Random Profile: Diana Morales, Plano

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 95,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Culinary talent: I make a good stromboli and flan cake. I’m known for my baking skills.

Generally likes to read: I love the classics and magical realism. 

Memorable vacation: Traveling to Rome with my husband. I loved seeing the ancient city, eating the great food, and rambling around the city.

Family: I am married to Stephen Piccolo and have two boys, Dominic and Nicolas.

Areas of practice: Immigration & Nationality Law. I’ve been in this field for 20 years – private practice, corporate, and now the government.  

Education: University of Oklahoma (Bachelor of Arts, 1990); St. Mary’s University School of Law (Juris Doctor, 1993).

Community Involvement: Presently, I am involved in supporting my sons’ Cub Scout Pack as a den leader. 

The last movie I saw was: How to Train your Dragon (Can you tell I have boys?!)

Favorite food: All flaky pastries

If I had more time, I would: travel more frequently and get into biking. 

What most people don’t know about me: I had a music scholarship for piano for college, but decided to take the academic scholarship instead because music theory is the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my life.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would probably be in Human Resources – Training & Development. 

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Sleep! My kids are young and they drain every bit of energy out of me.  
 

Diana works at USCIS/DHS-Office of Chief Counsel.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 95,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Daniel Hernandez, Fort Worth

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 95,000-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: The opportunity to help people and run my own business

Favorite saying/quote: You can’t know what’s good in life if nothing bad ever happens.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? My Cousin Vinny. It’s obvious.

Born/Age: Guanajuato, Mexico/44

Family: Married – Jennifer; one girl – Isabella, one boy - Noah

Areas of practice: Criminal, Immigration, PI, Family

Education: BA English – TCU, ’91; JD – TWU, ‘00

Bet you didn’t know: I played 175 holes of golf in 12 hours in a fundraiser for The First Tee of Fort Worth.

Another little known fact: I’ve lived in the same zip code since I was 7.

Likes/Dislikes: Likes - Anything that will make me laugh, wine, and a good steak.
Dislikes – Mushrooms, I mean, it’s a fungus!

Bad habit: Talk too much (shocking)

Doesn’t like to: get up early, unless it’s for golf, fishing, or my kids.

Is not good at: reading instructions.

Culinary talent: Steaks and fish on the Big Green Egg

What kind of car do you drive? 2000 Lexus 470

Community Involvement: The First Tee of Fort Worth Board, formerly on the Fort Worth Housing Authority board, Fort Worth Zoning Commission, Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Worth

Mentors/heroes: My father and mother

Most important career lesson: Make your reputation count, and your word is your bond.

Latest pursuit: single digit handicap while raising two young kids

Current Project: restoring an old home

Pet peeve: using incorrect words – “irregardless, preventative, alot”

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? Richard E. Grant

Secret for staying young: Laugh every day, and have hobbies.

Favorite plays: Death of a Salesman

Favorite TV program: Brooklyn 99

Favorite artist: My mom, Mary Clay Hernandez

Favorite composers: Beethoven

Favorite album: Sgt. Pepper’s

Favorite music: rock – from the 50’s to the present.

Favorite place to find albums: Unfortunately, iTunes or Spotify

Favorite movie: This Is Spinal Tap or The Holy Grail

The last movie I saw was: Chocolat…it’s delightful.

Favorite magazine: Golfweek

Favorite sport: Running, Golf, Soccer

Favorite food: Albondigas (made by mom)

Favorite restaurant: Shinjuku Station

Where to be found on a Saturday night: at home or with the Thurmans!

Talents (besides law): Fluent in Spanish

Hobbies: Drummer, running, golf, wine

Collects: song lines and movie quotes

Memorable vacation: Wyoming/Tetons/Yellowstone

My favorite weekend retreats are: Any golf course

If I had more time, I would: play a lot more golf and start playing soccer again

Biggest misconception about me: That I’m too serious

What most people don’t know about me: I’m an open book

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? No prior work experience.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Higher education administrator

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? My brother asked me to clerk for him while I was in law school. I haven’t left.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? See prior answers!

Who are the people you admire most, and why? My brothers and father. Great role models at parenting, working hard, and integrity.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? From having paper files to now having everything on my iPhone.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Potentially less and less personable as we go more and more electronic.

 

Daniel works at The Law Office of Daniel Hernandez.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 95,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile - Arielle Prangner, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 95,000-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: Cliché, maybe, but it really is nice to know when you are helping people. Also, I like that there is always something new to learn.

Most important career lesson: Although the big picture is often what drives things, always be detail oriented. 

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? I'm sometimes jealous of my cats. When you are a cat, the fatter you are, the more people like you. Also, you get to sleep all day.

Pet peeve: Slow walkers clogging grocery store isles.

Family: Husband Nick, dog Burger, and 4 kitties. We also have a rotating cast of characters living with us. Currently, this includes my sister Whitney, her 2 year old son Teddy, and her dog Tyson. It's never boring at our house!

Areas of practice: Estate planning, trusts, and probate.

Education: BS in Special Education from Texas A&M (Whoop!), JD from the University of Texas.

Culinary talent: Brownies from a box.

Community Involvement: Through the Junior League of Houston I currently coordinate volunteers for the Children's Museum of Houston Family Learning Nights (Thursdaystake your kids!) and assist with a program at CMH that gives 4th grade girls the opportunity to stay overnight at the museum. It's like Night at the Museum in real life.

What’s on your iPod right now? I couldn't even tell you where my iPod is, but currently featured on my Spotify playlists are artists I'll see at the Austin City Limits music festival in October. 

Who would you want playing you in a movie? There is not much physical resemblance, but I love Mindy Kaling. Maybe Tina Fey? Someone who would make me seem smart and funny, in any event.

Last book you read: Just finished The Goldfinch by Donna Tart and Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman. Both excellent.

Favorite saying/quote: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better" –Maya Angelou.

Favorite TV program: Oh, I have so many. Netflix is hitting it out of the park with House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. I'm anxious to see how the last season of Mad Men ties everything up, and I'm already in withdrawal even though as of this writing there is one episode to go for this season of Game of Thrones. In lighter fare, I love Parks & Rec and the Mindy Project.

The last movie I saw: Pitch Perfect. It's the movie I throw on when I want to half watch TV and half do something else around the house. This means I watch around a fourth of the movie at least once a week. 

Favorite food: Category? Dessert. Item? Probably French fries. (Spell check is making me capitalize the "F" in French. I've always idly wondered if that was the rule).

Favorite restaurant: Places that serve comfort food that are close to home: Glass Wall, Zelko Bistro, Downhouse, and Max's Wine Dive, to name a few.

Favorite sport: A&M Football.

Hobbies: Reading, dancing, staying up-to-date on celebrity gossip, and other generally frivolous things.

If I had more time, I would: Travel more, to far flung places, for extended periods of time.

Bet you didn’t know: The State Bar has a blog.

Another little known fact: The State Bar blog routinely features randomly selected attorneys.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I think one tough issue for attorneys today is: "how much time to spend sharpening the axe versus cutting the wood." (Quote attribution to a partner at my firm and one of my mentors-Mickey Davis). As an attorney you do need to spend time honing your knowledge in your subject area, perfecting your forms, attending CLE events, contributing to CLE events, client development, and managing your practice, but you have to balance that with actually getting the work done. 

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in?  I'd love to do something creative (in a different kind of way), like interior design, teaching music lessons, or acting as a docent for a museum.  It should be noted that I would probably be terrible at any of those things.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Because I practice in the area of estate planning, one of the most notable things has been the way that federal estate tax laws have changed in the time I've been practicing. There have been several years when we've been on the edge of our seats at year-end waiting for Congress to act. The "permanent" high estate tax exemption, combined with higher income tax rates, has resulted in new considerations and has changed the way that I (and I think we, as a community) think about estate planning.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years?  I think rapidly evolving technology is going to be the thing that continues to change the practice of law.  I can't even imagine how we'll be communicating with our clients in 15 years, or doing legal research, or attending hearings. I guess we'll find out, though!

Arielle works at Davis & Willms, PLLC in Houston

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 95,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Mick Mickelsen, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 95,000-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 have loads of great “war” stories.

Bet you didn’t know:
I play the ukulele.

Current Project:
Learning to play Layla on the ukulele

Age:
49

Family:
Wife - Dr. Jolie Bailey; Between us we have seven children, three of whom are in college.

Areas of practice:
Criminal

Education:
Undergraduate - University of Dallas
Law - Georgetown 

Another little known fact:
I lived in Denmark and learned to speak Danish.

Likes/Dislikes:
I’m passionate about history, and I really dislike Brussels sprouts.

Bad habit:
I stay up too late. 

Is not good at:
Home repairs 

Culinary talent:
Cooking fish 

What kind of car do you drive?
Audi 

Community Involvement:
First UU Church 

Heroes:
Morris Dees, Errol Morris 

Most important career lesson:
Listen to your client and spend an extraordinary amount of time helping them to learn to tell their story before they testify. 

Favorite saying/quote:
The legal system is perfect 60% of the time. 

Pet peeve:
Proselytizing  

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you?
Matt Damon 

Secret for staying young:
Go for a long walk every day 

Favorite plays:
The Book of Mormon 

Favorite TV program:
Breaking Bad 

Favorite artist:
JMW Turner 

Favorite composers:
Bach 

Favorite album:
Déjà vu – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Favorite musical group:
Son Volt 

Favorite place to find albums:
Good Records 

Favorite movie:
O Brother Where Art Thou 

The last movie I saw was:
Nebraska

Favorite magazine:
Rolling Stone 

Favorite sport:
Soccer 

Favorite food:
Fish 

Favorite restaurant:
Oceanaire 

Where to be found on a Saturday night:
Watching a movie 

Talents (besides law):
Drawing 

Hobbies:
Reading, travel, playing ukulele, drawing 

Collects:
Graphic Novels 

Current reading material:
I, Claudius 

Memorable vacation:
Honeymoon in Bali

My favorite weekend retreat is:
Big Bend National Park 

If I had more time, I would:
Become a skilled painter.

Biggest misconception about me:
That I’m aloof (just naturally reserved) 

What most people don’t know about me:
I was born and raised in Dallas. (My accent is more Midwestern.) 

The part of my job I do best is:
Deciphering what a witness is avoiding telling me. 

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom:
Father Maguire talked me out of pursuing a PhD in English.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be?
The President, just to see what the job really entails

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today?
Crushing student loan debt in an over saturated market

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why?
Rumpole of the Bailey is the most honest depiction of the practice of criminal defense. It’s a great television series. 

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in?
Psychiatry 

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney?
I took the LSAT on a lark and received a very high score. I took that as a sign. 

Who are the people you admire most, and why?
I admire many of the doctors I have come to know. They study very hard to learn something that is tested, usually works, and helps people in a concrete, measurable way.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed?When I started practicing in 1990 computers were mostly for word processing. As with other aspects of our lives, they are now integral to almost every aspect of practicing law.
 

Mick works at Broden & Mickelsen in Dallas.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 95,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Nick Laurent, Austin

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 95,000-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: Helping people solve problems and resolve disputes.

Culinary talent: I like to buy already prepared meals at Whole Foods. I also enjoy buying tacos at Torchy’s Tacos. Does that count?

Current Project: I am currently battling a ruthless and relentless bird that has been nesting in a vent leading into the attic at my house. I have cobbled together several obstructions but I’ve been defeated every time.

Born/Age: Houston, Texas, age 31 (but my family moved to Austin when I was a few months old)

Areas of practice: General civil litigation

Education: I graduated from SMU in Dallas in 2005 with a BBA in Finance. I then went on to law school at the University of Tulsa College of Law where I graduated in 2008.

Bet you didn’t know: I’m a third generation Texas lawyer. My grandfather practiced in Lubbock and San Angelo for many years before ending up in Phoenix. My father has been practicing law for 43. He started his career in Dallas, practiced in Houston for a few years, and has been practicing in Austin since 1983.

Is not good at: While I wish it were not so, my golf game is terrible.

