Attorney Donald W. Hudspeth has more than twenty years of experience practicing corporate and business law. He received his Juris Doctorate from ASU Law in 1988 and has continued to support ASU Law as an alumnus. Before attending law school, Mr. Hudspeth held a stock brokers license at the age of 21 and owned his own business at the age of 23.
What led you to give back to ASU Law?
Several things, including the desire to leave things as good or better than I find them. But most of all gratitude. I began law school at the age of 36 because the big box stores were running my mall stores out of business. Being admitted and graduating from ASU Law allowed me to start on a new career path. Now I represent and advise business owners like I was. The law school helped me. I want to help it.
Why do you feel it is important to philanthropically support ASU Law?
Karma, for one thing. More specifically I want to help the law school be as good as it can be and to attract students, who by being the best that they can be, help their clients and the community. And, of course, ASU Law is a great school, I feel proud and privileged to have been a law student there.
What excites you the most about the future and our next generation of lawyers and legal sector leaders?
Everything about the future is exciting – and scary. The inexorably increasing pace and quantity of change are dramatically changing our economic, legal and political systems. Soon, technology will do more than inform; it will instruct and lead us. First, we will ask; the question is 'What happens if we don’t ask?' The next generation of lawyers and the legal profession will play an essential role in creating the governing principles and institutional framework for a society which balances technology and our innate needs of self-actualization and freedom.
What advice do you have for our students as they embark on the next chapter of their lives?
One, be mindful that perhaps more than any other time in history the decisions you make really will determine the future of the world. How far are we from a world where major corporations and the government are not separate institutions, but one, with the technology to know and control everything about us? And, can even big government and the large corporations keep the “technology genie in the bottle” and under their control?
And two: Justice Brandeis once said to his daughter: “If you know life is hard, it will be much easier for you.” Law school may be the first time some of you experience not being the best in your class or peer group. This can be tough to take. But life tends to balance itself out. Time and again for me the bad has been followed by the good. And, often the good could not have happened without the bad, e.g. the loss of my stores as incentive for law school, which led to my current practice, which I love. Knowing that things balance out helps keep me in balance and able to “roll with the punches.”
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It is only through the incredible support of generous donors like Donald Hudspeth that we are able to offer scholarships to 100% of our incoming JD students. A gift in support of student success is a gift in support of our community’s success.
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