Gary Lynch, SBU Mathematics Alumnus
"Many of my classmates in law school panicked when confronted with a legal problem where the answer was not readily apparent or they did not immediately know the answer. These students had only been exposed to a “fill in the blank” type of problem solving. They would look for hours trying to find the “blanks” to “fill in” with the law they knew. Unfortunately for them, most legal problems do not fall into this category. Because of the complexities of life and the legal system, solving legal problems requires a comprehensive set of problem solving skills using analytical thinking. My math classes at SBU prepared me for law school, for a legal career and for life in general by helping me develop my analytical thinking and a comprehensive set of problem solving skills. For this, I am gratefully indebted to my SBU math teachers, Dr. Bev Harris, Mr. John Bryant and Mr. John Smashey.
[While at SBU], I was an elementary education major and needed to get my math general education requirement out of the way. Calculus I was the only math class that fit into my schedule. So I took it, liked how it made me work on my thinking skills, and ended up with a math major in addition to elementary education. Therefore, I advise students considering a math major to take the most difficult math class that they are eligible to take as a general education requirement and honestly evaluate whether it improves their thinking skills. If so, a math major may be right for them.
Immediately upon graduation from law school in December of 1976, the then law firm of Douglas and Douglas in Bolivar, Missouri hired me. I became a partner on July 1, 1978 and continued to practice law with that firm, which eventually became Douglas, Lynch, Haun & Kirskey, P.C., until December 31, 2002. On January 1, 2003 I took elected office as Associate Circuit Judge of Polk County, Missouri."
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt recently appointed Lynch to the Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals. [read more]