Steve Scholl: A Law and Order Life
Peter Gallagher Traded Law for Lounging in Mexico
languages, which propelled him into the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. Already fluent in Spanish, having grown up in Las Cruces, the Army immersed him in a Chinese language program. Gallagher, along with three other men, was then sent to an area in northern China occupied by the Japanese. The men used their new language skills to report on Japanese movement until the war ended.
Back in New Mexico, Gallagher earned his degree from the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Me- chanic Arts, known today as New Mexico State Uni- versity. Married with a growing family, he decided to see what the new law school was all about and en- rolled in the University of New Mexico law school, earning his law degree in 1951.
He set up a practice with Dale Walker in the Bank of New Mexico building in downtown Albuquerque. Like many lawyers of the day, they were generalists, welcoming nearly every client who walked in the door.
After 28 years, as the practice of law became more specialized, Gallagher was ready to move on. He headed south to Manzanillo, Mexico, where he has lived ever since.
When his grandson, Stephen Marshall (`11), was at his own education crossroads, Gallagher urged him to consider the UNM School of Law. Last May, he traveled from Mexico to see his grandson graduate first in his class. “I’m very proud of him.”
See Stephen Marshall Profile on Page 5. • •
uring Peter Gallagher’s military training in World War II, he discovered a knack for learning
toys, he enlisted his mother to write out a contract that they both signed.
As his literacy skills improved, he decided that he would become a police officer, an FBI agent and a lawyer, probably not all at the same time. His interest in the law was no surprise to his family, considering that his father served as a magistrate and municipal judge for 25 years in his home- town of Silver City. In high school, Scholl spent many afternoons in his father’s courtroom watching trials and pulled many all-nighters in- side a police cruiser as an observer. When he went off to New Mexico State University, trailing Chris Menefee, his high school girlfriend and future wife, he majored in police science.
For six years after graduation, he was an officer in the Dallas Police Department, where he was on street patrol and was one of the department’s youngest field training officers. He also met the last surviving member of the Bonnie and Clyde gang, who had been their driver and mechanic. His last two years on the force were spent as a member of the SWAT team.
His two children were born, Stephanie and Andy (`11). After being passed over for a promotion to sergeant, he turned his thoughts toward a dif- ferent side of the law. Seeking to return home, he applied to the UNM School of Law.
After earning his J.D. in 1989, he joined Hatch, Beitler, Allen & Shepherd, where right away he began taking depositions and going to court.
Eight years later, he joined with Lynn Sharp and Mark Jarmie to establish Sharp, Jarmie & Scholl, where he continued to practice insurance de- fense and civil litigation. By 1999, his firm had grown to 14 lawyers, which propelled him to seek a more intimate practice.
In 2000, he formed Dixon, Scholl & Bailey with Jerry Dixon and Brent Bailey. “We wanted to be able to say, `Serving clients since the turn of the
efore he learned how to read and write, Steve Scholl was making deals. When he and his brother disagreed about their
Steve Scholl (‘89)
century,’” he says. The firm now has eight lawyers, all of whom focus on civil litigation, serving both plaintiffs and defense clients.
During law school, Scholl competed in the Na- tional Trial Competition in 1989, a year when both UNM School of Law teams advanced to the nationals. He has assisted with preparing the team ever since, and in 1992 he became the coach. Bailey, his law partner, now assists him.
“I love working with students who want to learn to be trial lawyers and are willing to work hard,” he says.
In addition to leading the mock trial team, Scholl always finds time to give back to his alma mater. He is currently president of the law school’s Alumni Board, teaches trial practice regularly as an adjunct, helps out whenever asked and is seen at many law school events.
“I love doing what I do, but I couldn’t do it without a law degree,” he says.
“I love the atmosphere at the law school and I brag about it when I travel around the country. It’s a jewel in the crown of government and ed- ucation in New Mexico.”
UNM LAW •31
Peter Gallagher (‘51) and his grandson, Stephen Marshall (‘11).
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