Alumni News

Recent law grad makes headlines with nearly $7 million judgment

October 31, 2017 : By Victoria Conner/Liberty University News Service

Students at Liberty University School of Law are trained for more than just success; they are trained to make a difference in others’ lives. For alumnus Thomas A. Vick (’14), that means defending victims and reflecting his Christian values in the workplace.

Vick has only been practicing for three years in his private practice in Greenwood, Ind., near the south side of Indianapolis, but his name is already known across the state. This summer, he fought for a gunshot victim in a case that made headlines. In Genia Wamsley v. Tree City Village, New Generation Management Inc. and Matthew Joseph, which is currently being appealed, Vick represented a woman who was accidentally shot after a neighbor’s gun discharged while it was being cleaned, according to Greensburg Police. He won the case, which resulted in a $6.8 million preliminary judgment.

“Many lawyers serve an entire career without working on a million-dollar case,” said Liberty Law Professor Stephen M. Rice, one of Vick’s former professors. “It’s extraordinary that Thomas Vick has met the challenge of serving a client in such a significant claim so soon after entering the profession.”

Vick describes himself as a dedicated Christian attorney. He attended the School of Law after earning his Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications at Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee. While at Liberty, he served as editor-in-chief of the Liberty Legal Journal for two years.

“I went to Liberty because of its intentional approach at studying the law from a Christian worldview, and I wasn’t disappointed,” Vick said. He remembers his time at Liberty fondly, playing basketball with peers after classes each day and enjoying camaraderie with fellow law students.

He originally planned to go into ministry after earning his bachelor’s degree. A law degree was a back-up plan. He expected that a law education would help him become a better communicator of the Gospel, not realizing how much it would change the trajectory of his career. The more Vick studied law, the more his desire and confidence to practice law grew. Though he ultimately chose the law profession, Vick preaches occasionally.

“I didn’t want to go into law practice separating myself from Christianity,” Vick said. “I didn’t want to be constrained about the kind of discussions I wanted to have with my clients. Part of my practice now is representing parents dealing with substance abuse, and I can have serious discussions with them about the principles of confession and repentance that I wouldn’t be able to have if I didn’t have a well-rounded Christian worldview.”

Professor Rice’s Law Practice Management class, which Vick took during his final semester, was instrumental in his decision to practice law.

“Our school attracts a lot of different people who have different reasons for coming here and becoming lawyers, but one uniting factor is that they are all people who want to be challenged and empowered to go out and serve their communities,” Rice said. “The common theme I hear from students is a desire to be challenged, to grow, and, primarily, to serve. The practice of law is a profession that requires service and a passion for the clients whom the lawyers serve, and I think Liberty law attracts a community of students with a passion for that.”

Through his dedication and hard work, Vick has achieved career success earlier than most, but he recognizes that God has brought him to this point and will continue to empower him as he fights for justice and serves his community. He hopes to expand his law practice with more attorneys in the future.

“My greater purpose in the legal profession, and where I find the most fulfillment, is in service to others,” Vick said. “I’ve had the opportunity to lead meetings in which several people are gathered around a conference room table with an overwhelming problem affecting a loved one. When their case is brought to a positive outcome, it’s a gratifying experience.”