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Jon Thatcher, County District Attorney Assistant

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Jon was inspired by watching his father work as the city manager. Jon often saw his name in the local newspaper and felt that everyone in town knew who his father was. They respected him. He was in a position where he could make a difference. Jon looked to the future, “I wanted to be in a position where the decisions I would have to make would effect and benefit many others.”

After Jon graduated from high school, he attended Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor's degree in political science, with the goal in sight of obtaining a master's degree in public administration. Jon spoke with many people about his future goals and while speaking with a family friend about his aspirations, was given the advice to go to law school. The friend, who had also received a master's in public administration, told Jon that with the goals he had, he could accomplish even more with a law degree than with a master's. After some soul searching and careful consideration, Jon decided this would be the right step for him. At this point he was short on time, though. Deadlines were coming up and he did not want to put off his studies for a year. He took the LSAT on three weeks of study-filled days, and passed with a high enough score to get into a Texas law school that fit his needs: Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth. After three years of law school at Wesleyan, Jon graduated in May of 2007. With a beautiful wife, two children (one of whom was born the day after graduation from law school), and a law degree, Jon had accomplished early in life what some never accomplish in a lifetime. Despite such success, Jon's hard work was not over. He had only two months to study before taking the bar exam, so he got to studying over the summer.

In the midst of all this studying and new family life, Jon was still able to make the time for the important internships that gained him valuable experience. While in his first year and a half of law school Jon worked for the City Planner in North Richland Hills, Texas. With this internship he was able to “keep close ties on local government,” always keeping his goals in sight. After completing this internship, Jon interned for the Public Defender's office in Dallas during his second summer of law school. This internship also offered him school credit, along with his first real look at the criminal trial process in Texas. His last internship came after he took the bar exam in July 2007. He was able to start working for the Rockwall County District Attorney's office. While interning there, and while awaiting his bar exam results, an assistant position opened which he applied for and was granted pending his bar exam results. He passed and was able to keep the job which he still works today.

Jon said of this internship-turned-career, “I decided to apply with the District Attorney in Rockwall County and subsequently to take the job, because I saw it as a great start to my career. It also fit those goals and aspirations that I had for myself when I was young. I felt comfortable in the courtroom trying cases. Rockwall also is a place I feel good about raising my family.” Jon has held this position for fourteen months and is currently an assistant criminal district attorney trying misdemeanor criminal offences.

Jon has been given several responsibilities and opportunities in the office. He handles the intake on new cases, reviewing all the evidence from law enforcement and deciding whether or not to file the case. He attends criminal dockets in the courtroom several days in the week and meets with defense attorneys to discuss cases. Of cases which do not get resolved and are set for trial, Jon is assigned several a year for which he is responsible for preparing and trying. He gathers and organizes necessary evidence and meets with and prepares witnesses. He has also recently been asked to learn about and help in the juvenile and mental health division of the office.

Jon enjoys the variety available in a small DA's office. He has been able to gain experience in almost every aspect of his cases. He loves constantly learning new things and is grateful that he is not becoming too specialized. With little room for error, however, and with the necessity of learning things very quickly, things can get a bit stressful at times. Though Jon thoroughly enjoys his job, he hopes to eventually go back to local government and to work more in municipal law. His ultimate goal is to one day become an attorney for a major city.

Jon gives credit to his parents for helping him to become what he has, specifically his father for his experience and training in local government. He is also grateful to that family friend who advised him to go into law, Bishop Philip Sanders. Jon is especially grateful for his criminal law mentor, Jeff Shell, who has been his office mate for the past fourteen months. Jon says of Shell, “He has been invaluable in my learning how to be an effective criminal prosecutor.”

Jon's interests outside the law include his local scouting organization. He says he is frequently approached by boys seeking to earn a merit badge or rank advancement in the area of constitutional law or government functions. He is always happy to help with this. Jon is also actively involved in his church and its functions. While still attending Brigham Young University, Jon deferred his studies for one year in order to serve a full-time, two-year mission for his church. During those two years he served the people of Switzerland and parts of France. Jon is also a skilled drummer. He played for BYU's marching band drum line while there. Jon's most important interests, though, include his family. He loves spending time with his two children and his wife.

Q. What would you do with a free day?
A. I enjoy a round of golf, or doing yard work outside, or an outing to the park with my two kids.

Q. What's the last book you read?
A. I am still trying to finish Reversible Errors by Scott Turow.

Q. What's your favorite T.V. show/movie?
A. I like to watch the Office; favorite movies Napoleon Dynamite, Trapped in Paradise; my favorite legal movie is Fracture.

Q. What place would you most like to visit?
A. I want to go back and visit (with my wife this time) Switzerland and France. Pretty country.

Q. What is your best personality trait? Your worst?
A. My humorous nature; my humorous nature.

About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

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