by Nathaniel Miller
C. Gregory Shamoun (J.D. ’89) jokes he didn’t know where the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library was located during his first semester at the St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Before attending St. Mary’s, however, he received his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Mississippi and his graduate degree in Finance from Dallas Baptist University, so he was familiar with the concept of university libraries.
However, after his first semester at St. Mary’s Law, Shamoun’s GPA was below what was required to continue. He said some doubted he would be able to raise his grades and advised him several times to find a different career path.
Undeterred, Shamoun “found that library,” which he discovered was a “wonderful place.” He not only raised his GPA, but also graduated and became a sought-after attorney in Dallas.
Now president of C. Gregory Shamoun, P.C., and managing partner at Shamoun & Norman LLP, Shamoun spoke fondly of his time at St. Mary’s, calling his experience in the classroom and with the School of Law’s Advocacy Program beneficial to his education.
“The St. Mary’s School of Law handed me the experience to go do something with my life,” said Shamoun, whose son, Alex Shamoun, now attends St. Mary’s Law. “I’ve utilized those tools by getting my license, running a law firm and giving back to those I can.”
Success did not come easy, Shamoun said. After passing the bar exam, he looked for employment before a friend hired him to work his first case in Denton. A year later, he was brought on for a wrongful death case in Dallas County, where the jury rendered a verdict in favor of his client in about 90 minutes.
During his career, Shamoun has represented numerous high-profile clients ranging from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to making national news for bringing a donkey named Buddy to testify on its own behalf.
Due to a connection made during his time at the St. Mary’s Law’s summer program, the Institute on World Legal Problems in Innsbruck, Austria, Shamoun became a special adviser to Austria’s Swarovski family, known worldwide for their jewelry.
But being in the courtroom is where Shamoun said he feels most comfortable.
C. Gregory Shamoun
“The St. Mary’s School of Law handed me the experience to go do something with my life. I’ve utilized those tools by getting my license, running a law firm and giving back to those I can.”
“Once you find what you’re great at in the practice of law, whatever field it’s in, your day is going to be more enjoyable,” he said. “Your time is going to be spent more efficiently, and you’re going to be a happier person because you can feel the greatness in what you do.”
Shamoun also makes it a point to give back to the community. As a practicing Catholic, he served as an adviser to the board of trustees for Catholic Charities Dallas and works with Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas. He also helped bring to the Stockyards in Fort Worth a museum dedicated to the life of movie star John Wayne called John Wayne: An American Experience.
Each year, he provides pro bono work to those who need an attorney but cannot otherwise afford the service. That type of work, he said, is most important when it comes to the services an attorney can provide.
“That, to me, is more rewarding than the balance of my bank account,” he said.