For Pool, law career strikes right chord

Law Talk profile for The Memphis Daily News

July 11, 2013

Chances are good that you’ve seen attorney David Pool in action. Maybe not pacing the courtroom floor in front of a jury but in front of a raucous crowd at a late-night tavern. The in-house counsel for Drexel Chemical Co. came to the legal profession late, having been heavily involved in the local music scene with groups such as Pam and the Passions, and Carson & Pool.

Pool received a bachelor’s degree in commercial music with a concentration in jazz composition from the University of Memphis and then taught at Memphis Catholic, Central High School and Lausanne Collegiate School.

After seven years of teaching, he became a full-time professional musician, touring Europe, resort towns and with regular summer gigs in Destin, Fla.

Why give up nights on the beach club circuit for days in a law library? The idea was never far off, Pool’s father had been an attorney and Pool knew he could go to him with any questions.

“There were many times when he said, ‘You signed a contract? Let me look at it,’” Pool said. “But like any adult, you end up in situations with contracts or purchases … where you feel like you really got the raw end of the deal, so I frequently thought about going back to school.”

Couple the wisdom from his father with the fact that the music business is overrun with bad deals, and at 37 Pool found himself at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

“It was very demanding; every day I would think when I woke up, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’” he said of being more than a decade older than the average law student. “It was a real eye-opener, the amount of effort and work and diligence you had to put into it.”

After graduating in 2008, Pool teamed with attorney David Ray for half a year before heading out on his own in general practice. He enjoyed working solo and soon found himself with more work than he’d expected. Being an older attorney when starting his practice, Pool had the advantage of a network already in place and referrals and clients came from the many people he’d met while performing live over the years. “I was so busy that I hired a secretary just to answer the phone,” he said . . . (read more)