Random Profile: Debora Alsup, Austin

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 93,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Best thing about being a lawyer: I am always learning something new.

Most important career lesson: Success in a law practice is as much about relationships as it is giving excellent service to your clients.

Favorite saying/quote: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”  - Mark Twain

Born/Age: 1958, age 54

Family: Husband, Jim (real estate lawyer at Jackson Walker); Caroline, 25 (junior architect in Basel, Switzerland); Sally, 23 (Peace Corps Volunteer in Guanico, Panama); Annie, 18 (freshman at Vanderbilt University)

Areas of practice: Appellate

Education: B.A., 1980; J.D., 1982 - Baylor University

Bet you didn’t know: My husband and I met on a blind date and discovered we both clerked for Chief Justice Joe Greenhill on the Texas Supreme Court 8 years apart.

Another little known fact: My family and I went scuba diving with white-tip reef sharks in Panama in June. We saw a whale shark and stayed in a ranger station on Isla Coiba, the largest uninhabited tropical island in the Americas.

Likes/Dislikes: Likes – Intelligent and stimulating conversation; excellence in writing and analysis in law and literature.  Dislikes – Scary movies.

Bad habit: Impatience.

Culinary talent: I’m a great cook, actually.

What kind of car do you drive? A 1967 Mustang convertible in nice weather, otherwise an Infiniti Sedan.

Community Involvement: I greatly enjoy working with Helping Hand Home for Children, a residential treatment center for severely abused children, ages 6-12. Currently, I am a member of the Board of Directors and have previously served as the Long Range Planning Chair, the Foster Care Chair, and was a member of the Executive Director Search Committee. Through this organization, I have mentored a foster child for the past six years, which has been a thoroughly rewarding experience.

Mentor/hero: Former Chief Justice Joe R. Greenhill, deceased.

Latest pursuit: Empty-nesting.

Secret for staying young: Pilates and yoga.

Favorite restaurant: Vespaio in Austin, Texas

Where to be found on a Saturday night: Having a dinner party with close friends.

Current reading material: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving; The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham.

Memorable vacation: Family vacation to Panama in June 2012 to see the village where our daughter serves in the Peace Corps.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Making work/life choices. I don’t believe there is such a thing as work/life balance, only choices.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? An aptitude test showed I would be a lousy social worker, but a good lawyer.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Social media and the necessity to create and maintain an online profile to develop your practice.


Debora is a partner at Thompson & Knight, LLC in Austin.

You can also view Debora's TexasBar.com profile.

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 93,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

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Opinions and statements expressed in these profiles are those of their subjects - not the State Bar of Texas.

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