David Radunsky began his legal studies at Mizzou in the fall of 1968. He loved law school and studying law, which developed into a desire to teach. In a discussion about his potential teaching career, Dean Willard Eckhart explained that the “modern” career track was to practice for a couple of years before seeking a teaching position. A discussion with Professor Hal Bateman, who had practiced in Dallas before joining the Mizzou faculty, led Radunsky to apply to the leading business law firms in Dallas. He got an interview and a job offer followed.
“I decided to accept the offer from Carrington even though I didn’t realize what a great firm it was. I said to myself: ‘Well, it’s just for a couple of years until I can get a position teaching,’” Radunsky said. He stayed for 20 years.
The style of practice at Carrington Coleman suited Radunsky perfectly. Virtually all the lawyers had a broad array of practice fields. This meant that during his first five years or so of practice, Radunsky touched most fields of law, from divorces and child custody to real estate, to anti-trust litigation, to probate litigation, to tax, and more.
“I even learned something about trademarks and patents,” said Radunsky. “I somehow felt confident doing a lot of different things, at least partly because I had taken such an array of courses at Mizzou.”
Radunsky’s career ultimately focused on tax and business transactions but he considers the broad array of practice in his early years as critical to how his career developed. Through his career in private practice, he represented independent oil and gas exploration companies, home builders, stockbrokers, and many other types of businesses.
The Carrington Coleman firm hired from all the top schools in the country, and Radunsky said he always felt as if his Mizzou education was as good as — if not better than—that of his fellow lawyers’.
“The Mizzou faculty was always practice-oriented; most of the professors had practiced law for much more than 2 years! When the young associates at Carrington discussed problems in the library, I always felt that I had learned more in law school than the others, regardless of the pedigree of their school.”
In the mid-1970s, Radunsky was asked to incorporate a start-up medical device company, Tecnol Medical Products, and he continued as the company lawyer. By 1991, Tecnol was preparing to go public and the founders asked Radunsky to join the company as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. In the late 1990s, the company was acquired by Kimberly Clark for over $400 million.
In 2002, the president of Perot Investments, the Ross Perot family financial investment office, asked Radunsky to join the organization as the chief operating officer and general counsel.
“Once again, the breadth of my experience worked to my advantage,” Radunsky said. “After all, I didn’t have any experience in the financial management industry. It was my experience in handling multiple kinds of legal problems in private practice and as a corporate general counsel that turned out to be exactly the right kind of experience for this job.”
In 2016, Radunsky hired a replacement for himself as general counsel. With permission of the company, in 2017, he began teaching at the new University of North Texas College of Law.
“I taught for three semesters as an adjunct professor at the law school, finally realizing my original ambition from so many years ago!” he said.