Forty Under 40: Samuel Terry

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,455 views 

Samuel Terry was law clerk for Chief U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III of the Western District of Arkansas and deputy prosecuting attorney for Sebastian County before a colleague led him to shift his career path to banking.

“It seemed to be something that really appealed to me,” Terry said.

In July 2012, the Fort Smith native joined First National Bank of Fort Smith as trust officer. At the end of 2016, he was promoted to assistant vice president. He handles trusts and estates for customers and helps them plan their estates. He works in a department of 20 including four trust officers and four administrative assistants, three of whom he oversees.

Between April 2011 and June 2012, he was a law clerk for Holmes and researched legal issues and made sure the judge had everything needed for cases.

Between July 2008 and July 2010, he was deputy prosecuting attorney for Sebastian County and handled hundreds of cases, including misdemeanor, felony and juvenile cases. He also worked in private practice at two Fort Smith law firms, between August 2005 and January 2008 and July 2010 and April 2011.

He received a law degree from the University of Arkansas in 2005 after earning a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2002.

“I always enjoyed being in court,” Terry said.

He liked to prepare for a case, think on his feet and enjoyed the combative nature of it. Recently, Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed him as a special associate justice for an Arkansas Supreme Court case in which a justice recused himself.

Terry is president of the board for Children’s Emergency Shelter and president of the board of directors for HOPE Humane Society.