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Successful Alumni: Gutheinz Brothers Part of a Legacy Family

L-R: Jim Gutheinz '05, their father Joseph Gutheinz, and Mike Gutheinz '03A legacy for military service, the practice of law and a University of St. Thomas-Houston education plays out for two of the Gutheinz brothers, Mike ’03 and Jim ‘05. They are third-generation attorneys and military officers.

Life in the Law Plus Military Service

Like their father, Joseph, the two brothers are partners in the Gutheinz Law Firm. Mike Gutheinz practices criminal and family law, while Jim Gutheinz takes on family law and cases aimed at protecting children.

They also serve in the U.S. Army Reserve and were both recently promoted to the  rank of lieutenant colonel. But, interestingly, their areas of assignment differ.

Mike said, “I’m a judge advocate, so that means I’m mostly a lawyer reviewing investigations to make sure they’re done correctly. I could do some criminal trials or administrative hearings if the need arose. Sometimes, I write wills. It’s like being a corporate attorney; only I’m providing legal advice to the other soldiers.”

Jim explained, “I’m a personnel officer handling separations, promotions and other aspects related to the management of people. So it’s similar to human resources responsibilities.”

The younger Gutheinz talked about how much they enjoy the reserves.

“Once a month, I get to put on a uniform and be with really good people,” Jim said. “Go on missions. Sleep in tents. For me, it’s a good reality check.”

Before joining the reserves, Mike did four years of active duty, part of that in Afghanistan. He said, “It’s pretty amazing the connections that you make. My friends in my unit are police officers, judges, and other lawyers. It’s fun, and it’s service.”

Where Legacy Began

Their grandfather and grandmother—both U.S. Marines—began the legacy of military service. As for the legacy of a UST education, that started with their uncle Anthony Bentley. He attended seminary through St. Thomas.

Their UST Memories

“We wanted to stay in Houston for college,” Mike offered. “UST was one of the most fun learning experiences I had. I knew everybody. They were all nice. And, though I majored in political science, I loved my theology classes.”

Jim added, “I’ve used some of my St. Thomas experience to support my kids in developing a good moral compass, which is lacking in a lot of kids today. Plus, the philosophy classes helped me to think outside of the box and to have an open mind.”

The Legacy Still Lives

Word must be spreading within the family. In 2020, their niece and nephew, Maddie and Joseph Gutheinz, earned their UST degrees.

The Gutheinz legacy for a UST education, military service and the practice of law is playing out beautifully in the successful lives of Mike and Jim as they draw from the past to live well in the present.