Editor’s note: Being a law school dean is a prestigious, high-profile position involving hard work and administrative savvy. But deans do have lives outside the office. To give readers a glimpse of the deans’ off-duty lives, Texas Lawyer law editor Jacylyn Gardner e-mailed Texas’ nine American Bar Association-accredited law schools a brief Q&A for the deans and interim dean. Seven e-mailed responses are below, edited for length and style. Questionnaires for Dean John B. Attanasio of Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas and Dean Lawrence Sager of the University of Texas School of Law in Austin were not returned before presstime on May 20.

Raymond T. Nimmer, University of Houston Law Center, Houston

Raymond T. Nimmer, Dean, University of Houston Law Center

Texas Lawyer: Do you have an iPod, and what are your five favorite songs on it?

Dean Raymond T. Nimmer: I have an iPod, loaded not with songs but with material from PBS.

TL: What is the last movie you saw?

Nimmer: “Up in the Air.” The George Clooney character is me, from the perspective of constant travel.

TL: What is your favorite Texas vacation spot?

Nimmer: The [Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa] is a good property with nice water.

TL: Which fictional lawyer would you most like to meet?

Nimmer: Clarence Darrow is almost mythical, so he qualifies. He stood up for his beliefs.

TL: What television program do you make sure your DVR is scheduled to record?

Nimmer: I do have a DVR, but it is currently not working. Who has time for television?

TL: What are you reading for fun?

Nimmer: Anything by Jeffery Deaver. His Lincoln Rhyme character is a Sherlock Holmes throwback.

TL: What law school course was the hardest for you?

Nimmer: None of them posed any problems.

TL: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you do?

Nimmer: I would paint. At our annual auction and gala, one of my works went for $400 — now, if I could only add a few more zeroes to my prices.

TL: What is the funniest thing you have heard a student at your school say?

Nimmer: “I think law school is easy.”

TL: What do you remember most from your first day as dean?

Nimmer: My initial reception with our faculty when my appointment was announced. It was as though someone put oil on rough waters — but, given the tragedy in the Gulf, perhaps that’s the wrong metaphor to use. We were transformed from a place at war with itself into one in which we all seem to get along and share common goals.

TL: What is the most unusual item in your office?

Nimmer: A bronze sculpture of a woman riding a horse. It’s very heavy, and I think it was priced by the ounce.

TL: In a movie about your life, which celebrity would play you?

Nimmer: Paul Newman. But wait — he’s no longer with us. That can’t be a good sign.

TL: What would the title of the movie be?

Nimmer: “Pursuit of Excellence.” But the book would be better.

Donald Guter, president and dean of South Texas College of Law

Donald J. Guter, South Texas College of Law, Houston

Texas Lawyer: Do you have an iPod, and what are your five favorite songs on it?

Dean Donald J. Guter: No.

TL: What is the last movie you saw?

Guter: “Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

TL: What is your favorite Texas vacation spot?

Guter: My office.

TL: Which fictional lawyer would you most like to meet?

Guter: James Spader’s character, Alan [Shore], on “Boston Legal.”

TL: What television program do you make sure your DVR is scheduled to record?

Guter: Only because of my wife, Pat, we can’t miss “The Good Wife.”

TL: What are you reading for fun?

Guter: Faculty scholarship.

TL: What law school course was the hardest for you?

Guter: Estates and trusts.

TL: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you do?

Guter: Investigative journalist.

TL: What do you remember most from your first day as dean?

Guter: The incredible professional courtesy from my predecessor, James Alfini, and the attentiveness of my senior executive assistant, Jennifer Hudson.

TL: What is the most unusual item in your office?

Guter: A U.S. Marine Corps bayonet, a retirement gift from the Navy.

TL: In a movie about your life, which celebrity would play you?

Guter: Robert De Niro.

TL: What would the title of the movie be?

Guter: “I Won’t Back Down.”

Dean Frederic White, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law

Frederic White, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Fort Worth

Texas Lawyer: Do you have an iPod, and what are your five favorite songs on it?

