics, and provided advice for young law students, and he was an introduced by Lt. Col. David Yebra.
General Gonzalez served as Secretary of State in Texas (1998-1999), Member of the Texas Supreme Court Justice (1999-2001), White House Counsel member for President George W. Bush (2001-2005), and U. S Attorney General (2005-2007). He currently works in Nashville, Tenneessee as the Rogers Distinguished Law Professor at Belmont University College of Law.
Just before his interview, General Gonzales showed a video of his time in the White House working alongside President Bush. The photo montage included triumphs and tragedy, including the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda.
Following that presentation, Professor Mike Yawn interviewed him, covering his background, career, and tips for a successful life in law.
Students were given the chance to be part of the televised performance, but declined, opting for an informal Q&A period following the televised proceedings.
The students asked good questions, with some opting for personal questions, as in: “What allowed you to maintain composure during difficult times?” His “optimism,” he noted.
Others went for more policy-wonk type questions: “Do you believe Trump’s travel ban is constitutional?” He answered in the affirmative, although noting that his response did not necessarily reflect his policy preferences. Others sought advice on choosing law schools or going into a specific legal field.
For us, this was the highlight, allowing us to interact with a person who interacted with the President of the United States on a daily basis for about five years.
Following his Q&A, he graciously signed books for the students and posed for photographs.