Judge Gary L. Sweet
University of Texas at Austin
Law School? Nova University
How long have you been practicing law? 42 years (last 17 as a judge). Passed the Bar in 1978.
Why did you want to be an attorney? I deemed the profession to be challenging, rewarding, and actually beneficial to an ordered society.
What do you like most about it? Getting positive results and having a satisfied client.
What don’t you like? Nitpicking, petty arguments regarding discovery that typically are a complete waste of time.
What are the biggest changes you have seen through the years? Obviously, technology has sped things up. The proliferation of massive notebooks containing information that simply cannot be read, analyzed, and absorbed.
How do you define success? Enjoying the day-to-day; having satisfied, grateful clients, and prospering.
Who inspires you? People who are encouraging, uplifting, and are generous with sincere compliments.
Who has been the most influential person in your career? My father. One of seven kids in rural West Texas. Only one to graduate from college. Went on to graduate from the University of Texas law school. Had a successful 35-year career as an FBI agent. Displayed courage and valor in response to armed interrogators, who were part of the Castro regime, upon his arrest in Havana Cuba in 1960.
If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would you choose? 4-Star Navy Admiral, William McRaven. Led the Bin Laden operation. I admire his achievements and decency. It helps that he’s a fellow Longhorn.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Don’t let the old man in. Get busy living or get busy dying.
What advice would you give to someone looking to become an attorney? Familiarize yourself with what lawyers actually do day-to-day. It may not match your perception.
If you weren’t an attorney, what would you be doing? Probably a business owner of some sort.
If you could switch places with someone for a day, who would it be? A Blue Angels pilot.
What’s on your bucket list? Seeing my three grandchildren achieve success. Taking a photo safari in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and British Isles.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, British Isles.
If you could have dinner with any person, alive, dead or fictional, who would it be and where would you go? Jack Nicklaus. I’ve always admired not only his talent, but also his success as a spouse, father, and grandfather. Also his philanthropy. Dinner would be at Augusta National.
What is something (a fun fact) that many people might be surprised to learn about you? I wish I could play the drums. I took lessons for a year as a kid, but stopped. I regret it now.