Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Alicia Spencer, UNT System

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Spotlight - Alicia Spencer


Alicia Spencer has served a vital role in the UNT System's Office of General Counsel for more than five years. Her entry into the legal profession came as a kid and involved the following: tagging along with her dad, the opening of the Dallas Cowboys' old home Texas Stadium, the City of Irving and the sale of alcohol. During the pandemic, she's found a new appreciation for being at home and eating out less. Five -- yes, five -- Jack Russell/Blue Heeler puppers keep her plenty active and when it's time to relax deep into her own thoughts, this particular Luciano Pavarotti favorite does the trick -- or Zumba. 


What is your favorite aspect about your job?
I like to learn new things. Working as a paralegal has provided the opportunity to learn about many different fields as well as meeting interesting people, such as building petrochemical facilities and getting to meet the inventor of the pager, who was a witness during a six-month trial. I also worked a couple of cases with alumni Dr. Phil McGraw and his company, Courtroom Sciences, Inc., prior to his celebrity status.    

What inspired you to pursue your field of expertise?
Texas Stadium. I grew up in a family heavily involved in politics and had a lot of interaction with lawyers, elected officials and candidates. When Texas Stadium opened in Irving, they chose to sell alcohol in what was then a dry area. A group of individuals sued Texas Stadium and Clint Murchison because of this. The individuals were told there was no way they could win against Texas Stadium and Clint Murchison. My dad would go to the law library to research and I would go with him to help. My dad found information from which he drafted an argument for the lawyers representing the individuals to use. The lawyers won the suit using the argument that my dad drafted and Texas Stadium had to stop selling alcohol until the City of Irving voted that alcohol could be sold or found another way that was legal. From that point, the various attorneys in those political groups in which my family was involved encouraged me to go into law because of the help provided to my dad even though I was just a kid. I did my paralegal internship with the attorney who used my dad’s argument to argue the case against Texas Stadium.

What is your proudest work moment?
I have numerous proud moments so it is hard to choose just one.  I have been very proud of every trial I have worked, particularly those where the verdict was in our favor. 

What is your proudest non-work moment?
When I graduated from college. I had the opportunity to pay for my education myself by working at a grocery store and not having to get student loans.

Is there a hobby, activity or something else you have done during the pandemic that you would not have done normally?
One, I got to enjoy being at home. Having been a road warrior in the past and hardly ever at home, I appreciate every second that I don’t have to leave my house, even when working. Two, additionally, my philosophy has always been that restaurants are there for a reason, use them.  I started cooking a lot more during the pandemic and, while not the best, I have substantially improved. I am using restaurants less.

What is a fact about you that may surprise your work colleagues?
My favorite thing other than taking my puppies out for runs around my neighborhood is Zumba. I love Zumba.

Movie?: Hallmark Christmas movies – I can watch them all year round. I like happiness. These movies are always happy.
TV show?: Collard Valley Cooks on YouTube. They teach people how to cook like my mom did. I get a refresher on what my parents taught me to cook and I get to learn about what I missed or was never taught.
Inspirational hero: My dad.
Place to visit?: Switzerland and Bayreuth, Germany, for the Bayreuth Festival to see the entirety of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (opera)
Song?: Luciano Pavarotti’s version of Nessun Dorma.
Hobby?: Loving on, playing with my five, yes, five Jack Russell/Blue Heeler puppies and taking them on runs.  (They had their 9-year birthday on March 23, so they are not technically puppies (they are puppies to me).
Charitable cause: Salvation Army. They have greatly helped numerous homeless people I know.