Mentor/hero: For several years I had the privilege of working under and learning from Larry York – a legend in Austin and elsewhere. Larry gave me my first opportunity to do all of the seminal things a litigator does – the things you can’t learn in law school or from a book. He gave me my first deposition to take, my first motion to argue at the courthouse, and my first chance to first-chair a jury trial. While those were all great opportunities in and of themselves, Larry didn’t just let me do all of those things. He would tag along and afterwards we would talk about what he thought I did right and some things that I could improve on. Observing how Larry conducted himself in a hearing, on the phone with opposing counsel, or at a meeting with a client shaped the way I approach practicing law today. I leaned from Larry that being a zealous advocate, having a sense of humor, and being courteous and friendly with opposing counsel are not mutually exclusive concepts.

Pet peeve: Unreturned phone calls.

Favorite musician: Robert Earl Keen, Jr.

Favorite sport: Golf

Favorite food: Chicken fried steak

Memorable vacation: Traveling to Scotland for a week to play golf with my dad, a good friend from college, and his dad.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Fred Couples
 

Nick works at McGinnis Lochridge in Austin.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 95,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Steve Howen, Texarkana

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-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: tomorrow will be different

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I was the geek in elementary school who thought Perry Mason was cool. What I always wanted to do.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? My parents, because no one told them to slow down.

Born/Age: Feb. 15, 1961/Age: 53 (too old)

Family: Married with 2 great kids; Wife M’Lissa is a teacher in Richardson ISD; one daughter (Kelsey) is a pediatric physical therapist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston; the other daughter (Kendall) is a sophomore chemical engineering major at the University of Texas-Austin

Areas of practice: Commercial trial law with an emphasis in intellectual property work

Education: Baylor B.B.A. 1983 (Sic’em Bears; accounting major); J.D. S.M.U. School of Law 1991, cum laude

Likes: Sonic Ice

Bad habit: Chewing Sonic Ice

Doesn’t: Listen to his dentist about chewing Sonic ice

Is not good at: Karaoke. That is not true. Is horrible at Karaoke.

Culinary talent: Grilling steaks in the dark

What kind of car do you drive? Old reliable Honda Pilot

Community Involvement: First Methodist Richardson, Richardson Public Schools, and various youth sporting organizations

Mentors/heroes: Parents, who are the best humans I know; Scott Brister, who was the best judge I ever tried a case in front of; Erin Dwyer, who is the best lawyer I ever knew; and M’Lissa Howen who is the best teacher ever and puts up with me on a daily basis.

Most important career lesson: Be nice to the bailiff. (Thanks to Mark Davenport for that one.)

Latest pursuit: Reading a biography of every U.S. president; William Henry Harrison was such an interesting cat!

Current Project: Checkout Lonestarfair.com; helped my wife with that one.

Favorite saying/quote: Hello win column.

Pet peeve: Whiners, particularly rich ones.

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? Tom Hanks?

Secret for staying young: Hang out with older people

Favorite plays: Hairspray; Phantom of the Opera

Favorite TV program: The Sopranos

Favorite artist: Edward Hopper

Favorite composers: Lennon/McCartney; Henley/Frey

Favorite album: You can check in but you can never leave…Hotel California

Favorite musician: Keb’ Mo, the greatest acoustic blues guitarist of our era. Check out “Just Like You.”

Favorite place to find albums: a time machine. It is all about the download.

Favorite movie: Diner

The last movie I saw was: The Lunchbox

Favorite magazine: Sports Illustrated

Favorite sport: Basketball as played by the San Antonio Spurs

Favorite food: Barbecue

Favorite restaurant: Tough. I am going to go with Black’s in Lockhart.

Where to be found on a Saturday night: Angelika Plano. Best theater in Dallas

Hobbies: Remembering when I worked out; anything Baylor related; golf; crosswords; reading

Collects: memories

Memorable vacation: Touring Great Britain with my wife and my parents

My favorite weekend retreats are: Used to be Floyd Casey Stadium; will now be Drayton McClane Stadium

If I had more time, I would: learn Spanish

Biggest misconception about me: my actual weight. I am much skinnier than I appear.

What most people don’t know about me: I cry when really good things happen but not when really bad things happen

The part of my job I do best is: Pick a jury

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Don’t hold the driver so tightly. My dad. Still not sure if he was talking just about golf or life in general.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? The comedian, actor, banjo-playing Steve Martin

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Providing a service that is economically valuable

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Frank Galvan in The Verdict. Against all odds and human frailties, he made the justice system work.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Writer or coach

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Travel, particularly off the highways

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The amount of information that impacts a decision; it is mind boggling. For my mind, at least.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Less lawyers, more paralegals

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas? Franklin’s will let you not stand in line if you get more than 5 pounds of brisket. Order some for your next lunch meeting in Austin.
 

Steve works at Haltom & Doan, LLC in Texarkana.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Deborah Johnson, North Richland Hills

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Education: Texas Tech undergrad – guns up Red Raiders, and Texas Wesleyan School of Law, which is now Texas A&M School of Law. So I guess that makes me an Aggie by proxy? Can you be a Red Raider AND an AGGIE? Uh-oh.

Bet you didn’t know: I used to be in musical theatre and wanted to star on Broadway.

Current Project: Building my brand as an entertainment lawyer and being a new GRANDMA.

Born/Age: Born in Lubbock, Texas 1973; YOU DO THE MATH

Family: Married to a wonderful man, have a beautiful daughter and granddaughter, and a handsome & talented son.

Areas of practice: Primarily Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property, Contract & Business Law, and recently accepted to become an Independent Hearing Examiner (IHE) for the Texas Education Agency, and an Adjunct Professor for Tarrant County College.

Another little known fact: I take a modern dance class at Tarrant County College at the age of 41!

Culinary talent: Homemade chicken enchiladas…my family loves these but only make them about twice a year…they are a lot of work!

Mentor/hero: My grandfather was very influential in my life. He did not say much, but his actions spoke loud. He taught me the value of a dollar, hard work, loving your family, and to have CONVICTION. He was taken suddenly when I was 15. But he instilled a lot in me in our short time together.

Most important career lesson: Do not take cases in an area of law you know nothing about!

Latest pursuit: Auditioned for a local musical. Hopefully, next time I will get the part (I think I was a little rusty…haha).

Favorite saying/quote: Proverbs 15: 22 - Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Pet peeve: Long winded story tellers!

Secret for staying young: First and foremost, God has been good to me – the King Spa, awesome family, and church family.

Favorite TV program: The Good Wife….what else is there??

Favorite musician: My cousin, Jason Waltony Berg, the trumpet player.

Favorite place to find albums: Amazon….don’t even have to get out of bed.

Favorite movie: So many to choose from….hmmm…ALL CHICK FLICKS…so cliché…I know!

Favorite sport: Soccer - and when my son goes pro, it will totally pay off. 

Favorite food: Definitely Mexican food….I live in Texas….Mexican food doesn’t get any better!  YUMMY…Joe T Garcia’s.

Favorite restaurant: Glorias!

Talents (besides law): Dancing, singing, and loving people.

Hobbies: I love to get in the yard and plant things, get all dirty, and make a big mess while making things look pretty.

Memorable vacation: Kauai – the GARDEN island…now I want a house there!

My favorite weekend retreats are: The King Spa – if you haven’t been, you are missing out.

Best thing about being a lawyer: I’m the boss!!!!

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas? You got big shoes to fill, probably should start doing your sit-ups and push-ups now!
 

Deborah works at the Law Office of Deborah E. Johnson in North Richland Hills.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Sarah Vollbrecht, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-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: It is an interesting and challenging job (--except during large document reviews).

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: “This too shall pass” (from my parents). I remember that when I’m up late at night writing a brief - there will come a time when the brief has been filed and life will be better.

Areas of practice: I am in-house litigation counsel for a major corporation. I am not limited to a particular type of litigation, so at any given time I could be working (for example) on a slip and fall case, patent litigation, or an ERISA matter. It keeps me on my toes!

Education: AB in Religion from Princeton University; JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Secret for staying young: Singing along to the Frozen soundtrack on my daughter’s Hello Kitty karaoke machine.

Where to be found on a Saturday night: At the Lot, eating fried cauliflower, drinking a glass of wine, and watching the kids re-enact Lord of the Flies in the sandbox.

If I had more time, I would: Do more of everything! Read, travel, cook, learn new languages, and be active.

The part of my job I do best is: Answering emails. I cannot abide the bubble on my iPhone telling me I have unread (and hence unanswered) messages.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I’ve always thought I would have made a great backup singer, if I knew how to sing or dance.
 

Sarah works at Texas Instruments Incorporated in Dallas.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Brian White, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-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: That moment when the jury returns a favorable verdict and your client can barely contain themselves.

Most important career lesson: As long as the case is ongoing, keep pressing whether you’re far ahead or way behind. Never quit. It isn’t over until its over! This applies to personal development as well.

Age: 40

Areas of practice: Plaintiff Personal Injury

Education: Texas A&M University and South Texas College of Law

Likes/Dislikes: I like honesty and dislike arrogance.

Pet peeve: Insurance Adjusters

Secret for staying young: Maintaining a healthy sense of humor and always challenging myself mentally and physically.

Memorable vacation: Last year I traveled to Berlin, Germany to see Pink Floyd perform The Wall.  Wow.

If I had more time, I would: Spend it with my three wonderful daughters.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: You can be anything you want when you grow up. Advice given by my mom.

 

Brian works at Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. in Houston.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Tom Stephens, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

If I had more time, I would
Never use an alarm clock.

Best thing about being a lawyer
Was being able to practice alongside my dad.

Bet you didn’t know
There are 18 different animal shapes in the Animal Crackers cookie zoo.

Another little known fact
In 1885, Dr Pepper was invented by a pharmacist named Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas – thank you sir!

Bad habit
McDonald’s $1 large Dr Pepper.

Family
Wife (Liz), 2 children (Brooke and Jack), 2 cats (Lyle and Kelly), 1 dog (Scotch) – and I count my blessing daily.

Areas of practice
General solo practice, both transactional and litigation – primarily consumer, contracts, oil & gas, real estate, and estate planning/tax.

Education
Southwestern University, B.A. Economics, May 1999. University of Houston Law Center, J.D., May 2002

Mentors/heroes
My dad.

Most important career lesson
K.I.S.S.

Latest pursuit
Work/Life balancing act.

Secret for staying young
Stay in motion.

Memorable vacation
Paradise Island, Summer of 1999 – daydreams of a 1L.

Culinary talent
Mashed potatoes – large curd cottage cheese instead of sour cream or butter, trust me it works.

Community Involvement
Board Director of the Upper Kirby Foundation (a Non-Profit Corporation) in Houston, TX since 2009. Oh, and I recycle.

My favorite weekend retreats are
Playing with my kids – it’s how we stay young at heart.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today?
Staying relevant.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in?
Day-trader.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney?
Organic chemistry – so much for med school.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years?
We’ll all be working in the cloud – literally.

Tom practices law at Thomas W. Stephens, P.C. in Houston.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Jason Franklin, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-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: Helping others while constantly being challenged and learning new things.

Hobbies: Travel, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and reading

Family: Married to Amanda Sotak and have a wonderful little daughter named Morgan

Areas of practice: Personal Injury and Social Security Disability

Education: Bachelor of Science, Political Science (Summa Cum Laude) Arizona State University; Juris Doctor, Southern Methodist University School of Law

Favorite saying/quote:  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world."  - Nelson Mandela

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: My grandfather advised me to always take your time when weighing an important decision, but once you make the decision to never look back.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? The erosion of the right to trial by jury through “contract” and through legislation that effectively denies access to the courts by individual victims and consumers.

Jason works at The Franklin Law Firm in Dallas.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Jaimes Sher, Irving

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson: Never let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your goal. Always treat people the way you would want to be treated. Before acting, a little empathy goes a long way.

Bet you didn’t know: I have a dozen patents in which I am a named inventor. I am particularly proud of the patent on which I am the sole inventor for making wine through chemistry.

