in the Department of Philosophy and Religion

Eleanor Vernon Ruffner

Eleanor Ruffner

Founding partner at Ruffner Schoenbaum PLLC in Austin, Texas

▸ BA philosophy and English, University of Mississippi
▸ JD law (with Honors), University of Texas School of Law

“Studying philosophy made me a disciplined thinker. I think of my job as identifying legal solutions for my clients’ business problems. Breaking down a specific problem into its constituent parts, identifying where the thorns are likely to arise, and planning for them. Because of my background in philosophy, particularly with professors who required you to show your work at each step through the progression of developing an argument for a position, I’m good at this.

Additionally, I still – very uncynically – believe that the law strives to be fair. What’s fair is of course a complicated issue, but working to apply fairness in the law so very often gets you to the right place. Moreover, if it’s a close call, demonstrating what fairness requires can make the difference in persuading the judge or jury to adopt your position for your client.”