Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Alumni Spotlight: Wesley Bray

Vol State alumnus Wesley Bray's passion for people and law recently earned him the title of criminal court judge to the 13th Judicial District of Tennessee.

“That means that I am the trial level judge for seven counties in the 13th Judicial District. It’s the largest geographic district in the state and there’s never a shortage of things to do,” he said.
Wesley got the phone call from Governor Bill Lee the morning of July 8th. By that afternoon, he was sworn in. The next day he was in the judge’s office working.
“I really enjoy the job. I promised everyone that if I got the appointment I’d be ready to go on day one and I held true to that. That’s what the governor appointed me to do and that’s what the people expect of their judge. So that’s what I’m here doing.”

Wesley worked as a private attorney for over fourteen years before stepping into his new role. He’s currently in the process of closing down his law practice.
“It’s been a really good thing so far. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a different pace, it’s different than private practice. I’m just looking to help people of the 13th district.”

Backtracking a bit, he began his college experience in 1993 as a senior in high school through Vol State's Interactive TV Program, which allowed him to take virtual classes. He transferred to Tennessee Tech University to study psychology and eventually went on to the Nashville School of Law.

“[Law] was something I had always been interested in and I wanted a job where I could be my own boss, where I could help people with their problems, and law is just where I fell … I’ve always been a people person. I’ve always been interested in people and I’ve always been interested in politics.”

Wesley recognized Vol State’s Livingston Center Director, Mike Powell, for initially putting him “on a good path” in his education. “I really appreciate the work that Mike Powell has done for years for the people of this area,” he said.

Wesley shared his current plans for his future: “I plan to settle into my role as a criminal court judge and continue to raise my family and be involved in the Upper Cumberland community where we have lived our entire lives.”

-By Rachel Keyes

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