I’m Matthew Humble, a Kokomo native who took a long and winding route to an English degree in ’13, and who is now finishing up a J.D. at a certain Indiana university that probably shouldn’t be named on these pages.
I came to the English program after having been, at various times, a CS major, an ECET major, and a restaurant manager, among other things. The decision to embrace my oh-so-nerdy love for language is easily among the best I’ve ever made. As reading the profiles here should tell you, an English degree from Purdue can open any number of doors. The program provided me with a set of skills that have been invaluable in beginning a legal career. In fact, my English background paid off my very first semester: I received the highest grade in my class in Legal Research & Writing. Please act appropriately surprised.
I spent the past two summers with Stuart & Branigin, just across the bridge in downtown Lafayette, and I plan on returning there after the graduation. When I’m not in class or at the office, my day is mostly filled by an absurdly handsome Shiba Inu puppy called Hanzo—we can be found anywhere there are birds to chase, trees to sniff, or boats to ride.
Who is/was your favorite English professor at Purdue?
Naming a favorite is an impossible task, but I will say that Professors Johnston, Malo, Pacheco, and Powell were all absolutely instrumental in making my time in the program wonderful, and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you left without having had a class with each.
What is an interesting Heavilon Hall memory (or just one from the campus generally)?
I can’t for the life of me recall if it was actually in Heavilon, but I took Vikings! with Professor Hughes in the first semester after I joined the English program. Listening to him read aloud from Beowulf in the original, I knew I’d made the right choice.
How has your English major helped you in your professional career?
No matter what TV tells you, legal practice isn’t all badgering witnesses and shouting “Objection!” There’s a lot of drafting and revising of motions and close readings of court opinions that makes for bad television, but puts to use every skill I learned in earning an English degree. Deciphering legalese is not so different from translating Chaucer, as it happens.
Who is your favorite author and/or what are you currently reading?
Gaiman has been at the top of my list for nearly as long as I can remember, but I’ve been trying to find time to (finally) work my way through Wallace's Infinite Jest. And then, right this moment, Conflict of Laws (9th Ed.) by Kay, Kramer, and Roosevelt.