Joey Dudek ’94

How did you decide to attend Rhodes?

I looked around at a number of liberal arts colleges. I had originally thought of going to another one, but when I visited Rhodes a second time I decided that there was nothing else like it. It felt really comfortable, had a good academic reputation, and Memphis was an interesting area—it was just absolutely beautiful. I also really liked that it was in the middle of a city as opposed to the middle of nowhere.


What about your experience at Rhodes? Do you have any fond memories, favorite class, etc?

Oh gosh. Honestly, my favorite class was probably my first year International Relations class with Andrew Michta. I am so glad he’s back. It was so cool because while we were studying, we were literally seeing history. It was the year the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Bloc fell, and so while we were reading about all of these international subjects that we thought were settled, it was all literally changing every day. We ended up having these fantastic discussions in class about what was happening and where it was all going; it was just really an amazing time.


Do you think experiences such as the one you had in your International Studies class helped you become interested in law?

It probably did. I knew going in that I probably wanted to be an attorney, but I will say that the Rhodes College experience re-enforced the idea that this was the career I wanted. I am just convinced there is no better preparation for a career in law than a liberal arts education.

I’m a transactional attorney, so I majored in business at Rhodes and that helped me learn the area of law that interested me. I also took a lot of writing classes at Rhodes. You do a lot of writing in both law school and in my career. The Rhodes experience also teaches you critical thinking, how to handle multiple assignments. These things are absolutely essential when you are an attorney.


What are some of your successes professionally or personally?

I was named “Top 40 under 40” in the Memphis Business Journal and I have been named a Mid-South Super Lawyers risings star for security and corporate finance. In my practice, all accomplishments are usually a team-effort. I am a full partner in the third largest law firm in Memphis, and I am obviously very proud of that.


Do you think Rhodes helped you work as a team member, like you do in your career?

Absolutely. When we did case studies in my business classes, we all had to work in teams. It really did teach you how to work effectively and delegate responsibility. I was also IFC president, secretary for my fraternity, ATO, and a member of the Honor Council.


How did those experiences shape you into who you are today?

Having to deal with the other fraternities really prepared me for dealing with conflict and negotiating between groups. The same goes for student government. I would often have to rule if some things were carried out properly and such. The Honor Council taught me ethics and integrity. It was obviously a very difficult position. It was an honor to do it, I wouldn’t necessarily say it enjoyed it, but I knew it was a bedrock of the college.


By: Charlotte Young ’13