MSU College of Law
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Andrew W. Dunlap

Partner, Josephson Dunlap, LLP

| Houston, TX

“The real-life, practical training, and interpersonal skills that develop as a result of dealing with real clients with real problems - when it’s not your grade on the line, it’s their lives on the line - that was what really made me into a lawyer who cares about clients.”

Andrew W. Dunlap, ‘11, grew up in Corpus Christi – deep in South Texas. Before coming to Michigan State University College of Law, he’d only been outside of Texas a handful of times.

While you may find it hard to believe that you can experience culture shock without leaving the country, Dunlap confirmed that it can – and does – happen. Growing up in a city heavily influenced by Hispanic culture, he saw major differences between Texas and the Midwest.

“You go up to Michigan and it’s an entirely different culture,” said Dunlap. “The thinking is different. The politics are different. It really helped broaden my view of things and give me an open mind, which I think education is supposed to do. And it made me a better person when I moved back home.”

Being an out-of-state student and learning as an outsider how law is practiced in Michigan gave Dunlap the confidence to practice in other states. Today, he’s a partner at Josephson Dunlap, LLP, where he represents employees, in Fair Labor Standards Act and related state law collective and class action lawsuits, whose wages are being wrongfully withheld from them by multi-national companies across the United States. Dunlap spends a significant amount of his time in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Louisiana, and California, while his office is in Houston, Texas.

In addition to his great appreciation of MSU football and the spirited Spartan community, Dunlap said some of his most powerful experiences at MSU Law came from his time in the MSU Law Immigration and Rental Housing Clinics.

Dunlap’s work in the clinics was so formative that it inspired him to donate to MSU Law’s Annual Fund, supporting clinical programs for future Spartan lawyers. Working in the clinics exposed Dunlap to high-stakes legal situations that, as a student, he had never encountered before. The clinics, said Dunlap, “make better lawyers.”

“The real-life, practical training, and interpersonal skills that develop as a result of dealing with real clients with real problems – when it’s not your grade on the line, it’s their lives on the line – that was what really made me into a lawyer who cares about clients. It’s not about the bottom line or some billing rate,” said Dunlap. “It gave me the drive to go out and represent people instead of corporations.”

Today, Dunlap is proud of the essential skills learned while at MSU and the impacts he and his firm have had in multiple industries on the way employees are compensated, which ultimately improves not only work quality, but also workers’ quality of life.