Dean Frederic White: “My Favorite Things,” John Coltrane. “Time to Say Goodbye,” Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. “My Girl,” The Temptations. “Just Dream,” Lalah Hathaway. “The Rite of Spring,” Igor Stravinsky.

TL: What is the last movie you saw?

White: “Avatar.”

TL: What is your favorite Texas vacation spot?

White: I’m not sure.

TL: Which fictional lawyer would you most like to meet?

White: Atticus Finch.

TL: What television program do you make sure your DVR is scheduled to record?

White: None.

TL: What are you reading for fun?

White: The Wall Street Journal .

TL: What law school course was the hardest for you?

White: Property (which is why I teach it. ???).

TL: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you do?

White: I would be a fiction writer or a news reporter.

TL: What is the funniest thing you have heard a student at your school say?

White: “I don’t like being called on.”

TL: What do you remember most from your first day as dean?

White: How everyone was trying to figure me out.

TL: What is the most unusual item in your office?

White: A carpenter’s level. It represents how I try to approach problems.

TL: In a movie about your life, which celebrity would play you?

White: I can’t imagine having a movie made about my life.

TL: What would the title of the movie be?

White: “Try Harder.”

Baylor Law Dean Bradley J.B. Toben

Bradley J.B. Toben, Baylor University School of Law, Waco

Texas Lawyer: Do you have an iPod, and what are your five favorite songs on it?

Dean Bradley J.B. Toben: Yes, I have an iPod. Only five?! I don’t like picking just five, but if I have to: “Imagine,” John Lennon; “Teach Your Children,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; “Count on Me,” Jefferson Airplane; “(I’d Choose) You Again,” The Forrester Sisters; “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong.

TL: What is the last movie you saw?

Toben: “A Serious Man,” by the Coen brothers — great black humor and Coen brothers’ weirdness.

TL: What is your favorite Texas vacation spot?

Toben: While we’ve been about everywhere in Texas, I confess that we vacation every year on St. George, a barrier island off the Florida coast. Up until a few years ago, there was no cell phone reception on the island. When on vacation, that’s nice.

TL: Which fictional lawyer would you most like to meet?

Toben: Hey, wouldn’t every lawyer like to meet Atticus Finch?

TL: What television program do you make sure your DVR is scheduled to record?

Toben: “NCIS”; our 14 year old daughter is crazy about this show. My wife, Beth, and I watch it with her to make it a family experience.

TL: What are you reading for fun?

Toben: I just finished “True Compass: A Memoir,” Ted Kennedy’s autobiography; very good. I like to read biography, history, science and theology. I also like fiction if someone I trust can guarantee me that it’s going to be good (I’ve been disappointed too often by fiction).

TL: What law school course was the hardest for you?

Toben: I never enjoyed income tax. Anyway, I use TurboTax now, so who cares? Just kidding!

TL: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you do?

Toben: Hands down, a veterinarian. I love animals.

TL: What is the funniest thing you have heard a student at your school say?

Toben: “I’m going home to wash my mouth out with soap. That would be more fun than that final.”

TL: What do you remember most from your first day as dean?

Toben: My predecessor, Judge Charles Barrow (I loved him!) was moving out of town that day in 1991. He came in with several piles of documents from his files, put them on the desk in front of me, said “Just don’t screw it up” and walked out. Vintage Judge Barrow!

TL: What is the most unusual item in your office?

Toben: A sculpture of an adult hand reaching down to grasp a child’s hand. My wife has prosecuted child sexual abuse cases for over 20 years. When I see the sculpture, I think of Beth.

TL: In a movie about your life, which celebrity would play you?

Toben: Simple answer: A screenplay about me would never make it to production.

TL: What would the title of the movie be?

Toben: Do they give titles to screenplays that a producer uses as bookends?

Charles E. Cantú, Dean, St. Mary’s University School of Law, San Antonio

Charles E. Cantú, St. Mary’s University School of Law, San Antonio

Texas Lawyer: Do you have an iPod, and what are your five favorite songs on it?

Dean Charles E. Cantú: What’s an iPod? (jokes the man with an iPhone).