Family/personal: Married 25 years with 2 daughters in college, one at IU and the other at UM. I graduated from UT Austin and my wife from Texas A&M; I guess opposites do attract.

Areas of practice: My current position is Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for a global chemical company headquartered in Dallas. I have been practicing in the IP law field for more than 20 years in all areas of practice - patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Education: Bachelor’s in Biology/Chemistry from UT Austin (1985): J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law (1989); and LLM in IP from The John Marshall School of Law (1991).

Culinary talent: I enjoy cooking all Italian food, and attempt many a Mario Batali recipe while enjoying glasses of wine from Tuscany. I do like to barbecue on the grill outside, and have done so in at least two feet of snow and freezing temperatures.

Latest pursuit: Training for a half-ironman, and eventually a full ironman; recently completed two international distance triathlons, and have run several marathons.

Favorite quote: I am not sure where I heard this, but it is something I use all the time. “Research and development without IP protection is philanthropy.”

Favorite TV program: New NBC program, “The Blacklist”.

Favorite restaurant: Pappas Brother’s Steakhouse. I have tried many steakhouses all over the country, and none in my opinion come even close.

Generally likes to read/last book read: I enjoy reading most all business related books. I just finished the book “The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of the Predicting the Unpredictable” by James Weatherall. It was truly a fascinating read.

If I had more time, I would: Spend more time with my family, children, parents, relatives and friends. Nothing is more enjoyable and relaxing, and irreplaceable.
Best thing about being a lawyer: Being an IP lawyer is the best thing about being a lawyer. I have the opportunity to work with the latest and greatest technology and a lot of very smart people. The practice is global and I enjoy working with and learning from people from cultures around the world. IP law is changing and technology is advancing all the time and this makes for an exciting and challenging profession.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Teaching students about the importance and relevance of IP in business. And, if that did not work out, become a winemaker.

 

Jaimes works at Celanese Corporation in Irving.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Mary Elizabeth Fuentes Valdez, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 94,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

The part of my job I do best is: Relating to the youths with whom I am privileged to work; some can be challenging but most are really fun and inquisitive and intelligent (and very street savvy), and they keep me on my toes.

Bet you didn’t know: that I’m a Bexar County Master Gardener and that I volunteer regularly with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Family: Married to my wonderful, supportive husband, Richard, who is in quality assurance for a local food manufacturing company.

Areas of practice: Child welfare law (represent lots of children, some parents, through the Abuse and Neglect Courts of Bexar County)

Education: B.A. (Political Science & English) from St. Mary’s University and J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law

Another little known fact: Most people don’t know that I was a part-time Judge for the Municipal Court of the City of San Antonio for 18 years.

Bad habit: That I hardly ever sit still; I always have to be doing something.

Community involvement: In the Fall of 2009, a colleague Brenda Knowles and I formed a nonprofit organization, YTIA (Youth Transitioning into Adulthood) to assist youths aging out of foster care; more information about the organization can be found at www.ytia.org.

Current project: Volunteering the second Saturday of every month with the wonderful youths of Team YTIA

Favorite TV program: Big Bang Theory

Favorite musician: Joe Satriani, guitarist

Favorite movie: Gone with the Wind

The last movie I saw: Ender’s Game

Favorite sport: Football, what else? (Go, Eagles)

Favorite food: Anything Italian

Hobbies: Love to craft and paint

If I had more time, I would: be outside more “digging in dirt.”

If I wasn’t an attorney, what profession would I have been in?: I would have been a geologist. I even I took an oil and gas course in law school; Ernie Smith was a great teacher.


Mary Elizabeth works at Mary Elizabeth Fuentes Valdez Attorney at Law in San Antonio.

You can also view Mary Elizabeth's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 94,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Elizabeth Rivers, Houston

Elizabeth RiversFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Favorite food: It’s a toss-up between lobster and snow cones.

Hobbies: Gardening, but without a green thumb. What I do might better be described as slowly killing plants.

If I had more time, I would: Flip houses.

Favorite saying/quote: A recent favorite: “Let’s eat grandma. Let’s eat, grandma. Commas save lives.”

Best thing about being a lawyer: The law is constantly evolving, so there is always something new to learn. And if you don’t like what you learn, you have the opportunity to argue different interpretations, new applications, or outright change. That keeps life interesting.

Family: My husband, Brian, is a physician assistant in surgical oncology at M.D. Anderson.

Areas of practice: My focus is civil appellate law.

Education: J.D., Washington University School of Law (2008) cum laude; B.A., University Scholars, Baylor University (2005) magna cum laude.

Who would you want playing you in a movie? Scarlett Johansson.

Last book you read: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

Favorite restaurant: Mark’s American Cuisine.

Favorite sport: Football!

The last movie I saw: The World’s End.

Favorite TV program: Major Crimes.

Bet you didn’t know: I grew up with horses and showed Appaloosas through high school.

Another little known fact: I started buying rental properties in college.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Gaining trial experience.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Probably accounting. I’m sure taxpayers are thrilled that I chose the legal route.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? E-filing, bookmarking, and most recently hyperlinking appellate briefs.

Elizabeth is an associate at Wright & Close LLP in Houston.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Heath Novosad, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-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: Helping people navigate the legal system

Most important career lesson: Be an effective communicator.  Whether you are advising your client about the strengths or weaknesses of his/her case, negotiating with opposing counsel, arguing before a court, or presenting your client’s case in the most effective manner to a jury, as a trial lawyer, your job requires effective communication.

Bet you didn’t know: I was the left tackle for the 1994 Sealy Tigers Class AAA Texas State Champion football team.

Family: Wife, Katie

Areas of practice: Commercial and Personal Injury Trial Attorney

Education: The University of Texas – BBA ’99, JD ‘02

Doesn’t: Facebook or Tweet

Community Involvement: Houston Young Lawyers Foundation 4-Term Board Member

Favorite TV program: The Wire and Friday Night Lights

Favorite sport: College Football

Generally likes to read: Dystopian Fiction

Memorable vacation: Mediterranean Cruise, where we toured Israel, saw the Pyramids of Giza (including getting to go inside the Great Pyramid), several Greek islands, plus stops in Turkey and Italy

My favorite weekend retreats are: Austin and Las Vegas

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Teaching and coaching speech and debate.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Electronic discovery was in its infancy when I started my practice. Over the last 11 years, it has become incredibly sophisticated with a variety of tools available both on the production side and the review side. It is imperative that litigators have an understanding of these tools to effectively manage large-volume electronic discovery.


Heath is a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a prize.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Jessica Mangrum, Austin

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Personal: I grew up in West, Texas. 

Areas of practice: I have a litigation practice, including construction, personal injury, and professional liability. 

Education: I went to UT Austin for undergrad and law school. I bleed burnt orange. 

Community Involvement: I’ve been involved in Austin Habitat for Humanity for a number of years. I like to see the progress you can make on a home working on a Saturday.  The Austin Bar Association partners to construct a “Legal Build” every other year and it’s a great project. 

Mentor/hero: My dad is an attorney, and I always admired him for helping people. Many people see doctors and ministers as helping people. Lawyers help people every day, generally under difficult circumstances. 

When they do the film about you, what actress should portray you? A jury once told me that I look like Parker Posey, but more often I am told that I look like Tina Fey, especially when I’m wearing my glasses. 

Favorite TV program: Downton Abbey

Favorite music: My favorite new album is Cheater’s Game, by Austin’s own Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison. 

Favorite sport: Running for myself; Longhorn football for watching

Memorable vacation: I just returned from my honeymoon in Canada. We spent time in Vancouver and in the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia. 

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would really enjoy working as park ranger at one on Texas’ state parks, such as Enchanted Rock or Pedernales Falls. 

 

Jessica works at Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons, L.L.P. in Austin. 

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Rich Melendez II, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-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 get to compete every day. 

Most important career lesson: Learn from others, but always be yourself. 

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I think juries will need more video and multimedia to process information. Kids don’t learn from reading a book anymore. 

Favorite TV program: Sons of Anarchy.

Bet you didn’t know: I had to go to summer school to graduate high school.

Another little known fact: I was in Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the first Gulf War-U.S. Army. 

Family: My wife is Veronica, she is a kindergarten teacher. Rich is a college student at Texas State University. Madrid is in second grade and a dancer. 

Areas of practice: My practice concentrates in personal injury and contract litigation. I am Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. 

Education: University of Houston—Clear Lake (BS in Healthcare Administration) ‘97; University of Houston JD/MBA ’02.

Culinary talent: Most recently, barbeque (I smoked a brisket and ribs). I’m pretty good with pizza and Italian food.    

What’s on your iPod right now? Eli Young Band and Randy Rogers, but Pandora has everything from Frank Sinatra to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis set up, with Lynard Skynard and AC/DC in between.

Who would you want playing you in a movie? A young Robert De Niro.

Last book you read: The Charlemagne Pursuit, by Steve Berry.

Favorite saying/quote: You know, Bill, there's one thing I learned in all my years. Sometimes you just gotta say, "What the [heck], make your move." Joel from Risky Business.

The last movie I saw: Life of Pi.

Favorite food: Pizza.

Favorite restaurant: Los Ramirez (authentic Mexican food).

Favorite sport: Soccer, but I love watching any sport.

Hobbies: gym/fitness.

If I had more time, I would: travel. 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Making client’s whole in the face of legislators, time constraints in jury selection, and the jury pool’s current feelings about our legal system and its participants.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Hospital management.

What has changed the most technologically or practice-wise since you have been licensed? How we show evidence to a jury. Publishing to the jury is no longer handing them a photo or a diagram. Our audio and video needs continue to grow.

Rich has a private practive in Houston, Melendez Law, P.C.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Houston Tower, Austin

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-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: Helping people.

Most important career lesson: Be humble and diligent.

Bet you didn’t know: I can walk on my hands and freestyle rap.

Born/Age: March 17, 1982 (31 yrs old)

Areas of practice: Public Policy, Government Law, Criminal Defense

Education: BA in Communications - Texas A&M Corpus Christi; JD - Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Culinary talent: I can cook with the best of them as long as the best of them means cooking tasty food without recipes.

What kind of car do you drive? Ford F-150

Mentors/heroes: My father and mother, Danny and Kathy Tower. My father has practiced law for 31 years and is a self-made man. My mother taught high school speech and debate and is the most caring and strongest woman I have ever known.

Latest pursuit: Working in the Texas Legislature on public policy.

Current Project: Handling a limited amount of criminal defense cases.

Favorite quote: “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.” - Proverbs 12:24

Favorite plays: The Producers

Favorite TV program: Franklin and Bash.

Favorite artist: George Rodrigue

Favorite musicians: Outkast and Robert Earl Keen Jr.

The last movie I saw was: Superman

Favorite sport: Football

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite restaurant: Oishi in Houston, TX

Talents (besides law): I can sing a bit.

Generally likes to read/Current reading material: Early American non-fiction audiobooks. Currently listening to Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, by Jon Meacham

What most people don’t know about me: I’m kind of a nerd.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? For new attorneys like myself, it is differentiating yourself from the crowd of attorneys in the market in order to gain clients.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? My father was hit by a drunk driver when I was 25. It almost took his life, and I wanted more than anything to step into his shoes as an attorney to help him. I realized that I had to take life more seriously at that point and set a path to law school.

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas? “With great power comes great responsibility.” - Uncle Ben, Spiderman (Stan Lee)
 

Houston works at the Office of State Representative Eddie Lucio III in Austin. 

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Martina Meritz, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson: Take everything in stride.

The part of my job I do best is: Negotiations. I like to find creative ways to come up with settlement strategies.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Atticus Finch…He was the essence of a great human being.

Born/Age: January 21, 1977; 36

Family: I am married with a 4 year old son and a 6 month old daughter.

Areas of practice: Civil Defense/Insurance Defense

Education: I went to Trinity University for my undergraduate studies. I then went to Washington, D.C. for law school at Catholic University.

Bet you didn’t know: I am half Russian, one quarter Mexican, and one-quarter German.

