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Not many people can say that they get to work with their best friend. Clyde Simien and Rickey Miniex have been best friends since childhood, were roommates in law school together, and now have been business partners for 36 years. Simien ’82 and Miniex ’81 are senior partners at Simien and Miniex Attorneys at Law.
Together, they successfully grew their law firm from the ground up and have handled thousands of cases throughout their careers. Some of their accolades include becoming members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and both being honored as Junior Achievement of Acadiana Business Hall of Fame Laureates in 2017. The road to success has not always been easy for them, but they’ve persevered to get to where they are today.
Simien and Miniex both attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for their undergraduate degrees. Simien, from Opelousas, and Miniex, from Sunset, liked that the University was close to home for them but still offered an excellent education. “I loved it because I got a great education and all of the people I met were great people,” said Miniex. They were interested in business, so Simien studied accounting while Miniex studied accounting and finance. After graduating, the pair attended Southern University Law Center, where they finished at the top of their class.
Once they finished law school, the two thought it would be a piece of cake to find a job with their experience. It turns out that was not the case. They both sent out over 100 job applications individually with no success. They then turned to a Ragin’ Cajun for help. “I’ll never forget calling Dr. James Caillier,” said Simien. Caillier, the former Vice President of Administrative Affairs at the University, had gotten to know Simien and Miniex during their time as students. Simien explained to him how they were trying to start their own law firm, but they couldn’t find a bank in Lafayette to loan them the money to get started.
Dr. Caillier pointed them in the direction of his good friend, Wayne Elmore, who was at Commerce and Energy Bank. Elmore believed in what the pair was trying to achieve, so he gave them a loan for $7,500 to start their law firm. With his support, they started their business and their careers. “We still remain great friends with Mr. Elmore,” said Simien.
Aside from practicing law, Simien and Miniex like to spend their time giving back to the community through a scholarship fund. The Virginia Miniex-Margo St. Julian Simien Scholarship was established to honor the beliefs of Virginia Miniex and Margo St. Julian Simien that obtaining a good education is pivotal in a young person’s life. The scholarship has been in existence for over 25 years. It is awarded to deserving high school students who strive to do well in furthering their education. “The goal is to help young kids, inspire young kids, and motivate them,” said Miniex.
Both lawyers have big goals for their futures. The pair hopes to continue practicing law and serving their community for as long as possible. They also hope to continue to expand their real estate investments in the area. No matter what challenge they take on next, Simien and Miniex know that they can be successful with a little hard work. “Working hard is the key to success,” said Simien. They know that they may face obstacles along the way, but that won’t stop them. “Life will knock you down, but you have to get up and keep going,” said Miniex. From childhood best friends to business partners, Simien and Miniex have persevered and turned their dreams into a reality.
Photo Caption: Pictured left to right in their office are Clyde Simien and Rickey Miniex.