Carlos Benavides, '09
Current job title or other position
Assistant District Attorney of Hidalgo County, TX.
The county consists of twenty-two cities and is the eighth most populous county in Texas. I, along with my co-prosecutors, handle the prosecution of criminal defendants.
What have you been up to since you were a student at Marymount?
I worked at a private oil and gas company and a law firm after graduating from Marymount University. In 2010 I applied to and was accepted by St. Mary's University School of Law. I graduated with my J.D. in 2013 and decided to take a job doing ranch work for a year before sitting for the Texas State Bar Exam.
What are you working on now and what are you most proud of?
I'm currently working to uphold justice. A great prosecutor knows that his or her duty is not to seek convictions but to try, as difficult as it may be, to seek justice. That is to say, prosecutors should examine the totality of the circumstances in determining whether or not to pursue a charge against a defendant all the way through to conviction. A prosecutor must ask themselves how society will be served by any of their actions, whether that decision is to offer a defendant an alternative dispute resolution, enter an agreeable plea deal or proceed to a jury trial. I am most proud of helping non-violent offenders rehabilitate their lives by offering them second chances, while also trying to provide them with the help they so desperately need.
How did your experience at Marymount impact these things?
A university is, in essence, a place of new beginnings. It's a meeting point of various ideas, cultures, and dreams. Marymount provided me with the opportunity to have my principles, convictions and beliefs challenged. In the real world there are no safe spaces and so there shouldn't exist any in a university setting. We, as students, should be challenged at every opportunity. Because, without challenge we do not grow as individuals. I met and learned from some incredible professors at Marymount. Professors Leverett, Rippy, Karapetkova, and Kovach are just a handful of the brilliant teachers I studied under. They taught me lessons that not only applied in the classroom but that had practical application in life. I came to Marymount a sculpture near the point of completion. The professors of the university helped finish out of the details that have resulted in my most defining character traits. To say Marymount impacted my life would be a gross understatement. The university acted as a transit station--I arrived as something slightly more than child and I left something slightly more than adult.
What are your future career, service, or other goals?
I believe each person's' future holds endless possible roads. However, in the immediate future, I hope to continue to serve my community as a District Attorney. Perhaps one day I will go back to graduate school to obtain my PhD. in English.
What advice would you give to prospective students considering a career in your field?
Prospective students ought not to fear commitment. Make a decision and trust your instincts. An individual can build endless bridges of 'What if's' that lead absolutely nowhere. College is a place to be challenged, not coddled. Develop the ability to persuasively argue your point of view. Don't encourage censorship because differing opinions may be offensive; rather, embrace diversity and engender debate of diametrically opposed worldviews. Lastly, and I can't stress this enough: read, read and then read some more.