Makenzie Craft

Gray Reed

by Gracen Daniel

Makenzie Craft is the embodiment of a service-driven leader and is this month’s One to Watch. Throughout college and law school, Makenzie pursued opportunities to serve the community. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.S. in Marketing while competing as a full scholarship member and captain of the women’s tennis team her senior year. During that time, she was chair of the Campus Connection committee of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee where she organized events between student athletes and other communities on campus. Continuing her career of service, Makenzie attended the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law where she graduated cum laude and was involved in various organizations in law school, including the Association of Public Interest Law (APIL) as well as the Civil/Consumer Clinic where she assisted with representing those in need within the community. As the Vice President of Auction for APIL, Makenzie chaired the APIL auction which provides scholarships to law students working in clerkships and internships in public interest fields as those positions are regularly unpaid. While attending law school, she was also active in competitions where she gained experience in oral advocacy. She was a regional finalist and national competitor in the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition and was awarded 4th Best Oralist at regionals of the National Appellate Advocacy Competition.

After graduation, and in DAYL, Makenzie extended her passion for service and I am so glad that we have given her an outlet to do so. She was involved in last year’s Leadership Class where she led the efforts on the Steering Committee for their Bingo, Baby! project. Makenzie is also the auction chair of the Bolton Ball along with her sister, Morgan, who made things a little tough this year by taking the bar exam! Makenzie handled each part of the Bolton Ball planning in stride – most memorably to me by helping construct a gigantic balloon arch from scratch, using tent poles and duct tape to hold it all together. Her constant laughter, whether she is standing on a ladder hoisting balloons or organizing silent auction items, keeps her committee members motivated and is a great testament to her leadership and problem-solving style.

Makenzie, now an attorney at Gray Reed focusing on labor and employment matters, continues to seek opportunities to serve the community. She is dependable almost to a fault, and her poise and confidence is not unnoticed by those who have the pleasure of working with her. It is often said that the best leaders are those who don’t even make you feel like you’re being led, and Makenzie is one of those leaders. I am so glad that Makenzie chose DAYL as her outlet for service, and I hope she continues her path of leadership in our organization. Makenzie – you’re One to Watch!