Another little known fact: I was raised with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. During holidays we had a Christmas tree and a Menorah.

Likes: I love to play tennis. I played in college and continue to play in adult leagues as much as possible.

Culinary talent: Sadly…ordering take out. My cooking skills are very much lacking.

Mentors/heroes: Thurgood Marshall, FDR, Nelson Mandela, and of course my mommy.

Favorite saying/quote: “I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line—the survivors of a regiment of 1,000 that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Favorite plays: I am a cheesy musical lover. My favorites include Evita, Rent, and Wicked.

Favorite music/musician: Pink

Favorite movie: American History X, Lincoln, and Ordinary People

Favorite sport: Tennis

Favorite food: Anything sweet. Unfortunately I love sugar.

If I had more time, I would: Travel

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? A Supreme Court Judge

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? College Professor

 

Martina works at Paul Garcia & Associates Attorneys & Counselors at Law in San Antonio. 

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: John Schneider, Plano

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: The thing I like about being a lawyer, especially a patent attorney, is the intellectual challenge in finding ways to help your clients achieve their goals.

The part of my job I do best is: I get satisfaction out of helping solo inventors and small companies obtain value for their inventions.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? In addition to my hobbies, I enjoy helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, hence my involvement with the Arc and Special Olympics.

Age: 56

Family: Widowed, 3 adult sons.

Areas of practice: Intellectual Property, licensing

Education: BS - Biology Lehigh University, JD - Fordham University

Is not good at: Golf

Culinary talent: I make great ribs on the grill, and I like to create my own dishes.

What kind of car do you drive? Ford Explorer 

Community Involvement: I currently serve as Board Secretary for the Arc of Texas, and I volunteer with the Special Olympics.

Mentor: My Father. Dad was a successful patent attorney for almost 50 years. I seek his advice.

Most important career lesson: Listen more, speak less

Favorite play: Inherit the Wind

Favorite TV programs: M*A*S*H and Law and Order

Favorite composers: Mozart, JS Bach

Favorite musician: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

Favorite movie: The Longest Day

Favorite food: Roast Duck

Hobbies: Sailing, snow skiing, reading, travel

Generally likes to read/Current reading material: History and mysteries. I’m currently reading the Guns of August about World War I.

Memorable vacation: A week at the Westin La Cantera with my girlfriend doing nothing.
 
My favorite weekend retreats are: My sailboat

If I had more time, I would: Travel more

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Chief Justice Roberts

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would have stayed in the Army as a career.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? While on active duty, I had the opportunity to serve on several courts-martial. Watching the attorneys at work sparked my interest. 

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The advent of email, texting, and smart phones has caused clients to expect almost immediate responses at almost any hour of the day or night. This leads to increased stress and can rob an attorney of much needed personal time. Lawyers need to turn off their phones and take time for themselves whenever they can to avoid burnout.

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas? Encourage our fellow lawyers to take time for themselves whenever they can.

 

John is Vice President of Acacia Research Group LLC in Plano.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Thais Amaral Tellawi, Houston

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?

Favorite saying/quote: Make it a great day! So easy, yet so many of us forget we can do it!

When they do the film about you, what actress should portray you? People have told me I look like Sandra Bullock so I’d pick her. I think she’d play a great lawyer, don’t you?!

Born/Age: November 20 / age 31

Family: Married and practicing with fellow attorney, Saeed Tellawi.

Bet you didn’t know: I was born and raised in Brazil.

Another little known fact: I can decorate a cake like a professional.

Likes/Dislikes: Love doing the dishes. It’s almost therapeutic. Hate unloading the dishwasher.

Culinary talent: Advanced! I love baking and cooking any food, especially Brazilian food.

Latest pursuit: Getting a gig as a TV Salesperson on QVC.

Secret for staying young: To keep the outside feeling as young as the inside: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. And remove your makeup every night, ladies!
 

Thais works at Amaral Tellawi PLLC in Houston.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Danny Long, Houston

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?

Most important career lesson: Lean into your fears.

Favorite saying/quote: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”  Thomas Jefferson.

Best thing about being a lawyer: The tremendous satisfaction I have in counseling and assisting clients who often times have nowhere else to turn.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? George H.W. Bush

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The advancement in courtroom technology has changed the most. When I first started practicing law, very few lawyers were using computer technology in presenting their cases in court. Now it is a necessity. 

Family: Married to Maida Long. We have three wonderful children: Lauren (6), Morgan (5) and Will (2).

Areas of Practice: Commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction, employment, and oil and gas litigation.

Education: Baylor University (B.A. 1999) South Texas College of Law (J.D. 2002).

Culinary Talent: I would like to think that I have one but I really don’t although my kids like when I make them breakfast.

Community Involvement: I am very active in the Houston Bar Association and serve as Co-Chair of the Lawyers for Literacy Committee. Through the HBA I am involved in serving as a tutor for middle school students and volunteering for legal clinics.

Pet peeve: People who are not self accountable.

Favorite TV program: Anything on the History Channel.

The last movie I saw: Madagascar 3 with my girls.

Favorite food: My wife’s lasagna.

Hobbies: Anything outdoors – running, swimming, camping with the kids and just spending time with my family.

If I had more time, I would: Try to write a novel and travel more.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I think the biggest challenges facing lawyers are technological advances and the growing demand for lawyers to keep up with technology. Lawyers are now expected to keep up with technology and to utilize it efficiently. 

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Probably a financial analyst. 

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Again the technological changes and advancements will continue to change the ways lawyers practice law. Also, because of the Internet and technology, lawyers will continue to be more mobile and not tied to one location offering more lawyers the opportunity to work from home. We are already seeing this. 

Danny is a partner in Crady, Jewett & McCulley, LLP in Houston.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Mary Grace Ruden, Houston

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?

Areas of practice: I joined the Harris County Public Defender’s Office in March 2011. Prior to joining the office, I was in private practice where I represented clients accused of misdemeanors and felonies in state and federal courts. While in private practice, I also orchestrated mock trials and shadow juries for major white collar crime litigation.

Latest pursuit: Currently I am in the Mental Health Division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office. The Mental Health Division is designed to provide specialized defense services to mentally ill defendants, with attorneys supported by social workers who connect defendants with mental health services in addition to representing them.
 

Education: I received my J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 2000, and my B.A. from Southwestern University in 1997.

Bet you didn’t know: I was one of the first students at Southwestern University to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies (a relatively new discipline at the time). Prior to entering law school I worked at the Houston Zoo on the Attwater’s prairie chicken captive breeding program as part of the National Recovery Plan. The prairie chicken is a critically endangered subspecies of prairie grouse that was once very common on the coastal prairies of eastern Texas, including what is today the Houston metropolitan area. The Houston Zoo is the coordinator of the captive breeding programs for the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken National Recovery Plan, overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Mentors/heroes: I had the honor of learning the practice of criminal law and spending the first ten years of that practice working along-side Michael Ramsey, George Tyson, and Chip Lewis. I learned more in that time than I have in any other setting, and I value my friendship with each of them.

The part of my job I do best is: Listening. It can sometimes take a back seat in a litigator’s world, but I think listening is the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal in this business.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I would like to address that specifically as to the challenges for a criminal defense attorney and talk about the concept of holistic defense. Holistic defense combines legal advocacy with a broader recognition that for most poor people arrested and charged with a crime, the criminal case is not the only issue with which they struggle. In my cases, the person’s mental health must be addressed and considered.  In other kinds of cases, people are so concerned about medical care, housing, government benefits, and other services that their actual case may be way down on the list of things keeping them up at night. To be truly effective advocates for our clients, we must broaden the scope of our work to include both the collateral consequences of criminal justice involvement as well as the underlying issues, both legal and non-legal, that have played a part in driving our clients into the criminal justice system in the first place. This is a concept that I have come to embrace and the words I use to describe it are borrowed from the Center for Holistic Defense, a project of the Bronx Defenders.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? My husband and I have a six year old son and twin two year olds. They keep us busy and they are our greatest joy.

 

Mary Grace works at the Harris County Public Defender's Office.

You can also view Mary Grace's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Barbara Brown, Houston

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?

Mentor/hero: Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center - an amazing man who has made many contributions to our country

The part of my job I do best is: training new generations of attorneys.

What most people don’t know about me: I was on the archery team in high school.

Family: Married for 31 years to Robert Brown, a former attorney and retired teacher. One fabulous dog, Jill, a retired greyhound racer (she’s the second retired racer we’ve had, and I highly recommend these wonderfully gentle creatures).

Areas of practice: I’m an Associate Vice President & Managing Legal Officer for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I oversee our General Business & Education Section, specializing in general business transactions, employment law, and academic law.

Latest pursuit: Cycling, clip-in pedals and all. I started this new sport about 6 months ago, and now I’m addicted. I ride somewhere between 50 and 80 miles a week, weather permitting.

Pet peeve: Rude people. There’s rarely a good excuse for rude behavior.

Secret for staying young: Have a wide variety of friends of different ages and from different walks of life.

Favorite TV program: The Closer…I really miss it!  But Elementary (a new show about a modern day Sherlock Holmes) is also pretty good.

Favorite artist: René Magritte

Favorite music/musicians: I enjoy many different kinds of music, but I’ll be a fan of the Rolling Stones forever. I also love the Eagles, Rod Stewart, and Stevie Nicks. I guess I have a case of arrested development, musically speaking.

Favorite movie: Lawrence of Arabia

The last movie I saw: Lincoln. Oh, MAN, what a great film. And Daniel Day Lewis was phenomenal.

Favorite food: Mexican, of course.

Generally likes to read: I love memoirs. Some of the best I’ve read are by Katherine Graham, Barbara Walters, Jeannette Walls (Glass Castle), and Cheryl Strayed (Wild).

Memorable vacation: A 5-day bicycle tour of the Chesapeake Bay area last October. My next bicycle tour is scheduled this summer in Colorado.

The biggest challenge facing attorneys today: Great attorneys are not always great managers. Understanding how people function in the workplace and being able to support them and motivate them to do well are highly valuable skills that should be introduced in law school.
 

Barbara is an Associate Vice President & Managing Legal Officer for The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Leon Barish, 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? 

Most important career lesson: I have tried to keep legal services affordable, which has resulted in longstanding loyal clients who appreciate what I do for them.

Bet you didn’t know: I swam 1.5 miles in San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park last summer in the 20th annual Sharkfest Alcatraz swim.

What kind of car do you drive? An all-electric, zero emission Nissan Leaf

Age: 59

Family: I am married to Terry McGinty, former court reporter and now captionist, who happened to close caption the first local news broadcast in the State of Texas. Needless to say, I’m proud of her, and she’s much more interesting than me. We have two daughters, one living in Berkeley, CA and working for Berkeley Repertory Theater, and another finishing her junior year at Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Areas of practice: Real estate, business, and wills and probate. I am a closing attorney with Chicago Title.

Education: BA, The Johns Hopkins University; MPA, LBJ School of Public Affairs; JD, University of Texas School of Law.

Culinary talent: I’ve been baking bread pretty much every week or so since I was in college.

Community Involvement: I’ve been president of Friends of Deep Eddy, Inc. since 2003 and spearheaded the restoration of the Deep Eddy Bathhouse which was completed in 2007. I continue to work with City of Austin Aquatics to make Deep Eddy Pool the finest place to swim in the United States (or at least Texas).

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? My daughters would say Steve Martin or Harrison Ford because they believe I could be separated at birth from either one.

Secret for staying young: Swimming daily and consuming a reasonable amount of single malt scotch every now and then

Favorite movie: Singing in the Rain. I never tire of watching that movie.

Generally likes to read: The New Yorker keeps me plenty busy in the reading for pleasure department.

Memorable vacation: Just got back from Vietnam and Cambodia. But our favorite place would be the Canadian Rockies.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Photography or archeology

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Spend time with my family and travel

 

Leon works at Chicago Title of Texas, LLC in Austin.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Amanda Houston, Lubbock

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: Learning something new every day! I also like being able to help people know and understand their rights. 

