I would not be where I am today without my college tennis experience.
I was a nationally ranked junior player and accepted a scholarship to play for Louisiana State University in 1992, at which time LSU was ranked in the top 10. I arrived in Baton Rouge that August thinking I knew what hot was and what it meant to work hard. I was wrong on both fronts. Not only is August in Baton Rouge possibly the hottest and most humid place I’ve ever been, I was introduced to another level of working hard as I strove to become a top ranked junior player.
Over the course of the next four years I obtained my degree in marketing, but more importantly, got a higher education on how to pursue excellence, what it means to compete, and what it means to be part of a team. It was our goal to always work harder and be more prepared than any other team that we went up against. It was also our goal to compete as hard as we could and to the utmost of our ability.
When I finished my collegiate tennis career, I knew that it was time for me to move onto the next phase of my life. I chose to attend law school. Lots of people talk about how difficult law school can be, and it is, but working hard and working relentlessly were just habits at that point—so I was prepared for it.
I graduated and became the first attorney in my family. I got my first job as an attorney through someone that I played tennis with. That opportunity led to many more.
Eventually, I had the opportunity to start a firm, and I did so with two other attorneys. We started small, and it has continued growing ever since. Today we have offices throughout the state of Louisiana with 200 employees. About 10 years ago, I also started a consulting company that works with law firms with the goal of improving efficiency. I have been lucky enough to work with over 100 law firms across the country in this capacity. We also purchased an advertising agency in Nashville that handles the marketing for more than 40 law firms across the country. Finally, we also have a company that builds software for law firms.
Aside from the “business” side of things, we’re also fortunate to be able to give back to our community through our #DoRight4LA initiatives—something I consider an obligation. This community has been so great to us, and we love having the opportunity to put our time, effort, and energy into making it better. Yes, we donate money to a lot of local organizations, host a lot of fun events, and do a lot of RAKS (random acts of kindness). However, what I’m most proud of is a program we launched in 2018: The Dudley DeBosier Leadership Academy. We host training seminars on a quarterly basis for area non-profits. Aside from training on organization, marketing, accounting, etc.—things they’re often not afforded the opportunity to get—we’ve been able to create a networking group like none other. We started out with 20 participants, and our last session had over 60 organizations represented, with almost 100 in attendance.
We stay busy, but it could not be manageable without the skills I acquired during my time playing collegiate tennis. Building a team, organizing your time, working hard, competing hard, and being prepared are all things that have served me well in my post collegiate career.
I still play tennis as much as I can. I probably have more fun playing now than I ever have. Tougher to move around, and I don’t hit the ball as hard, but it is still just fun to do. I wouldn’t change the experiences or friendships I have enjoyed from tennis for anything in the world.
-Chad Dudley, Louisiana State University ’96