Jay Howd | Alumni School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Jay Howd

Class of 1992

Jay Howd
Private Practice with emphasis on bankruptcy; owner and managing attorney for Bankruptcy Clinic, PC

"Your reputation is your stock and trade. Focus on building it and making it better. A Good reputation takes hard work and years to build, but can be lost very quickly."

Educational Background:

J.D., SIU School of Law

B.S., Southern Illinois University

What do you like most about your work?

I feel like I make a positive difference in people’s lives at times when they really need help. Bankruptcy is rewarding in that our clients are almost always happier when they leave than when they first come in to see us.

Tell us about your perceptions of the practice of law:

A law degree opens countless doors and opportunities that would not otherwise be available to most. If you want to do be successful, however, you need to be willing to work at it. If you want to earn and maintain a good reputation, even 20-30 years into a law practice, you must be willing to put in long hours while always being responsive to your clients and those you work with. 

Do you have any advice for law students and new grads?

Stay humble. Too often, when attorneys achieve some degree of financial security or perceived success in their occupation, they become somewhat complacent or even condescending towards others. Some attorneys might compromise their morals or integrity for financial gain. There is no place in the law for people who are arrogant, greedy, or lazy. Both clients and other professionals deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Don’t ever forget who you are and where you came from.