Talents (besides law): I love decorating and doing things to our house.

Bet you didn’t know: In addition to being a full-time attorney, on my off time, I help my husband run his business. We are busy, busy, busy all the time. 

Age/Born: 34; Born in Lubbock, Texas

Family: Married to John Houston. We have a fabulous Boston Terrier named Baxter.

Areas of practice: I do a little bit of everything including consumer, family, probate, property, landlord-tenant, expunctions/non-disclosures, and occupational licenses.

Education: Texas Tech University School of Law - J.D., 2006

Another little known fact: I am a beauty product junkie!!!

Dislikes: Dislike people that take themselves too seriously.

Bad habit: I am completely addicted to Pinterest!! And I procrastinate.

Doesn’t ever turn down: candy or dessert.

Is not good at: mornings.  

What kind of car do you drive? A Lincoln MKX. I would not recommend this car to anyone unless you want to learn voice commands or use a touch screen to get it to do things.

Community Involvement: Every year our local bar does Back to Schools during Law Week. Attorneys volunteer to visit an elementary class and visit with the students about law and our society. This past year, my colleague and I did the trial of the big bad wolf. The students were the witnesses and jury, and they loved it. It was a lot of fun. 

Latest pursuit: I recently joined the bankruptcy group in our firm, so I am very excited to start learning that area and start practicing very soon. 

Current Project: The laundry room. We are trying to decide on a new floor. And I’m getting anxious to use my new washer and dryer that have been sitting in the garage for over a month now.

Pet peeve: people that can’t handle personal responsibility

Favorite plays: Favorite is probably Les Miserables followed by Phantom of the Opera.

Favorite TV program: I love anything on HGTV. I also love the Real Housewives on Bravo. I watch Beverly Hills, New Jersey, and Atlanta. With my husband I watch Pawn Stars, American Restoration, American Pickers, Duck Dynasty, and Boardwalk Empire.

Favorite composer: Mozart

Favorite music/musician: I love all kinds of music from rock 'n' roll, to country to classical and opera, but my all time favorite band would have to be Queen. I love George Jones and Conway Twitty, and I love 80’s music. 80’s on 8 is always on in my car. If I had to choose between only listening to music or only seeing movies for the rest of my life, I would choose music. 

Favorite movie: I can’t pick a favorite movie, but I do love movies based on historical events and people, even though they aren’t always accurate. I love comedies as well. Stepbrothers comes to mind. And for legal/law-related movies, one of my all time favorites is My Cousin Vinny. If that movie is on, I will watch it - only every time….

The last movie I saw was: Unfortunately, that would be Red Dawn. My husband wanted to see it.

Favorite magazine: I like Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens. I also like InStyle and fashion magazines. 

Favorite sport: College Football!!! Go Red Raiders!!

Favorite food: Not too many things can beat a fabulous steak or cheeseburger.

Favorite restaurant: Las Brisas and Carinos

Where to be found on a Saturday night: Depends on the time of year. If it is college football season, I am watching games. If it is other times, I am out to dinner and a movie or dancing every once in a while. 

Hobbies: Reading and home improvement. Also when I have a few minutes, I like to play Sudoku, Brain Trainer, and Flow Free on my phone. Flow Free is my new favorite. 

Collects: Starbucks mugs and miniature monuments from places I or people I know have been. An attorney I work with got me a carving of an Easter Island statue. That is definitely the most unique one I have.

Generally likes to read/Current reading material: I love to read history books that focus on life and events in the United States. Right now I am reading Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America by Eric Dolin. I got interested in this topic when my husband and I visited a whaling museum in Maui this summer. You learn so much more about life by reading about past events. 

Memorable vacation: When my husband and I got married almost three years ago, we didn’t have time to take a honeymoon and no time to vacation since then. But this summer, we finally squeezed in some vacation time and went to Maui. We loved it. It was nice to finally relax and not think about work. Some of the highlights were the road to Hana and the Honokalani Black Sand Beach in Waianapanapa State Park.

My favorite weekend retreats are: Quick road trips out of town for some relaxation, shopping, and good food are perfect.

If I had more time, I would: read and travel more often.

What most people don’t know about me: I am fascinated by history's mysteries! Who killed JFK?  Who was Jack the Ripper? Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Who killed the Black Dahlia? These are things I really need to know.

The part of my job I do best is: Explain complicated legal issues/concepts in a way that my clients can understand. I don’t try to sound like an attorney to my clients. I want them to fully understand their issue. 

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Just how complicated everything is. I can’t imagine things were this complicated decades ago. There is just such an explosion of regulation. It makes it hard to do a general practice. I think the key is to find some related areas you like and do your best to become very knowledgeable in them. 

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? I don’t have a favorite, but I do love the movie Hurricane. That movie is neat because it shows you how much people and attorneys can affect someone’s life. I also love My Cousin Vinny as mentioned above. I like that movie because it is just fun to watch and seems to be more accurate than a lot of legal movies as far as rules and procedures. I can quote almost that entire movie.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I think I would love to be a real estate agent and am still thinking about getting my realtor’s license.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I decided in high school that I would go to law school so that I would always be able to provide for myself and be independent. So far, so good.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? When I’m not doing legal work or my other full-time job, I love to just take it easy and hang out with my family. I love shopping or just hanging out on the couch watching mindless TV or reading a book. I also try to find time to workout when I can. Working out is a great stress reliever, and it just makes you feel good.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? I admire my parents the most. They have been married going on almost 37 years and are just good-natured, hard working, honest people. I also admire my husband for his incredible work ethic. He doesn’t cut corners on anything. He does things for other people the same way he would do them for himself.     

What has changed the most technologically or practice-wise since you have been licensed?  Everything is going online or on an app. That is very helpful, but I am still a book person. I also think more and more clients will try to resolve their legal issues by doing research online. A lot of people tell me up front that they have already researched their issue but still have questions or concerns. Unfortunately, a lot of what they have read is incorrect or incomplete. So you spend time correcting misunderstandings and then moving on from there.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I think it will go more “virtual” as people get more and more used to life online. 

 

Amanda works at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas in Lubbock.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to My Bar Page on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Vivian Gathright, Houston

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: The ability to use my skills to eradicate
injustice - that is, to use my skills as much as possible to keep America as the land of the free and the amazing home for the poor and weary souls.

Bet you didn’t know: I have a strong desire to get more intimately involved with politics. 

Another little known fact: I was the main kicker for my powder puff football team with the FBIHQ. I shoot a mean three-pointer in basketball.  

Born: December 12. I love the fiery and brilliant Blue Topaz that is associated with December.

Family: One son, David

Areas of practice: General Practice

Education: Lamar University - BSW; Thurgood Marshall School of Law - JD

Is not good at: housecleaning

Culinary talent: gourmet chef for special friends

Bad habit: biting my nails

Community Involvement: Trinity Garden Church of Christ, Catholic Church

Pet peeve: Everybody talking at the same time to get their point across. Problem is no one is listening to anyone!

When they do the film about you, what actress should portray you? Oprah Winfrey. She seems to capture the spirit of the person who I know myself to be. She has a huge and generous heart. She’s encountered and conquered many battles without apparent determent. I see myself in this light.

Secret for staying young: Laughing, loving, and living loud! Really being “out here” with the people. Also good wine, good food, and good relationships are right at the top!

Favorite TV program: Criminal Minds. They are highly respectful of each other and are respectfully collaborative with other agencies directly related to the case on which they are working, so that one can clearly distinguish the sovereigns in the playing field. 

Favorite artist: Celine Dion. Her voice is both soothing and exciting at once!

Favorite composers: Johann Sebastian Bach by a landslide! His music just rivets throughout your soul touching nerves you never knew existed. His music wakes you up to the pleasurable sensations of life! One of the pieces I like is Bach French Suite No. 2 in C minor. It’s simply breathtaking!

Favorite magazine: Better Homes and Gardens

Favorite sport: track and bicycling

Favorite food: Italian

Talents (besides law): writing, creating, encouraging others

Hobbies: public speaking anywhere, learning new ways to have fun, playing with children, people watching

Favorite restaurant: Saltgrass and Brady’s Landing

Where to be found on a Saturday night: relaxing with friends

Collects: hearts

Generally likes to read: inspirational books and magazines, i.e. Destined to Reign, Pastor Joseph Prince; Maximized Life, Bishop I. V. Hilliard

Memorable vacation: My journey through the states of Nigeria. What caught my attention were the populous streets, the impoverishment, the sternness of the government, the beauty of the landscapes, the willingness and humility of the peoples, and openness of the marketplaces. The weather was great too!

My favorite weekend retreats are: Catholic retreat centers, as they are very peaceful and open opportunities for self-examination, growth, and vision.

If I had more time, I would: work ceaselessly to close the gaps of poverty in the areas of education, personal and business development, and injustice.

Biggest misconception about me: I’m constrained.

What most people don’t know about me? I have the ferociousness of a LION when I perceive injustice! 

The part of my job I do best is: research and represent.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Don’t ever let anyone stop you from doing what you know is right for you. You can be whatever you want to be; just go out there and do it! (These are the very last words my father, Albert Vaughn Stelly, said to me when he was discharged from the hospital. He died the next day on May 12, 1992). 

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? First Lady Michelle Obama. Her life is the picture I painted of my life when I was growing up. I would like to see myself living it even if it were for just one day.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing new attorneys today? The challenge facing new attorneys today is threefold: 1) finding suitable work in the market, 2) learning how to capitalize on the mandatory requirements and expense of working in the field when you have no monetary support, and 3) how to stay afloat when the work is not coming in fast enough and there’s nowhere to turn for assistance.
Seasoned attorneys: change and how it’s going to benefit them in the long term.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? The medical field. I have always enjoyed the work of psychiatrists and psychologists. My minor is in psychology.  

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? Being an unwilling participant in the covert and overt injustice in the world that permeated my life as a child and is still affecting me and millions of others today. The vision that justice will be poured out equally, that innocence continues to be the right of the alleged criminal until he is proven guilty, that all peoples have an opportunity to be heard despite the strategies of the opposing counsel. Injustice appears to be creeping through the unsealed slabs of the foundation of justice as laid out in America’s foundational documents. I want to free peoples and America from the grasps of injustice that threaten the moral decay of our nation and our peoples. I want to awaken the world to the weakening of justice which tears away our concern and care for our most impoverished peoples. Too many people are jailed unreasonably so, losing life and liberty unjustly. This seems to be the rule rather than the exception, and I have a strong desire to represent these peoples who cannot stand for themselves.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Read about the law. Read cases. Think about the law! I just love it! It energizes me and makes me happy! And then sleep! And I do have a life!

Who are the people you admire most, and why? I really admire First Lady Michelle and President Obama because they seem to understand the plight of those less fortunate than they. I love Senator McCain because of his strong ethics and stoutness. I also admire President George W. Bush for standing forthright on what he believes and not really caring whether or not the world accepted his vision. 

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas? Take the State Bar of Texas to another frontier! Your experiences up to this point have well-prepared you for the job! Use your unique creativity, take those ideas out of your head, and follow your hunches. Chances are you will be right on target! Looking forward to seeing your hand at work and working with you to get the job done!

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? More and more middle class people will be handling their own legal affairs, cutting out the attorneys.

 

Vivian has her own law practice, The STELLY Law Firm, in Houston.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Camelia Lopez Shoemaker, Plano

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? 

Most important career lesson: It’s a small, small world. Your reputation and how you treat others will be remembered.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I have always wanted to be a restaurant critic.

Favorite TV program: Modern Family

Born/Age: Born in Boston, MA, 35 yrs ago.

Family: Married to a criminal defense attorney (we met in the courtroom!) and are proud new parents to one daughter, now just 8 weeks old.

Areas of practice: Federal criminal prosecution, specifically fraud, money laundering, computer crimes, and asset forfeiture.

Education: SMU undergrad, American University - Washington College of Law

Bet you didn’t know: I am composing these responses at 4 a.m. while feeding my newborn.

Dislikes: No matter how hard I’ve tried, I cannot like eggplant.

