Behind the Scenes with Sherman Hatton, Jr.
In our first edition of Behind the Scenes we’d like to introduce you to Sherman Hatton, Jr.
Sherman, who or what inspired you to become an attorney?
“I think watching the show “The Practice” with my parents made me want to be an attorney. I loved how they carried themselves and I was enamored by how good litigators could think so well on their feet. Ultimately, my parents saw qualities in me they thought would translate well to law.”
Walk me through the process you went through to get to where you are today.
“I started my professional career as a teacher. I loved being teacher, but I knew it wasn’t my calling. However, I wasn’t financially able to afford law school right out of college. So, after teaching at-risk students for six years, I used my teacher’s retirement to start law school.
I wasn’t a traditional student. I had a wife and a daughter when I started and my son was born before I finished law school. I’m also a professional photographer, so that helped us get by. But it was definitely a struggle.
While interning at Fort Bend District Attorney’s office, I knew I wanted to be a prosecutor. I lost my parents right after I graduated from law school and they have roots in Fort Bend. I wanted to work there as a prosecutor to honor them.
Starting out, I did criminal law for a firm, but took a large pay cut when a position opened up in the Fort Bend District Attorney’s office. I started out in misdemeanor and now I’m a felony prosecutor.”
How do you structure your days?
“My days all depend on if I have a docket or not. I usually have a docket three times a week. I’m either preparing for my docket by making sure discovery is ready for opposing counsel or receiving cases. I also have to make time to prep for upcoming trials.”
What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
“Criticism can be a great tool. I’d say first consider the source. If you believe that person is giving criticism to help you, remember that. But you can learn from all criticism, even when given with ill intent. If you can improve on something, do it. I’m always looking to make my weaknesses my strengths.”
If a kid walked up to you and asked your advice, but you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
“Your relationship with God is the most powerful thing you could ever have. Take every gift that he’s given you to become better than you can imagine!”
What surprising lessons have you learned along your journey?
“Law school was just the beginning. Real courtroom experience is a lifelong teacher.”
How do you balance work and family life?
“I’m fortunate working at the DA’s office. Fort Bend is a very family-centric office. I just remind myself that I’m doing this for them, but they have to be the priority.”
What do you want your legacy to be?
“That he was fair and genuine at all times.”
What’s next for you?
“I’m currently running for judge in a county spot. Hopefully that’s my next horizon.”
What is one thing you want our readers to take away from this?
“Attorneys and prosecutors are not cookie cutter. There are varied backgrounds out there.”