Alumni Spotlight: Lacon Marie Smith '14

Alumnus Lacon Marie Smith has certainly set the “bar” high for achievements in her post-graduate life. Since graduating from Drury in 2014, she has continued her studies at the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas, worked for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Arkansas, been a published author in the University of Arkansas Little Rock Law Review, assisted in research and scholarly work on the Supreme Court of the United States’ death penalty jurisprudence, and raised her daughter, Alba Grace.

In her third year of law school, Lacon became the full-time student practice attorney for the most notorious criminal defense attorney in the state of Arkansas. This opportunity allowed her to become fully immersed in the criminal justice system, providing her invaluable insights into her future career field.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

This Benjamin Franklin quote was one of the first pieces of advice Lacon received at the beginning of her college career. She has certainly reaped the rewards of her time spent at Drury, specifically in Dr. Dan Ponder’s Constitutional Law class. Lacon says, “Drury gave me a set of global eyes that can see to the heart of a legal issue, consider multiple viewpoints of how that issue should be resolved, and fashion the most persuasive means of presenting our client's case to a jury composed of many different backgrounds and beliefs.”

A liberal arts education gave Smith opportunities and experiences that have allowed her to thrive in the legal world. Her well-rounded intellect is ready to view every side of the legal issues she will encounter. Her passion and dedication for her work is evidenced by her daughter Alba’s opinion of her mom. The three-year old “wants to be a lawyer like mommy” when she grows up. “Knowing that she looks up to me, and that I'm doing everything in my power to set a good example for her makes all of those sleepless nights working and studying worth it.”

Bringing it Full Circle

“Drury has given me blessing after blessing, and I cannot wait to give back to Drury and this community.” Lacon is currently nearing the end of her legal education and plans to move back to the Springfield area. Her passion for justice will certainly be an asset to the community and our Drury family. A piece of advice she gives for current students – “Step outside of your box. Form friendships and associations with people from different socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. Those friendships will challenge your beliefs and your principles, which will help you find out who you are and what you stand for. Take classes that you are interested in. If you put in the hard work, those professors will become valuable life-long friends and mentors.”