July 27, 2015

Member Spotlight: Meet Devin Black

How long have you been a member of the Austin Bar and what is your favorite thing about the organization?Professional Shot - Brick Background devin black
I became a member of the Austin Bar in 2013 and have been grateful for everything the organization has
provided to the community in that time. In addition to being a great entry point into the vast network of like-minded professional attorneys in the area, the Austin Bar’s consistent commitment to pro bono opportunities speaks
directly to the level of professionals the organization provides to the community and as a Care Commitment recipient for the past two year, touches the very basic reason most of us became lawyers in the first place.

What do you like most about being in the legal field?
Every occupation has utility, but there are few fields like the law that provide a direct, tangible effect in a client’s life that you can see and work through hand-in-hand with the client. People come to us because they have a significant problem in their lives that needs our attention. I have the chance to walk through it with them from beginning to the end.  This is especially clear when I have the chance the help local nonprofits and small businesses with dreams of changing Austin for the better.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you be?
I would be a teacher. My wife, Margo Black, teaches at an incredible Title I school in Austin and I have had the pleasure of getting some teaching experience this past year coaching a junior high speech and debate team. Watching the students walk into the room with difficulty presenting most concrete arguments and leaving having conducted their own mock trial and Oxford style debate on rehabilitation vs. retribution in the American criminal justice system was such an incredible experience. It is the closest I could get to being a litigator without going to law school.

What’s the craziest job (other than lawyer) that you’ve had?
While working at the Transportation Security Administration in undergrad, I was able to spend a few months as a bomb appraisal officer, in which it was my job to put together things that looked like bombs and to try and get them past the security check points at the airport. Making a Tickle Me Elmo into a destructive device is not something I remember being offered at Career Day in high school.

If you were a character in a movie or a TV show, which character would you be?
I would be Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. I began watching the show my second year of law school and aside from also being married to an elementary school teacher and the fact that he is a lawyer, his dedication to becoming a lawyer that does good and does it well is something that I strive for. Not to mention the fact that he’s hilarious.

We are starting this new #austinbarinaction campaign and would like to know if there is a specific way  you are making your world a better place to be in?
At Black Law Firm, PLLC, I specialize in business law. Austin has hundreds of non-profit companies that lack the most basic of legal guidance because they feel they cannot afford it. Through the firm’s Care Initiative, I’ve been able to donate almost 100 free hours to local Austin nonprofits since January and am on target to give an additional 150 before the end of the year. I can’t do all of the work that they my clients are doing, but have been blessed to ensure that they will be able to run and have the legal support they need to protect the company for the foreseeable future.

The member spotlight is planned as a new recurring feature on the Austin Bar website, subject to space availability.  If you are an Austin Bar member and would like to be considered for a spotlight, or if you would like to nominate a member for the spotlight, please contact Britni Rachal.