On most resumes, “previous work experience” probably doesn’t include teaching English in Costa Rica.
That’s exactly what Andrew Neely did for a year and a half after college.
“I taught to all kinds of business professionals and everyday folks wanting to improve their language skills,” Neely says.
The experience gave the Jackson native an interest in international law, and after earning a double major in business administration and Spanish, Neely pursued a law degree from Mississippi College in Jackson.
Along with law partner Eric Stracener, Neely handles insurance disputes and personal injury litigation as well as some probate practice. “I have a feeling people often start with one goal in mind and end up in a different place. You just have to keep your mind open and follow the work sometimes,” he says.
While the legal industry has bottlenecked in recent years amid a recovering economy, Neely and Stracener hope to grow their practice and over time add additional staff. “It appears lawyers generally are making less money comparatively than they were before I entered the profession,” Neely says. “On the flip side, the legal profession is not and will never go away.”
Neely often volunteers on pro bono cases for clients that cannot afford an attorney. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and 16-month-old daughter, playing tennis, running, cooking, reading, and traveling.
“Get to work doing something,” Neely advises young legal professionals, “There is work out there; just get yourself into some courtrooms and you’ll find that there is work for you to do.”
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Partner, Stracener & Neely, PLLC
Heroes and mentors: “My father and Jeffrey Jackson at MC Law.”
Best thing about Mississippi: “People have a high regard for a sense of family.”
Best Mississippi event: Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade
Favorite Mississippi food: Gulf Coast seafood
Favorite TV show: “The Wire”
Favorite movie: “Rushmore”
Favorite music: Bob Dylan
Favorite hangout spots: The Cherokee in Jackson
First job ever: Mowing lawns
Bucket list: Running a marathon
Twitter handle: @neelyandrew