Youthful impression leads Schwab to court

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When Tracy Schwab was a young boy, he remembers walking to the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse to see a high profile trial unfold.

Sitting in the closed confines of the courtroom, Schwab said he found his future profession.

“There was a murder case where a woman poisoned her husband slowly over a period of time,” Schwab said. “Every day as a kid, I’d walk to trial at the courthouse to see it all unfold.

“And I loved it. I knew after that for sure that I wanted to be an attorney.”

Many years later, Schwab has made his dream a reality with a practice that operates out of Houma.

The local criminal defense attorney admits that he’s suffered many adversarial blows along the way. But his main purpose is to help people stay on the right path in life.

“I love to help people,” Schwab said. “That’s a big passion of mine. A lot of people get mixed up in the wrong things and have problems deciding the right paths to take in life. I really hope to help people get a leg-up. I enjoy seeing people make the most of themselves in life.”

It’s not a major surprise that Schwab chose law.

The local attorney was born into a family well schooled in the courts. His father Jerry Schwab was an attorney. His mother Susan was a counselor that dealt with people who suffered from addiction.

He said his siblings Danna Schwab and Greg Schwab are also attorneys.

“My parents demonstrated to their children that a person can be professional, but yet still honest and kind,” Schwab said.

Schwab said he graduated high school and received schooling at LSU, Nicholls State and Tulane.

Schwab also served two separate tours as a member of the United States Marine Corps – service that he said gave him valuable experience that he uses in his day-to-day profession.

Schwab said he’s been practicing since 1992, starting his practice as a civil attorney.

Throughout more than two decades, he’s had many setbacks along the way.

The attorney said he is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober since 2000.

Schwab said one of his biggest passions is being able to help accused criminals get on the right path in life following drug or alcohol-related charges.

“I’m a recovering alcoholic. That means that I am addicted to a substance – alcohol,” Schwab said. “So it gives me a lot of pride as a recovering alcoholic to be able to defend and help people who have other addictions – whether it be drugs or alcohol. A lot of these people don’t realize how severe the things they are doing nor how harsh the consequences of their actions are. They may just be stealing to get a little money so they can get high. They may be selling drugs for the same reason. It’s all driven by that addiction.”

Two years after getting sober, Schwab said he got in a serious accident that caused him brain damage, leaving him unable to walk, talk or able to swallow.

“I was in four different hospitals in two states,” Schwab said. “I was in therapy from Orlando, Florida to Scottsdale, Arizona. I didn’t work as an attorney. I couldn’t work at all.”

Not wanting to be disabled for the rest of his life, Schwab went back to work in 2006 as an insurance salesman.

From there, he got back into the field as a paralegal.

“And then all of a sudden, all of the memories I had of law just came rushing back,” Schwab said. “It clicked for the first time. It all came back to life.”

After returning to law, Schwab shifted from a civil attorney to a criminal defense attorney.

He now owns Tracy Schwab Law – a firm that he has operated on his own since 2008.

Schwab practices out of his office on 7836 West Park Avenue in Houma.

“It’s just me here by myself – a solo practitioner,” Schwab said. “It’s nice and cozy. Just me and my secretary here. That’s about it.”

Schwab said being back at work gives him pride – knowing that he’s setting a positive example for his kids and also others in the community.

With all that he’s been through, Schwab said he knows that second chances are things that people should take advantage of.

“It’s all good. Every day is a holiday for me,” Schwab said. “I am getting to do something that I love. I got a second chance in life. Why shouldn’t everyone else?”

Houma attorney Tracy Schwab poses in his office, which is located on West Park Avenue in Houma. With decades of experience, Schwab said he loves to help people get a second chance. Schwab, himself, was given a second chance in life. He was in a serious accident in 2002 and was forced to stop practicing for a few years while he recovered.