Following a 30-year career in the automobile finance and insurance industry, Marty McLendon decided to enroll in law school in 2013 as a full-time student. He chose Birmingham School of Law – for the second time.
“I have always been interested in the law, especially the history of law and government. When I was a sophomore at Snead State Jr. College in Boaz, I took a course in business law and have been hooked ever since,” he says.
McLendon graduated from the University of Alabama in 1980 and took a job in Birmingham. It wasn’t long before he discovered Birmingham School of Law where he enrolled and began night classes at the Jefferson County Courthouse. Not long after he began law school, he changed jobs and was required to travel. As a result, he was forced to take a 32-year break from law school.
Following his retirement in 2012, McLendon enrolled in law school again in 2013. Now living in Albertville, he chose BSL again because of the new Saturday curriculum. “I also chose BSL because of my desire to complete what I had started in 1981. Because of my abnormally long connection with BSL, I have developed a passionate pride in the institution,” he says. “Since I enrolled in 1981 and will graduate in 2017, I laughingly tell people I’m on the 36-year curriculum!”
McLendon also appreciates how the faculty and staff of Birmingham School of Law cares about the students. In his second year, his 83-year-old mother was in hospice. “I was going to ask the school for an exception and take a semester off. However, my wife and my sister arranged to take turns being with Mama 24/7 so I could stay in school,” he says. “Even though I was able to stay on schedule, BSL was prepared to accommodate my unusual schedule.”
McLendon is considering how he will use his law degree. In 2012, he ran for probate judge but after winning the primary, he lost in the general election 53 to 47 percent to the four-term incumbent. “I want to run for probate judge again,” he says. “I think studying law should help me be a better candidate and, if elected, a better public servant.”
Another track he is considering is local attorney. “I’m too old to begin a lucrative career as a famous lawyer, but I have an interest in being a small-town lawyer,” he says. “I have a passion to help people, and I want to earn the reputation as ‘that lawyer guy who tells you the truth and doesn’t try to get rich.’ I’ll be content with that.”
Class of 2017