Texas attorney Garrett Couts grew up in a household that bled scarlet and black for Texas Tech University. It was in Pampa, Texas, where he was surrounded by agriculture, showing and breeding swine. He was a book worm with strong interest in politics and wanting to go to Washington, D.C., and had two teachers in high school who pushed him to attend law school.
And with two sisters that each have two degrees from Texas Tech, and a family dog named Raider, it’s not surprising he ended up in Lubbock.
Couts said his mom was Texas Tech parent of the year his senior year in college, and received a big trophy of which she is very proud.
“You know, we drank the Tech ‘Kool-Aid,’” Couts said.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications with a minor in Agribusiness and Political Science in May 2014. He later graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law with a Doctor of Jurisprudence in May 2017.
Back before he came to Texas Tech, Couts was convinced he would not pursue a degree in agriculture. That changed after he visited with Cindy Akers, associate dean for academic and student programs in the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. She told him he could do what we wanted to do with an agricultural communication degree, and explained the benefits of being in the Davis College.
“I learned that there was a lot of crossover between agriculture and that [political] world,” Couts said, “whether it was policy or law or anything else.”
Couts said his agriculture communications degree helped prepare him for law school by making him a good technical writer, as well has having good communication skills. He also said that the professors knew if you were an “ag kid” that you would be on time to things and do what you were asked—it had a positive connotation to it.
During his time at Texas Tech, he was involved in Agri-Techsans, recruiting and promoting Davis College, and served as an at-large senator for Student Government Association. During Texas Tech law school, he was a justice on the Supreme Court of Texas Tech and a member of Delta Theta Phi law fraternity.
Couts first got his foot into law working for Judge Anne-Marie Carruth, former judge of the 72nd District Court, she said he was very professional and mature for a young man still in college.
“Every day was a learning experience,” Carruth said, “since it’s all so foreign to undergraduate students.”
“I learned that there was a lot of crossover between agriculture and that [political] world, whether it was policy or law or anything else.”Garrett Couts
Couts said that working at Carruth’s office kicked started his legal work, she also helped get him his next big job at a firm in Lubbock, Texas.
Couts currently works at Brady and Hamilton LLP, Attorneys and Counselors in Lubbock, Texas. The firm works with landowners, business owners, and real property rights attached to land, such as water, wind, solar, oil and gas. He said he does a lot of transactional work that is more paper planning with clients and less in the courtroom. He also works on estate planning for farmers.
“I really love helping clients prepare to pass the farm on to the kids or whatever else,” Couts said. “I truly do enjoy it because I think it’s something that is very much needed right now.”
“It’s no secret to people that farms are disappearing in the sense that less and less of them are owned by families, and one reason for that is estate planning is very much necessary to make sure that does get passed to the kids.”
Couts said he also works with a lot of younger clients closer to his age that have startup businesses such as food trucks and renovating vans to sell to people that they can travel in.
“You can ask anyone I work with,” Couts said, “I am a loud and proud millennial.”
Couts is also very passionate about pro bono work, and offers his services to the Legal Aid of West Texas. They are always looking for lawyers to take cases they don’t have the resources to take on, and where the client doesn’t have the ability to hire a lawyer.
He said it’s amazing to see how much the agriculture industry needs legal work and “we need agriculture attorneys no matter what it’s for.”
“I think the reason I went agriculture was, one, my upbringing, and two just my interests,” Couts said. “It really was kind of the sweet spot that allowed me to live in all my worlds at once.”
Couts emphasized how important it is to have a mentor, whether in agriculture or not, a mentor you can reach out to when you have career and life decisions to make. Couts said Judge Carruth was one for him.
“She’s been a fantastic mentor for be throughout law school and practice as a young attorney,” Couts said. “She’s an agricultural communications alum and she’s really phenomenal.”
Carruth said it’s very humbling for Couts to refer to her as a mentor.
“I think most of us are just trying to do the best that we can in a career field whatever that might be,” Carruth said. “So, the fact that someone you know recognizes you for what you’ve accomplished both personally and professionally, and wants to emulate that, is really special.”
“Remember that when its your turn to become a mentor rather than the mentee, do it,” Couts said, “it’s just as priceless.”
He said the best pieces of advice he has gotten was from Judge Carruth, to schedule what is most important to you and do not let anything rank higher than it no matter what. Don’t compare yourself and your performance to anyone else.
“Couts has always had that servant’s heart to give to his community,” Carruth said. “Couts and I both share a love for our alma mater, we both see an opportunity to give back to the university that gave us so much.”