Texas Lawyer Profiles Kendrea Tannis’ Dallas DA Office Secondment

For its article “A Promising Young Litigator Gains Trial Experience by Volunteering to be a Misdemeanor Prosecutor at the Dallas DA’s Office,” Texas Lawyer profiled Akin Gump litigation associate Kendrea Tannis, who is spending three months as a line misdemeanor prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

Her secondment is part of a nearly 20-year-old program, Lawyer on Loan, whereby law firms send newer associates to help county prosecutors and to gain valuable real-world trial experience. This is the third consecutive year that an Akin Gump lawyer has participated in the program.

Among the lessons Tannis has learned: “[A]s an attorney, you will not have all of the time in the world to prepare to speak in court. And that’s OK. You get comfortable with that, building your muscles, and that you can do this. I’ve seen people who have two days to prepare a case. You can’t get hung up on what you can’t do but focus on what you can do.’’

Akin Gump Dallas partner in charge Scott Barnard said of Tannis, “The deal about it is, Kendrea is already an outstanding stand-up lawyer. But she will get infinitely better spending time down there.”

Barnard, himself an alumnus of Lawyer on Loan, added that this program is the most popular for aspiring litigators, noting that it has been “a huge help for us as a recruiting tool. When we talk to students at law schools, they’re always interested in this program. Everyone wants to do it. Virtually everyone has come to me and say ‘Hey, I want to do this!’”

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