February 25, 2021

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Ben Dower

AYLA: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your law practice.

Dower: Having lived in Austin for over 20 years, I claim the coveted title of “Austin Native.” (Just don’t check my birth certificate.) My parents and sister still live here, and I have been maintaining rigorous quarantine practices so I can stay in their “pandemic bubble.” (And, if it hasn’t been claimed already, © on that phrase as the title of my first book, album, or film.)  As you can probably tell, I know nothing about intellectual property law.  Instead, I practice civil litigation at the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. My clients are primarily state officials, state employees, state agencies, and public universities. These days, my caseload includes lawsuits challenging the State’s response to the pandemic. Consequently, I have been eating temporary injunction hearings for breakfast via Zoom (unless they’re on Travis County’s 2 p.m. docket, in which case they’re more of a late lunch). It is fast-paced but rewarding work.

AYLA: How long have you been involved in AYLA and what’s been your best AYLA experience so far?

Dower: My involvement with AYLA started in 2014. Since then, I served an ex officio member of the AYLA board for a few years and was elected as a director in 2019. I have had many wonderful experiences with AYLA, including the trial academy and leadership academy. The latter involved hosting an outdoor pie fest, which had great turnout and allowed many local lawyers and judges to bring their families. I also got “pied” in the face as a fundraiser. That may not have been the “best AYLA experience,” but was certainly memorable.

AYLA: What’s your favorite moment of your career so far?

Dower: I don’t know off the top of my head, but I am confident it is not a story I would want to tell in this forum. No offense. And no comment.

AYLA: What’s your best piece of advice for fellow young attorneys?

Dower: Find a good mentor, and preferably good mentors (plural), who will invest in your professional growth. Throughout my career, I have been enormously blessed with wonderful colleagues who have taken the time to teach me how to practice law the right way (upon information and belief). If you are lucky enough to find someone like that, attach yourself to them (metaphorically), and don’t let go.(Again, and I cannot emphasize this enough, metaphorically speaking.)