Bad habit: Not savoring the moment.

Mentors/heroes: In my nearly 10 years as a prosecutor, I have had the privilege of learning from so many amazingly talented attorneys, first at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and now in the Eastern District of Texas. Their passion for public service and commitment to a fair administration of justice has been a wonderful example to follow. I am always disheartened to hear stories of ethical violations in the bar or throughout the country when I am surrounded and led by so many prosecutors whose character and diligence is truly inspiring.  

Favorite saying/quote: To whom much is given, much shall be required. - Luke 12:48

Pet peeve: Inefficiency.

Favorite music/musician: I have loved Pink Martini for the last 15 years, and I am currently obsessed with Mumford & Sons.

The last movie I saw was: Argo. Wow.

Favorite restaurant: Tough one – depending on the mood, either Louie’s Pizza or anything Stephan Pyles does. Dallas has the best restaurants!

Where to be found on a Saturday night: Probably curled up watching a movie at home with my sweet husband.

Biggest misconception about me: That I’m shy. 

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: “Be anxious for nothing.” - Philippians 4:6

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? My business law class in college, taught by Barbara Kincaid. I was a finance major and this course made me realize I’d rather be on the legal side of business transactions (or so I thought, until I became a prosecutor!)

Who are the people you admire most, and why? Each of my parents, for their strength and insatiable appetite for new experiences and growth, and my in-laws, for their unwavering faith.


Camelia works at the United States Attorney's Office in Plano.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile - Christina Peterson, Georgetown

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: My favorite part is being able to offer support to someone who’s feeling vulnerable or worried. I like hearing a client say “I’ll sleep better tonight now that I’ve talked with you.”

Most important career lesson: Early in my career, I practiced criminal law which gave me a lot of trial experience. In one trial, the facts were on our side and we were confident of an acquittal on the charge of DWI. An issue came up regarding an objection which would have little, if any, impact on the outcome of the case. The prosecutor and I were arguing our positions at the bench and I got caught up proving my point. My husband acting as co-counsel, approached and slipped me a note. Thinking it must be some intriguing point of law that would seal a ruling in my favor, I opened it with a flourish, ready for my “Perry Mason” moment. Instead it said “You’ve won, don’t blow it. You’ve made your point, now shut up and sit down.” It was then I realized the importance of staying focused on acting in the client’s best interest, even if it means leaving the ego unsatisfied. 

Family: I’m married to my law partner, Layne Peterson. We’re blessed with two sons, ages 15 and 12.

Areas of practice: Estate Planning, Elder Law, Guardianships, Probate/

Education: BA from University of Kansas. Graduate study in Oriental and African Languages at University of Texas. J.D. from The University of Texas.

Culinary talent: My husband votes for my mean Etouffee. My sons believe it’s my talent for incorporating chocolate into almost any recipe.

Favorite TV program: I don’t watch TV, except for Longhorn football or basketball.

The last movie I saw: My sons chose it. I don’t remember much except that it had a lot of explosions, car chases and very little plot.

Favorite food: The Monument Café’s Chocolate Pie with pecan crust.

Favorite restaurant: The Monument Café in Georgetown.

Hobbies: We live in the country, where I enjoy puttering in my garden and raising chickens, neither of which is very productive. If you count time and effort, I probably have the most expensive eggs on the planet.

If I had more time, I would: Be more patient with my sons and act like I cared about their video game scores.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? I couldn’t, my family would cause too much mischief while I was away.

Christina practices at Peterson & Peterson in Georgetown.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile - Celeste Blackburn, The Woodlands

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? 

Areas of practice: State and Federal Criminal Law.

Education: I graduated from Texas A&M University in May of 2000 with a degree in Animal Science. I then attended South Texas College of Law graduating in December of 2002.

Most important career lesson: You never know who will be elected as a judge, so be professional to everyone!

Favorite TV Program: Sons of Anarchy.

Favorite Food: cheesecake.

If I had more time, I would: spend it with my family.

Best thing about being a lawyer: when a client appreciates your hard work.

Celeste has a private practice in The Woodlands, Celeste Blackburn, P.L.L.C.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Stacey Valdez, Webster

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: Making a difference in the lives of my clients.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Staying current on quickly evolving Supreme Court opinions. 

Most important career lesson: Invest in educating yourself. Board certification has changed the landscape of my practice.  

Family: 3 Children, all boys. One is a police officer, one is in the Navy, and the 3rd is in 2nd grade and loves baseball.

Education: Graduate of South Texas College of Law (2004).

Areas of practice: Board Certified in Family Law. Also practice criminal law.    

Culinary talent: absolutely NONE.

Community Involvement: help with my son’s baseball teams.

The last movie I saw: Trouble with the Curve.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Whoever is dating Bradley Cooper. Lol. Seriously, Hillary Clinton.

Favorite saying/quote: All that is needed for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing. 

Pet peeve: Professional discourtesy.

Favorite TV program: Grey’s Anatomy.      

Favorite food: Chips and queso.

If I had more time, I would: Travel more.

Favorite restaurant: Chuys!! Or Eddie V’s.

Hobbies: Traveling, shopping, anything outdoors.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Nursing. I was a nurse before going to law school. 

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Internet and e-filing. 

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I think that technology and social media will continue to effect the practice law generally. As far as my practice, in 15 years, I still plan to be kicking butt and taking names. 

Stacey works at The Law Office of Tarlow and Valdez in Webster.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

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.


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Thomas Johnson, Houston

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?

Areas of Practice: Captain - USAR - Judge Advocate General's Corps - 1st Legal Operations Detachment

Who are the people you admire most and why? I admire those who successfully balance career, family, and personal development and do so to the benefit of each.
 

Age: 42

Family: Wife - Cindy, Kids - David, Abby, & Cait

Education: BA - Colorado, ALM - Harvard University, JD - Tulane

Bet you didnt' know: I was once strip searched while traveling in the then Soviet Union.

Another little known fact: I can solve the rubics cube after running a marathon.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be?: Kevin Dossett

Favorite quotes: America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. - Abraham Lincoln
 

Thomas works for the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps in Houston.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Wade Barrow, Fort Worth

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? 

Areas of practice: Plaintiffs Personal Injury  

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Steve Nash in his prime. 

Age: 36

Family: Wife, Brook; two sons, Jack and Charlie

Education: Baylor – BA; Texas - JD

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? Phillip Seymour Hoffman

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? The erosion of the legal system by special interests. 

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? football coach

 

Wade works at the Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. in Fort Worth.

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


Prizes
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.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Elizabeth Martinez, Laredo

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-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: Helping people in need

The best piece of advice ever given to you: Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together.

Areas of practice: Personal Injury law, Family law, and Criminal Defense

Education: Texas A&M International University:  Bachelor of Arts with a Major in English and a Minor in Mathematics; Texas Tech University School of Law: JD

Bad habit: Being a perfectionist

Community Involvement:

United Way
• Board Member  2010-present
• V. P. of Campaign, Legal 2010-2011

Diocese of Laredo—Catholic Social Services
• Board Member 2007-present
• Secretary of Board 2008-present

Texas A&M International University
Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi 2007-present

AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program
Laredo Chapter
• Board Member 2006-2008
• Parliamentarian of Board 2006-2007

Most important career lesson: Perseverance is the key to success.

Favorite saying/quote: To whom much is given, much is also expected.

Secret for staying young: is feeling young and always staying positive.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? Seeing the helplessness of a family member in a legal battle who truly needed the guidance of an experienced, competent, honest, and zealous advocate
 

Elizabeth works at the Law Office of Elizabeth Martinez, PLLC in Laredo.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Thomas Queen, Austin

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Areas of practice: M&A and Corporate Finance

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Literary – Mason Hunt, in Martin Clark’s The Legal Limit. We have similar backgrounds!

Age: 37

Family/personal: Married (Sarah), and two young daughters (Campbell and Sally Darden).

Bet you didn’t know: I can’t whistle or blow bubblegum bubbles.

Another little known fact: But I can tie a Bimini twist and I won the 2000 White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Maryland (the biggest billfish tournament in the world).

Bad habit: Time optimist.

Favorite artist: Doc Watson

Favorite album: Space Wrangler by Widespread Panic

Current reading material: Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal, by Jim Hornfischer

Memorable vacation: Telluride, Colorado - anytime
 

Thomas works at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody PC in Austin.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Coretta Graham, Corpus Christi

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Coretta GrahamBest thing about being a lawyer: freedom to build your own small business.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? the Queen of England.

Culinary talent: sweet potatoe pie.

Pet peeve: people who waste your time.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? social worker.

Areas of practice: Criminal law, Family law, Elder law, Probate Law.

Education: JD Thurgood Marshall School of Law (1998), B.A Douglass College, Rutgers University- New Brunswick.

Community Involvement: Kiwanis, Junior League Corpus Christi, Delta Sigma Theta Inc Sorority Corpus Christi Alumnae chapter, NAACP.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? job/financial opportunities.

Most important career lesson: stay focused on the task at hand and follow through.

Favorite saying/quote: I can do all things thru Christ that strengthen me  from the Holy Bible.

Favorite TV program:  any TV judge show.

The last movie I saw: Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen.

Favorite food: licorice.

Hobbies: reading.

If I had more time, I would: travel the world.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? use of phone as mobile office.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years?  more counties will embrace efiling for criminal cases; we will have more virtual technologies integrated in the courtroom such as 3D virtual imaging that would not cost a lot of money; we would have more  FREE legal research sites; we would have virtual secretaries /rent a paralegal companies; and courtrooms would use WEBCAM more in prison/jail for arraignments, etc.

Coretta has a private practice, Graham Legal Services, in Corpus Christi.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Steven Goldston, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Steven GoldstonMost important career lesson: stay current in law office technology.

Favorite saying/quote: Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Pet peeve: intrusive TSA screenings at airports.

The last movie I saw: J. Edgar.

Hobbies: collect American civil war rifle muskets and WWII lugers.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Change from telephone to smart phone.

Family: wife, Lauri, and sons Trent, age 24, and Eric, age 19.

Areas of practice: civil trial, banking, business disputes, vaccine injuries.

Education: UT - Austin (BBA 1978) (JD 1982).

Culinary talent: My wife, Lauri, is a gourmet chef.

Community Involvement: Cross Timbers Community Church, Argyle, TX.

Favorite TV program: King of Queens; Investigative Discovery Channel.

The last movie I saw: J. Edgar.

Favorite food: t-bone steak

If I had more time, I would: hang out more with friends/family.

Best thing about being a lawyer: indoor work in summertime/wintertime.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Uncontrolled deceptive legal advertising.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? public accounting.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Lawyers will employ far fewer administrative personnel.

Steven has a private practice, Goldston Law Firm.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Adam Schachter, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-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:  getting paid to help people

Area of practice:  bankruptcy

Family: wife, son, daughter, basset hound, shi-tzu

Bet you didn’t know: I was a Division I volleyball player.

Favorite movie: The Princess Bride

Latest pursuit: beginning an antiquarian book business

If I was not an attorney, I would be: a therapist.

Favorite quote:  “Dad, did you know the Japanese have the same word for crisis that they do opportunity?”  “CRISATUNITY?”  Lisa Simpson to Homer, and Homer’s response.

 

Adam works at The Schachter Law Firm, P.C. in Houston.

You can also view Adam’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Jay J. Chase, Dallas

Jim J. ChaseFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Areas of practice: Commercial Litigation.

Education:  University of Texas; St. Mary's University.

If I had more time I would: Invent the teleport.

Best thing about being a lawyer: You can always develop work for yourself.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? General stigma of not having a moral conscience.

Most important career lesson: When things are not going right, take a step back and remain calm. Having clarity is crucial and mistakes occur when you lack it. 

Favorite saying/quote: "You can't lose what you don't put in the middle…But you can't win much either."

Bet you didn't know: I cashed in the World Series of Poker Main Event.

Favorite TV program: Dateline NBC, King of Queens.