TL: What is the last movie you saw?

Cantú: I just watched Sherlock Holmes on demand last weekend.

TL: What is your favorite Texas vacation spot?

Cantú: The Texas coast.

TL:Which fictional lawyer would you most like to meet?

Cantú: Portia Blake [Manning].

TL:What television program do you make sure your DVR is scheduled to record?

Cantú: What’s a DVR?

TL: What are you reading for fun?

Cantú: “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Every now and then I like to read a best seller to read what America is reading. It is very well written for a first novel.

TL: What law school course was the hardest for you?

Cantú: Procedure.

TL: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you do?

Cantú: I think I’d be a psychiatrist; I like delving into people’s problems.

TL: What do you remember most from your first day as dean?

Cantú: Parking in the reserved slot for the dean!

TL: What is the most unusual item in your office?

Cantú: I have an old kerosene lamp that was my grandmother’s. My grandfather would light it, and the kids (including my mother) would all sit at the table, and he’d help them with their homework. I’ve since had it electrified and keep it on my desk. It’s at least 100 years old.

Dannye R. Holley, Dean, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Dannye R. Holley, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston

Texas Lawyer: Do you have an iPod, and what are your five favorite songs on it?

Interim Dean Dannye R. Holley: Yes, John Coltrane songs.

TL: What is the last movie you saw?

Holley: “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin.

TL: What is your favorite Texas vacation spot?

Holley: Aransas Pass.

TL: Which fictional lawyer would you most like to meet?

Holley: Ron Carver on “Law and Order,” played by Courtney Vance.

TL: What television program do you make sure your DVR is scheduled to record?

Holley: None.

TL: What are you reading for fun?

Holley: Newspapers.

TL: What law school course was the hardest for you?

Holley: Tax.

TL: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you do?

Holley: I would become a psychologist.

TL: What is the funniest thing you have heard a student at your school say?

Holley: Listened to a magna cum laude student explain why she wanted to petition a grade change before the grades were posted.

TL: What do you remember most from your first day as dean?

Holley: Trying to figure out how to shift materials (reports, files, etc.) from my faculty office to move them to the dean’s office.

TL: What is the most unusual item in your office?

Holley: Shredded money from the U.S. treasury in a small glass container.

TL: In a movie about your life, which celebrity would play you?

Holley: James Earl Jones.

TL: What would the title of the movie be?

Holley: “Running out the door.”

Texas Tech Law Dean Walter Huffman

Walter Huffman, Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock

Texas Lawyer: Do you have an iPod, and what are your five favorite songs on it?

Dean Walter Huffman: I do have an iPod with over 800 favorites on it. Here are five favorite Texas artist songs: “Travelin’ Soldier,” Bruce Robison; “Wave on Wave,” Pat Green; “LA Freeway,” Guy Clark; “Now It’s Now Again,” The Flatlanders; and, of course, “Not Fade Away,” Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

TL: What is the last movie you saw?

Huffman: “The Blind Side.”

TL: What is your favorite Texas vacation spot?

Huffman: McKinney, where our grandkids are.

TL: Which fictional lawyer would you most like to meet?

Huffman: Any of John Grisham’s heroes.

TL: What television program do you make sure your DVR is scheduled to record?

Huffman: “24.”

TL: What are you reading for fun?

Huffman: The biography of John Marshall.

TL: What law school course was the hardest for you?

Huffman: Commercial Law – UCC.

TL: If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you do?

Huffman: Coach and teach at some level.

TL: What is the funniest thing you have heard a student at your school say?

Huffman: Unfortunately, the funniest I can think of are not appropriate for publication.

TL: What do you remember most from your first day as dean?

Huffman: Walking into the same dean’s office I had successfully avoided for three years as a student.

TL: What is the most unusual item in your office?

Huffman: My collection of military commander’s coins.

TL: In a movie about your life, which celebrity would play you?

Huffman: I think Hal Holbrook would make a fine “deanly” character.

TL: What would the title of the movie be?

Huffman: “Onward, Ever Upward!”