By Cheryl Smith, Publisher, Texas Metro News
Have you ever met someone you thought was brilliant? This person’s brilliance is so alluring and fascinating that you can’t help but think that some of the brilliance is rubbing off on you the more you are in that person’s presence.
Over the years, I have met so many who I have said that I know their IQ is considerably higher than mine. And that’s okay. There are probably those who say it doesn’t take much to have a higher IQ than I, and that’s okay too.
There’s something to be said about those who have scored high on standardized tests, but also score high on life’s tests. There are the ones who have book sense, common sense and street sense, as opposed to those who have no damned sense! Which brings me to my truth: Cheryl Wattley is the superstar, the person who scores high in all areas. Smart, intuitive, well-prepared, and fearless in her conviction and purpose. For those attorneys who have been in the courtroom with her, they know they have a more than formidable opponent.
She is bad! I have sat in the courtroom and said a silent prayer that she was on my side because I really felt as though she would have annihilated me!
Cheryl also has a kind heart. There’s nothing phony or pretentious about her. She stands on her own truth and any decision she makes. She’s strong and bad enough to back it up.
Her unwavering support of the causes she champions is commendable. And she isn’t loud and boisterous about her brilliance, so if you think about stepping to her and you don’t think twice and back it up and reverse it. Well then, I feel for your jugular!
You know you are on a solid foundation when she backs you. And I think she’s rich too!
Currently, Cheryl is the Professor of Law and Director of Experiential Education at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law. Previously she taught at the University Of Oklahoma College Of Law. I hope UNT realizes what they have in Cheryl.
I have met several of her students and they love and respect her. They seem to realize that they have not only a great teacher, but a great legal mind right at their fingertips.
We have some great men and women sitting on judicial benches currently, but those with real insight know that Cheryl Wattley should have been sitting on a federal bench decades ago. Just reflecting on the shenanigans that deprived her and to think about some of the people getting lifetime appointments under the country’s current leadership makes me want to puke.
Cheryl is really proud of her students and seeks every opportunity to share resources to help them become better lawyers. She’s the type of professor who brings pride to the profession and passion, preparation and wisdom into the classrooms. Her students are the beneficiaries of a no-nonsense approach to understanding a system that has definitely had its challenges and has definitely been used to benefit the rich and privileged while causing irreparable damage to the downtrodden and unfortunate.
Having Cheryl in your corner, in your classroom, on your side, or in the courtroom, kinda balances the scales of justice because she knows justice is not blind and that just as there are people doing an exceptional job in the legal field, some are not. She knows there are also those who don’t know what they are doing which makes them just as bad, if not worse, than the ones who do illegal or unethical acts under the guise of justice.
Cheryl is actually a part of “Team Cheryl,” a group of ladies, all named Cheryl, living in Dallas and making things happen. The name “Cheryl” never made the top 10 list of names for girls, but I know some very special women named, Cheryl.
She’s also the author of “A Step Toward Brown v. Board of Education: Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher and Her Fight to End Segregation,” winner of the 2015 Oklahoma Book Award, Nonfiction category.
A cum laude graduate of Smith College, with high honors in Sociology, Cheryl received her Juris Doctorate degree from Boston University College of Law, where she was a Martin Luther King, Jr. fellow and recipient of the Community Service Award. She also served as a summer intern for the General Counsel’s Office of the NAACP.
I could go on and on about her numerous honors. This mother and grandmother has a rich legacy. She has done so much for so many and her life’s worth celebrating.