Hobbies: Sports, poker.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Business owner/ business management.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Growth of electronic discovery and e-filing.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Widely accepted practice of web conferencing and centralized e-discovery for all parties.

Jay is an associate at Godwin Ronquillo PC.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Mark Briggs, El Paso

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson: Do the things you are passionate about.

The part of my job I do best is: give clients practical advice without legalese.

Age: 46

Family: Married, two children

Areas of practice: Child Welfare, Family, Mental Health/Probate

Education: B.A., History, UT-El Paso; J.D., Baylor University, School of Law

Bet you didn’t know: Coach, Cathedral High School, 1988 T.C.I. L. State Golf Champs

Another little known fact: Child Welfare Law Specialist certified by the ABA and National Assoc. of Counsel for Children

Is not good at: Playing courthouse politics

Culinary talent: Barbeque tri-tip beef with sauteed asparagus tips

What kind of car do you drive? 1972 Datsun 510

Community Involvement: AYSO soccer referee, Cub Scout Leader

Latest pursuit: Rediscovering model rockets with my sons

Favorite saying/quote: Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil - Jerry Garcia

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? Dennis Leary

Memorable vacation: Kauai, Hawaii

If I had more time, I would: exercise

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I’d be a high school teacher and coach.


Mark works at Briggs & Associates PC in El Paso.

You can also view Mark’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 92,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Jennifer Brevelle, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson:  The character and professionalism you exhibit as a lawyer are revealed in the respect you receive. 

Best thing about being a lawyer: The satisfaction that comes from helping someone find a resolution to their question/problem.

Culinary talent: My crockpot is my best friend in the kitchen. I can cook a pretty good roast.

Family: Husband (Kevin) and our Lhasa Apso and Westie (Maggie and Madison).

Areas of practice: Corporate and Securities Law.

Education: Texas A&M University BBA and MS, Accounting (1997); Texas Tech University School of Law (2003).

Favorite saying/quote: “The only thing you have control of is how you spend the time, that precious time.”— Elizabeth Edwards

Pet peeve: People texting while driving.

Favorite TV program: Unfortunately, I’m addicted to BRAVO network.

The last movie I saw: The Ides of March.

Community Involvement: I volunteer with Junior Achievement and have volunteered with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas.

Favorite food: Tex-Mex, Italian, Pizza.

Favorite restaurant: Mi Cocina and Fireside Pies.

Hobbies: Traveling, shopping, watching movies, spending time with friends.

If I had more time, I would: Travel the world!

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? President of the United States (just for a day though).

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Education.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? More reliance on email communication.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Probably rely even more on technology which is good in many ways but may regrettably lead to less interaction with clients.

Jennifer Brevelle is counsel to Celanese Corporation.

You can also view Jennifer’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Terry Schpok, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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:
Meeting people, as clients, who become long-term friends long after the conclusion of their initial legal matter.

Talents (besides law):
I can play the banjo like Steve Martin.  I played the banjo and mandolin with a bluegrass group and guitar with a jazz group.

Areas of practice:
Corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, securities and financing transactions for private and public corporations.

The part of my job I do best is:
Finding legal and business solutions to client’s problems ranging from structuring and negotiating transactions to finding capital and personnel to accomplish a client’s business objectives.

Community involvement:
• Board member and General Counsel to the Dallas Film Society, Inc. which hosts the Dallas International Film Festival
• Chair, Sammons Center Endowment Corp., an endowment fund supporting the Sammons Center for the Arts
• Chair, BYO Musicians Network, Inc., a non-profit organization providing cost-free musical entertainment for charity events.

Bet you didn’t know:
I used to fly airplanes and have won flying contests.

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you?
Leonard Nimoy in his younger days.

Favorite music/musician:
DJanjo Rheinhardt and the Hot Club of Paris.

Favorite saying/quote:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

If I had more time, I would:
Learn more music and spend more time in the recording studio.
 

Terry works at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Dallas.

You can also view Terry’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Joe Boyle, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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: Working with my law partners Chad Hagan and David Noll has been the best thing about being a lawyer. David and Chad are dedicated to their families, loyal to our clients, they work hard, and have the highest character. My favorite thing about being a lawyer has been building a law practice with them and sharing the same values that allow us to do the right things for our clients and the law. For me, this is what being a lawyer is all about.

Born: I was born in Southampton, New York in 1973 and grew up in Sag Harbor. Sag Harbor is an old whaling village originally settled in the 1700s and it was fun to grow up there. 

Family: My wife Amanda is from Louisiana and our daughter Allie is a native Houstonian. Allie is almost two and insists she does not want to be a lawyer, saying “NoNoNoNo” whenever I ask her.

Areas of practice: I work with entertainment companies and sports organizations concerned about online video piracy and other forms of copyright infringement. Representing executives in employment-related disputes and shareholders in corporate squeeze-outs is another interesting part of my practice.

Education: Graduated law school from the University of Houston Law Center. Before that, I received a graduate degree in communication from Fort Hays State University and an undergraduate degree in public administration from Harding University.

Bet you didn’t know: that I broke my right collar bone falling out of a tree when I was a kid.

Another little known fact: That I broke it again when I crashed my Big Wheel while riding down a hill at West Point.

Culinary talent: I am the master of Italian sausage and peppers.

Latest pursuit: Chess! I’ve taken up chess and will play in the 2011 U.S. Class Championship this year.

Favorite sport: Football season is here! Our Houston Texans looked great in the season opener against the Colts and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

Memorable vacation: Italy with my wife in 2004 was phenomenal. We visited Venice, Florence, Rome and Positano on the Amalfi Coast. John Steinbeck wrote about Positano in 1953: “It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” So true. 


Joe works at Hagan Noll & Boyle LLC in Houston.

You can also view Joe’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Carolyn Shellman, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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:  My colleagues are other lawyers who are, generally, the smartest and most witty people in the room. And I’ve been fortunate to work with really smart clients. Surrounding yourself with people like that makes going to work easy.

The part of my job I do best is: Listen

Most important career lesson:  Listening is more important than speaking.

Born: I was born in Freeport, Texas but grew up in Oklahoma.  

Family: I have one beautiful daughter, working on her PhD in counseling psychology.

Areas of practice:  General Counsel of an electric and gas utility in San Antonio

Education: I received my undergraduate education with a major in Psychology from Vassar College. I graduated from law school at the University of Oklahoma.

Bet you didn’t know: How difficult it is to be an Oklahoma football fan working in offices filled with UT and A&M graduates. (I could jinx it if I said this year may be a good one.)

Dislikes: I dislike “business speak,” the trendy phrases that get overused such as “drilling down,” doing something in the “finance space,” etc. (Does that make sense?)

Is not good at: Surveys

Culinary talent: My talent lies in presentation (although what I cook generally tastes good as well).

What kind of car do you drive? I have an Infiniti G-37 coupe and a Chevy Silverado truck. The truck doesn’t fit into my parking space very well, so I generally drive it on weekends.

Mentors/heroes:  Martha Smiley and George Cowden are the two that come to mind - two former bosses who are smart, courageous, and generous human beings.

Latest pursuit: Trees and studying Shakespeare with Tom Arp. I have been taking Shakespeare classes for several years now, and Tom is the best professor ever. Learning to recognize trees is a self-study project.

Pet peeve: High-rising terminal inflection.

When they do the film about you, what actress should portray you? Meryl Streep lived in the same dorm with me at Vassar and people have always told me I look like her, although I don’t see it. If she can perfect an Oklahoma/central Texas accent, she would be my choice.

Secret for staying young: Exercise, try new things, lie about your age.

Favorite plays: As You Like It

Favorite musician: Jimmy LaFave

Favorite movie: I used to have favorites, but I’ve decided I don’t have time to watch anything twice. I recently enjoyed “Page One” about The New York Times. 

The last movie I saw was: Universal Soldier: The Return

Favorite magazine: The New Yorker  

Favorite sport: Football (if I’m watching); tennis (if I’m playing)

Favorite food: mussels, the way they prepare them at St Martin’s Wine Bistro

Favorite restaurant: Hector’s on Henderson. 

Where to be found on a Saturday night:  country dancing, short track car races, live theater, or at home cooking and watching movies

Collects:  old New Yorker magazines (that I don’t have time to read)

Generally likes to read: I aspire to read business-related books, but I prefer fiction.

Current reading material: “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese and “Black Swan, The Impact of the Highly Improbable” by Nassim Taleb.

Memorable vacation: I went to Morocco last month for the wedding of a friend who lives there.
 
My favorite weekend retreats are: my house or Dallas

If I had more time, I would: organize my life and spend more time with my sisters

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: George Cowden told me to not treat your hunting dog like a pet.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Maria Sharapova (but I wouldn’t grunt)

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? To remember that we are called to the highest of professions and that we provide invaluable service to our clients. Life is not just about making money.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Gregory Peck - classic movie, compelling story, the lawyer was the hero.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I have never had one day when I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I still wonder why everyone doesn’t want to be one.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I heard Ralph Nader speak while I was in college and decided that I wanted to be a lawyer so I could make a difference.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? My parents. My father served as a bombardier over Europe in WWII when he was 19, then he came home and became a baseball coach and a teacher. I can’t calculate how often someone tells me or my sisters what an inspiration he was to them. My mother grew up in a small Oklahoma town, graduated from Vassar, and was a Renaissance woman.
 

Carolyn is Executive Vice President & General Counsel at CPS Energy in San Antonio.

You can also view Carolyn’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Sara Krumholz, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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 get to solve problems every day. 

Secret for staying young: Laughing as much as possible. 

If I had more time, I would: love to learn the art of photography. 

Born: I was born and raised in Spring Green, WI.

Family: I live in Lakewood with my lovely husband, Todd, and our pound puppy, Charlie!

Areas of practice: Civil Litigation Defense

Doesn’t: swim in the ocean. Sharks need plenty of space, and I give it to them. 

Culinary talent: I make a killer grilled cheese. 

What kind of car do you drive? Toyota Prius. It’s good for the environment, but the real reason I own one is because I hate stopping for gas.

Latest pursuit: I have big intentions to become a paddle boarder. 

The last movie I saw was: Harry Potter. I haven’t read the books and I’ve only seen a couple other Harry Potter movies, but it’s a hot summer and at this point, I’ll see anything that means sitting in a cold theater for several hours.

Favorite magazine: The Advocate. I love supporting my neighborhood!

Favorite food: I’m obsessed with olives, preferably of the green variety.

Favorite restaurant: Abacus.

Last book read: I love to read, and on my last vacation from reading case law, I read “Little Bee” and “The Help.”

My favorite weekend retreats are: weekends in Wisconsin when I cheer on the Badgers and visit friends and family.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Matthew McConaughey in A Time to Kill.  I could watch that movie a million times and I’m sure I’m getting close. It has a compelling story, and displays the power of a jury.  

 

Sara Krumholz works at MacDonald Devin in Dallas.

You can also view Sara’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Bart Behr, San Marcos

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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: Serving others in need.

Favorite album: When I was a kid, I wore out my Back in Black LP. Now, AC/DC and Country really don't mix. Though Angus is making a comeback.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? A professional athlete - preferably an NFL quarterback on game day (for the winning team) or an extreme snow skier. There is nothing like an adrenaline rush.

Favorite restaurant: La Margarita (San Antonio in Market Square).

Collects: kids!

Favorite composers: Is George Strait a composer?

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Going paperless.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? My 10th grade geometry teacher recommended it. This was a bit surprising since my standardized test results likely indicated that I should be a "laborer."

Family: High school sweetheart and wife of 19 years, 4 children ages 14, 11, 8 and 4.

Areas of practice: Personal Injury, Social Security and Business Litigation.

Education: Undergraduate from Baylor University; Law degree from Texas Tech School
of Law.

Bet you didn't know: I was blind, but now I see; the Good News and Lasik are great.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: "keep it short"; a colleague.

Another little known fact: My name is formally shortened from Behrhorst to Behr. This
sort of goes along with the best piece of advice.

Bad habit: An occasional cigar. I don't think it's bad. Those around me do.

