A law school course in corporate finance sparked Thomas Brady’s enthusiasm for his current career.
Brady, a 2009 graduate of MSU College of Law, originally thought he wanted to go to business school. Ultimately, he decided a degree in law would give him the professional training he wanted, while still allowing him to pursue his business interests.
“I had applied all over and narrowed it down to a few schools,” says Brady, a Utah native. “I took a road trip to check out law schools, and traveled from Minnesota to New York. I really loved the MSU campus and thought the environment would be great. Of all the schools I visited, MSU Law had the nicest facility.”
A husband and father, he also found the university to be family-friendly. A conversation with an attorney at home, who encouraged Brady to choose MSU Law for its national name recognition, sealed his decision to enroll.
Professor Elliot Spoon tackled securities in Brady’s first finance class; Brady enjoyed it enough to follow it with a course on securities regulation. When it came time to find a summer position after his second year, Spoon suggested he apply to agencies that regulate securities at the state level.
Brady called the director of the Utah Division of Securities to inquire about summer associate programs. None existed, and nor did money to hire Brady, who offered to work for free to see if he liked the field.
“I think the director was impressed with that,” Brady says. He spent the summer working about 20 hours a week investigating bank records and helping investigators put together cases. Shortly before graduation, a job opened up in the division.
“I was the only applicant who did not have any experience beyond law school,” Brady says. “But they hired me because they knew me from my summer work.”
Brady—who now serves as deputy director of the Utah Department of Commerce—considers his time in finance and securities classes well spent. “Professor Spoon was instrumental in my legal education. A lot of what he teaches is what I do every day. My advanced legal research class also was very helpful.”
Brady has helped recruit students in Utah, encouraging them to consider MSU Law for its supportive culture. “Rather than a cutthroat environment, everyone at the Law College is there to help you—the staff, the professors, and the students,” he says. “I liked that a lot.”