Texas Tech University

Personal Financial Planning Alumna Uses Dual Degree to Help Clients Achieve their Legal Goals

Breck Gavin

September 8, 2023

Jana Simons

Jana Simons was recently named to the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® List for 2024

Jana Simons graduated from Texas Tech University in 2017 with her Doctor of Jurisprudence and Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning (PFP). Today, Simons is an estate and tax planning attorney at Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman LLP. 

At the beginning of her career, Simons held various positions that exposed her to several aspects of the job that she holds today. From running a horse business to being an intern at the Department of Justice Tax Division, all her time spent outside of the law office has proven to be invaluable. 

Another crucial part of Simons' career path was her time in the TTU J.D. / PFP dual degree program. This program allows students to receive a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning in a three-to-four-year academic timeline. 

"The dual degree program is one of the best decisions I've ever made! The intersection of financial planning and the law taught me a multifaceted approach to helping clients. My education helps me to see the various angles from which the client might view his or her goals and priorities.”

Through her experiences in the College of Human Sciences, Simons believes that personal financial planning is a great area of study for any student to become involved in. 

“I believe that personal finance has the broadest scope of any educational path. Regardless of motivation or objective of obtaining the degree, PFP will benefit everyone. In other words, even if a student takes just a few PFP courses and then elects to pursue a different field of study, the knowledge gained will undoubtedly prove useful over time.” 

Simons credits her knowledge of financial planning as allowing her to have a better grasp on her clients' complex legal issues which often involve gift and estate tax planning. 

“There is an obvious convergence between financial planning and estate planning for the client but, just as important is my understanding of the financial planning process and the value of the contribution of the client's advisors, allowing us to work toward achieving the client's goals as a team.”

The complex nature of Simons' job is something that she embraces entirely, as she sees her work as equally challenging and rewarding. 

“Intellectually, many of the issues our clients encounter are multifactorial and, therefore, the analysis and "answer" is not always obvious or clear. This can also be one of the most rewarding aspects because I get to learn every day!”

Recently, Simons was named to the fourth edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America. This award is given to lawyers who have been in private practice for 5-9 years and who demonstrate outstanding professional excellence. This is the third consecutive year that Simons has been named to the award list that is chosen using peer methodology.

Looking to the future, Simons is excited to continue her work as a lawyer helping clients achieve their goals. She also has a passion for community engagement and speaking and hopes to continue to do so throughout her career.