The Legal Marathon: A Conversation with Chris Lomax, J.D. ‘08

Double "Cane Chris Lomax discusses his career and how Miami Law played a vital role in his success.
The Legal Marathon: A Conversation with Chris Lomax, J.D. ‘08
Chris Lomax, J.D. '08

Chris Lomax, J.D. ’08, has a burgeoning boutique law firm, Lomax Legal. Lomax is a native South Floridian, as he grew up in Broward County. He is also a double 'Cane, having received his undergraduate degree in music at the University of Miami. A talented musician, Lomax played trumpet and piano. He happened into a legal career in a serendipitous way: his friend asked him to compete in a mock trial competition after another team member was unable to participate. Lomax says that this competition sparked his interest in becoming an attorney, and he solidified his interest in the law by adding a minor in Business Law.

Although Lomax had other options for law school, he decided to stay at the University of Miami because of his love for the university he established during his undergraduate years. He thought about the places he wanted to work after graduation and knew that Miam Law’s strong alumni base and connection to the community would be critical if he hoped to stay in Miami. Throughout the interview, Lomax emphasized how networking and establishing relationships early in his law school career were vital to his later success.

While in law school, Lomax served on the Moot Court Board, was a member of the International and Comparative Law Review, joined the trial team, was a research assistant for Professor Anthony Alfieri, was a leader in the Black Law Student Association, and competed in and won the Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition, among many other achievements. 

Reflecting on the classes and professors at Miami Law, Lomax said that the comprehensive legal education he was offered was “supremely integral to being flexible and nimble in providing the types of services clients need.”

He discussed his love for the Litigation Skills program – the original spark that brought Lomax to law school. Lomax says that the opportunity to develop the skill set needed to succeed as a trial attorney in law school was crucial. A student of the Civil Rights Movement, Lomax spoke on how certain pivotal classes flamed this interest. From Professor Marc Fajer’s housing discrimination class and Professor Donald Jones’s employment discrimination class to Professor Terrence Anderson’s Analysis of Evidence class, Lomax enjoyed exploring the diverse range of course offerings.  

Lomax’s first summer position was at the Florida Supreme Court, where he had the opportunity to learn about the legal profession with Justices, clerks, and staff attorneys. He says that this first position was critical in developing his writing skills and learning the complexities of the legal system from the inside. While in law school, Lomax also interned with the Miami Public Defender’s Office, where he had the opportunity to appear in front of the court through the Certified Legal Internship Program. His next summer was spent as a summer associate at Shutts and Bowen LLP, where he had the opportunity to consider working in private practice for the first time. While there, he also learned about the DOJ Honors Program.

           Lomax applied and was offered a position in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division through the Honors Program with the Attorney General’s Office. Reflecting on this experience, Lomax recalls how in his first years out of law school, he was prosecuting hate crimes, police brutality, and human trafficking cases. While Lomax says he felt like he was “jumping into the deep end” in some respects, he felt prepared for the position in large part due to his training and experiences at Miami Law. He spent five years with the DOJ before deciding to move on and pursue a clerkship.

Lomax clerked with Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Stewart was the first African American Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit, and Lomax moved to Louisiana to clerk with him for a year. After that, Lomax felt he wanted to settle down in Miami, so he and his wife, Bunmi Lomax, who he met in law school, moved back to South Florida. Lomax secured a position at Jones Day, where he practiced Complex Civil Litigation from 2014-2021. While Lomax focused on commercial litigation, he was able to handle and see a wide variety of cases – an opportunity that prepared him for opening his own firm.

Lomax says he first had the thought to start his own firm when he was in law school, but at the time, he wanted to gain experience in the legal world and work under mentors who could teach him how to be the best practitioner possible. During the summer of 2020, Lomax was working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he says he was able to use that time to focus on making his dream of opening a law firm a reality. He spent a great deal of time studying the business of law and client services and thinking about what type of services he would provide, the size of the firm he wanted to open, and what he wanted to build.

Lomax successfully opened his own law firm, Lomax Legal, in 2021 – a full-service law firm that now has four attorneys, including Lomax. On leaving his lucrative career at Jones Day and opening his own firm, Lomax said, “walking away requires courage, but staying also requires courage because you are relying on others to dictate your destiny.” His vision for Lomax Legal was to start a law firm that was simultaneously innovative and fun while providing meaningful and high-level legal services for its clients.

In addition to opening his own law firm, Lomax is involved in the legal community in various ways. He is President of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association and serves on the Eleventh Circuit Grievance Committee for The Florida Bar. He also sits on several boards, including the Locust Projects, an arts incubator whose mission is to, among other things, activate conversations around new art and ideas and advocate for artists and creative practices. Lomax is also an adjunct professor at Miami Law and with Harvard Law School’s trial advocacy workshop. Lomax says that becoming involved in the community requires you to be willing to “search for something that is consistent with your values” and to “make a space for yourself in whatever place you want to be.”

Lomax’s career is nothing short of admirable, and he now advises current law students to think of their career as a marathon not a sprint.”