Alan Houston Featured Alumni of October 2016
Alan R. Houston grew up in rural Leamington, Utah before attending Dixie State. At Dixie, Alan turned his life-long love of reading and writing into an English major with a literature emphasis and graduated in 2008 with his Bachelor’s Degree and Summa Cum Laude. Somehow, even after a four-year English degree, Alan still enjoyed reading and writing so he attended law school at the University of Utah where he traded novels and short stories for casebooks and legal treatises.
Now, as an associate attorney at Strong & Hanni Law Firm in Salt Lake City, Alan gets his fill of reading in the form of business contracts, organizational documents, and statutes and cases regarding all types of business issues. Alan also has the chance to write extensively in the form of court documents, letters to clients and opposing counsel, and legal memos to other attorneys at the firm. By doing so, Alan is able to help both businesses and individuals with all phases of the litigation process, from sending or responding to demand letters to presenting the case at trial. Alan has worked on a wide variety of commercial cases, including ones involving unfair competition, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, and breach of contract disputes.
“Within the past month I have pulled out notes from one of my grammar classes because of a question I had while writing something and I have discussed books that I read in my literature classes with co-workers,” Alan said. “There is never much time that passes when something I did or learned at Dixie becomes relevant to something at work or in my personal life.”
What attracted Alan to Dixie was the warm weather and the fact that Dixie was a relatively small school. He liked the element that class sizes and access to faculty/staff were much more favorable than they would have been at a bigger school.
Some advice he would give to new alumni whom are seeking similar career goals would be to learn how to write well. Nearly all communication in his job, as well as in any professional field, is done through writing. It has been imperative to be able to communicate clearly and effectively through writing at every step of his career, from applying to law school to searching for a job after law school, and now fulfilling his responsibilities at his current job.
One of his favorite quotes is from David Foster Wallace: "But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom."
In his free time, Alan enjoys reading (that’s not a joke), playing golf, tennis, and all manner of fantasy sports, and spending time with his wife and daughter.