Harding University
August 17, 2011

Alumnus top of his class in law school

Kyle Fonville made Searcy his home for four years before graduating
from Harding University in May 2010. After being named Outstanding
Criminal Justice major during his final year at Harding, he headed to
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth last fall. A
year later, the Mt. Dora, Fla., native is celebrating a unique
achievement — he finished his first year at the top of his class and
will receive full tuition for the final two years.

“From the first week of law school, I knew that I was where God wanted
me to be because, despite the heavy workload and high stress, I was
thoroughly enjoying it,” said Fonville. “I knew that my passion for
the law had been lit, but had no idea that I would end the year at the
top of my class.”

After receiving advice from others, Fonville decided the best approach
to law school would be to treat it like a job. He only had between two
and three hours of classes four days a week but studied at least nine
hours each day, including weekends. He admits it was difficult at
first but the fact that he enjoyed the work so much made it easier.

Fonville said his time at Harding was instrumental to his success.
When he started classes in 2007 he had no idea where he would end up
after graduation and initially planned on entering the law enforcement
field. But, as he neared completion of the criminal justice program,
he took a few law classes in the political science department and
realized his true passion was to study the law.

Although his classes were a very important part of his decision to go
on to law school, he said one of his professors and the director of
the criminal justice program, Dr. BJ Houston, was the largest
influence.

“Dr. Houston was the biggest reason that I am where I am today,” said
Fonville. “Her teaching method is very similar to law school, so I was
able to see firsthand what it would be like. What really made up my
mind, however, was listening to her stories and hearing about her
experience as an attorney. She showed me how much of a difference a
Christian lawyer can make in this world and how important it is to use
the gifts that God has given me to do His work.”

Fonville put those lessons into practice this summer during an
internship with the Family Violence Unit of the Tarrant County
District Attorney’s Office in Fort Worth.

“I have seen the need that many people have for legal representation
and the lack of Christian lawyers to give it to them,” he said.
“Ultimately, I want to gain sufficient skills and knowledge so that I
may adequately assist individuals or organizations that need it most
but who cannot afford it.”

Fonville will graduate from law school in May 2013.