How a former athlete turned Fort Worth lawyer hopes to lead with his heart

ATTORNEY

Free tickets to a Yankees game forever changed Ty Stimpson’s career trajectory. 

Stimpson, then a business college student interning in New York, heard that one of the attorneys for the company was giving out free tickets to the game and struck up a conversation with him. That’s when Stimpson learned he was a former attorney for the Yankees. 

“I remember calling my mom and said, ‘Hey, I think I want to go to law school. Can you mail me some law books?’” Stimpson said. “I always jokingly tell people, which is serious, that I went to law school thinking that I can be an attorney for the Yankees.”

But the Derek Jeter fan did not end up working for the Yankees. Instead, another opportunity came up. 

“Although I never made it as a professional athlete, I was able to work for the NFL,” said Stimpson, who was a linebacker while completing his undergrad degree at Baylor University. 

Stimpson quickly climbed the ladder in the law world when he returned to North Texas in 2013. Now a partner at Varghese Summersett, he leads its personal injury division. 

The youngest of three siblings, Stimpson came from humble beginnings and was raised by a single mother in Arlington. The family of four lived in a one-bedroom apartment. 

“I think at that point in my life, it was probably the most love I felt, because it was all of us under one roof,” he said. 

Before switching over to a private firm, Stimpson worked in the public sector, first at the Dallas County District Attorney’s office, where he fell in love with criminal law. That’s also where he met his wife, Jordan Stimpson, who started the same day. 

“That short tenure of 18 months ended up allowing me a lifetime with my wife,” Stimpson said.

In 2015, Stimpson took a job at the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s office and worked under former DA Sharon Wilson. During his tenure there, Stimpson helped lead efforts to create the county’s first Mental Health Jail Diversion Center.

The project hit home for Stimpson, who has family and friends with mental health issues. Having also dealt with the criminal justice system in his capacity as a lawyer, he saw firsthand the need for such a resource. 

“The Mental Health Jail Diversion Center is to this day one of my fondest professional accomplishments,” Stimpson said. “There are some mental illnesses that, unfortunately, lead to people coming in contact with the criminal justice system, but incarceration is not the answer.”

Stimpson’s wife, Jordan, described him as someone who genuinely cares about making his community a better place — not just for his baby daughter but also for others. That, she said, makes him a great leader. 

“He’s one of those people who, when he’s on your team, you know everything’s gonna be OK. He will figure it out,” Jordan said. “That is the type of leader that people need. People can trust him. He has a genuine heart which people rely on.”

Daphne Barlow Stigliano, CEO and president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County, said Stimpson is not only a great connector but he leans on his experiences — including attending a Boys & Girls Club growing up — to find solutions and lead by example. 

“He’s got a lot of balls that he has in the air that he juggles all the time, but he does it more beautifully than I think a lot of people do,” Stigliano said. “He’s clear about what he can do and what he can’t do and he follows through with what he can do. And for that reason, he is a great (leader).”

Stimpson understands how important it is for aspiring leaders to have a platform where their voices can be heard. He created a podcast, “Take This Down with Ty Stimpson,” where he interviews individuals in Dallas-Fort Worth who have made an impact in their communities. 

“It allows me to, one, learn about people, their story, what makes them turn, but also what they had to overcome to get where they’re at,” Stimpson said. 

In the decade since Stimpson decided to become a lawyer, he has been recognized for his work across Tarrant County with various awards. He recently received the 2023 Young Professional of the Year award from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. 

While he acknowledges the praise and is humbled by it, Stimpson just wants to lead with his heart rather than his pride or ego. 

“I’m always trying to make sure that when I do things or I put myself out there, it’s aligned to what my values are. It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart,” he said. 

Ty Stimpson’s Bio:

Birthplace: Waco, Texas

Moved to North Texas: At 18 months old, in Arlington 

Family: His wife of seven years, Jordan Stimpson; one daughter

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing from Baylor University; Juris Doctor degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University; and a Master of Law degree in international and comparative sports from St. John’s University School of Law 

Work experience: Graduate attorney intern for the National Football League (2013); assistant district attorney for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office (2013-2015); assistant criminal district attorney for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office (2015-2021); trial attorney at Patterson Law Group (2021-2023); partner at Varghese Summersett (present)

Volunteer experience: Tarrant Area Food Bank board chair; Boys & Girls Club of Greater Tarrant County board member; LVTRise board chair; Young Men’s Leadership Academy advisory board member; L. Clifford Davis Legal Association past president; former chair of the Criminal Justice Committee of the city of Fort Worth Race and Culture Task Force 

First job: “My first job ever was at a day care, Highpointe Children’s Academy. I was paid $5.65 an hour to make lunches for the ‘big kids’ and help chaperone summer field trips.”

Advice for someone learning to be a leader: “Your voice is needed. Your presence is also needed. Find the right space or the right fit to utilize your time, talents and treasures. … If not me, then who?”

Best advice ever received: “Don’t let the fear of being told no stop you from pursuing your goals and dreams. Not everyone will believe in you or support you, but that doesn’t mean you give up. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at [email protected]. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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