Culinary talent: Eggs with anything I can find mixed in! Mesquite grilled anything.

Community Involvement: Adding children to the community. Before that, I was involved in local politics, fundraisers, Big Brothers Big Sisters. I remain faithfully involved in my Church.

Mentors/heroes: Lots of supportive friends and family.

Most important career lesson: Patience.

Latest pursuit: I'm always pursuing lots of things. This is true in both my professional (litigation) and personal endeavors (goals, household projects, hunting, sports, etc.).

Current Project: Building an outdoor grill and and a pen for horses.

Pet peeve: Being interrupted while speaking (even though I'm the worst offender).

Favorite artist: My brother-in-law, Jason Lawson. He's an extremely talented glass blower and incredibly gifted with other media.

Favorite music/musician: Country.

Favorite place to find albums: iTunes.

Favorite magazine: SI or Texas Monthly.

Favorite sport: Watching football; Playing soccer.

Favorite food: Mexican.

Talents (besides law): carpentry - not sure I'd call it a talent.

Hobbies: hunting, fishing, running, reading, golf.

Generally likes to read/Last book read/Current reading material: the Bible, historical
fiction and westerns.

If I had more time, I would: play more golf, fish, and write a book.

The part of my job I do best is: Thorough investigation and effective communication with clients.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Political partisanship - not so much between attorneys - but among our elected officials. Extreme partisanship has created unreasonable rules, statutes, and precedent that make our jobs unnecessarily inefficient and time consuming (ex. CPRC R. 41.0105 - paid vs. incurred). In the end, our clients pick up the tab.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Denny Crane, Boston Legal. He always finds humor in the situation and ends every show smoking a cigar. I envy his spontaneity.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Construction/Architecture.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Work with my hands,construction projects around the house, mainly being outdoors, various family activities.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? Jesus Christ - Everyday my goal is to be more like him. I always fall short.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Investigative and research tools will be more abundant and less expensive. The statewide system will be paperless much like the federal system is now. Fax machines and postal carriers will be obsolete.

Bart has a private law practice in San Marcos.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: James Bailey, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson:  My client’s time is valuable. Don’t waste it. Be Direct. Be Accurate. Be prompt.

Culinary talent: “Yankee” Potato Salad (russet potatoes; mayo; diced celery and white onion; generous salt and pepper. That’s’ all you need.)

Favorite food:  Baked-stuffed lobster (It’s a New England-thing).

Born/Age:  Providence, Rhode Island, April 26, 1974 / Age 37

Family: Married to Catherine, for 12 years. We have four children - 2 boys, 2 girls - ages 8, 6, 4 and 2.

Areas of practice: Admiralty and maritime law; transportation; environmental and toxic tort

Education:  Trinity University, B.A. 1996; South Texas College of Law, J.D. 2001

Bet you didn’t know: my 8th grade yearbook superlative was: “Biggest Mouth to Smallest Stature.” (See, at 13 years old, my classmates knew I would become lawyer).

Doesn’t: Do Jane Austen movies. (Have yet to convince my wife to join this cause).

Is not good at: putting lipstick on a pig. (Our profession demands that we be forthright to the courts and our clients).

Pet peeve:  Form discovery.

Secret for staying young:  It is being kept secret from me.

Favorite TV program: Modern Family

Favorite album: Astral Weeks - Van Morrison

Favorite music/musician:  Van Morrison; Grateful Dead

Favorite place to find albums:  YouTube

Favorite movie: The Godfather; The Hangover

Favorite magazine: The Week

Favorite sport:  Soccer (to play); Football (to watch)

Favorite restaurant: Killen’s Steakhouse (Pearland, Texas)

Where to be found on a Saturday night:  On my back porch with my wife, The Week, and a cold Miller Lite

Collects: Children, apparently

Memorable vacation:  Yet to be taken

If I had more time, I would:  Find the secret to staying young and take that memorable vacation. (Maybe they’re one in the same).

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom:  DFIU: “Don’t ______ it up.” (Multiple) 

 

James T. Bailey is Director of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith in Houston.

You can also view James’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile - Leigh Logan, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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: jury trials

If I had more time, I would: audit all the undergraduate and graduate classes I wanted to, for free.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: “Never give unsolicited advice.” - Elaine Taylor, my mother 

Born/Age: Temple, Texas, 1965/46 years old

Family: single mom to a 9-year-old son

Area of practice: criminal defense

Education: B.A., Economics & Finance, University of Texas at Dallas; J.D., SMU Dedman School of Law, 1992

Bet you didn’t know: that when I was in college, I worked for Jerry Clements (now head of litigation at Locke, Lord, Bissell) as a legal secretary. Jerry was the best woman boss a secretary could ever have. 

One other little known fact: I recently took a six-week cooking class and can now cook food that doesn’t kill anyone.  

Bad habit: cursing, sometimes like a sailor

What kind of car do you drive? a car that is paid for

Don’t: post anything on Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet that could hurt your client in front of a jury. The panel members will have googled you down to your blood type before you can even finish voir dire. Bragging about acquittals and dismissals on your website may get you clients, but it might also get your clients convicted. 

Am not good at: having a conniption when my young son fashions a toy gun out of tin foil in the school cafeteria.      

Community involvement: halting the further production of tin foil guns by volunteering at my son’s school cafeteria.

If I could be anyone for a day, I’d be: Kyle Bass.

Mentors/heroes: Mike McCollum, a Dallas criminal defense lawyer who also serves as Co-Director of the Criminal Clinic for SMU Dedman School of Law. I tried my first jury trial with him when I was a third-year law student; they broke the mold when they made Mike. The Honorable Judge Barbara Lynn, who was one of my supervising partners at Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP, before I went on to go solo and make several typographical errors. Karen Hirschman and Bill Dawson, who patiently supervised me during my first year at Carrington, back when I was a trial-crazed baby lawyer. My former office partner, the Honorable Judge Tena Callahan, who had the courage and fortitude to make a ruling that was likely to, and in fact did, draw her an opponent in the general election (she still won).
 
Most important career lessons: (A) don’t ever, ever give Barbara Lynn anything with a typo in it, unless you have a death wish. (B) decline to represent any client who may face a jury and refuses to immediately delete (not deactivate, but delete) his Facebook page.

Pet peeve: arrogance in public servants, particularly judges. It’s abominable and inexcusable.  

Favorite books: Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis; Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen; Fortune’s Rocks, Anita Shreve; The Awakening, Kate Chopin

Favorite artist: Evelyn Niblo, from Abilene, Texas. Buy her paintings now, while you can still afford them.   

Favorite musician: JJ Cale is one of many.

Favorite magazine: The Economist

Where to be found on a Saturday night: with my son, on a date, or in the bath tub

Talents (besides law): singing karaoke with Tena Callahan and beating Barbara Lynn at poker at the Dallas Bench Bar Conference

Memorable vacation: Captiva

What most people don’t know about me: I’ve made a few seven-letter triple-word-score words in Scrabble, and I’ve got the Polaroids to prove it.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Social media, which has exacerbated our “used-car salesman” reputation. Unfortunately, it’s a reputation we too often deserve, based on the things I’ve seen posted by some lawyers on their websites and Facebook pages. 

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Matt Damon (“The Rainmaker”) because he acted like a real person instead of some priggish “now comes Mr. Begat Whom Begat, who shall not go hence without day” lawyer.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would (try to) be in? acting
 
What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? A speeding ticket for doing 93 in my mom’s old Buick wagon as I drove from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College to UNC. The visiting judge in Tiny Town, N.C. was going to throw the book at me until a kind prosecutor (and Hollins College graduate) intervened and got the case reset. All the while, I had no earthly idea what was going on. After that, I never walked into a courtroom clueless again. 

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Technologically, the advent of “social media.” Practice wise, legal research is now computerized and affordable. (But I still love the smell of real books).

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Though I am but a lowly criminal defense lawyer, the big-firm business model will be rapidly changing, I do believe. Computer programs - with their sophisticated algorithms - are faster, cheaper and more accurate than any Harvard-schooled army of associates unleashed to review a warehouse full of documents. Major companies with complex litigation matters can now hire boutique firms and get the same, if not better, level of service - without paying for all the marble and glitzy granite. 

 

Leigh works at the Law Offices of Leigh Taylor Logan in Dallas.

You can also view Leigh’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Fernando M. Bustos, Lubbock

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson: As a litigator, credibility is the coin of the realm. It takes a career to earn it, and it can be lost in a moment.

Latest pursuit: Tried snowboarding recently, but that didn't work out too well. I'll stick to skiing.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Helping people in crisis moments of their lives, and helping people resolve disputes — being a peace maker.

Favorite album: Travelling Wilburys.

Favorite music/musician: Sting.

Favorite place to find albums: iTunes.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? A negotiator with the State Department.

Family: Married to wife of 18 years, Holley, and our nine kids aging in range from 16 years to 18 months old.

Areas of practice: Commercial and employment litigation, with a specialty in receivership work.

Education: B.A. Brigham Young University, J.D. Texas Tech University School of Law.

Bet you didn’t know: That I spent a year in Hawaii surfing during my first year of college.

Another little known fact: I have also been an adjunct professor of law since 2000 at Texas Tech, teaching Civil Rights Law.

Bad habit: Over committing to too many projects.

Culinary talent: Chocolate chip pancakes for my kids.

Community Involvement: Former Treasurer, Lubbock County Republican Party, and Scout Master, Troop 500, South Plains Council.

Mentors/heroes: Honorable Sam R. Cummings, United States District Judge, and Pete Baker, my mentor and partner from my former law firm.

Current Project: Winding up a stint as a Receiver in an SEC receivership involving over 250 investor victims and approximately $50 million in losses.

Favorite TV program: Special Report with Bret Baier.

Favorite artist: Minerva Teichert.

Favorite composers: Tchaikovsky.

Favorite saying/quote: “Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered.”

Pet peeve: Having to wait for things to happen in the law.

Secret for staying young: Surround yourself with lots of small children.

 Favorite movie: Lawrence of Arabia.

The last movie I saw: Unknown.

Favorite magazine: Wall Street Journal.

Favorite sport: Tennis.

Favorite restaurant: Lisa West’s Double Nickel Steakhouse in Lubbock, Texas.

Talents (besides law): Pretty good at guessing people’s ages.

Hobbies: Travel and reading. Generally like to read classics that I skipped reading in high school over last summer’s vacation to San Diego.

Books: The Classics; President Bush’s Autobiograhy.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would like to work for the diplomatic corps in the State Department.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Email. It’s great because you can get crisp clear copies of attachments and access it easily. It’s also horrible because I receive a deluge of it daily, and there are high expectation levels for immediate turnaround on all emails.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? There will hopefully be fewer law schools, fewer lawyers, and lawyers will be forced to think more like business people in terms of making sound business decisions in terms of billing and servicing clients’ needs.

Fernando practices at the Law Offices of Fernando M. Bustos, P.C. in Lubbock.

You can also view Fernando’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Jan Simpson, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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 love being a lawyer because I can help solve people’s legal issues.

Most important career lesson: always really listen to the client

What most people don’t know about me: rode a motorcycle and was in a motorcycle club for several years

Born/Age: June, 1945/65

Family: Two grown children, two grandchildren, widow (husband Fred died 12/09)

Areas of practice: Intellectual Property: patent and trademark prosecution, copyrights, transactional, IP portfolio management and counsel

Education: Undergrad – Premed - Michigan State University; MBA – University of St. Thomas; JD – South Texas School of Law

Culinary talent: make really good soup

What kind of car do you drive? Lincoln MKX crossover

Current Project: keeping the weeds out of my yard

Secret for staying young: practicing law, which I love; playing with my grandchildren

Favorite TV program: The Good Wife

Favorite composers: most all classical music

Favorite food: all food except liver

Favorite restaurant: too many to mention

Generally likes to read: cookbooks and really good fiction

Memorable vacation: all of the international travel I did with my husband; Barcelona perhaps was a favorite

The part of my job I do best is: interaction with the clients

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? architect

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? The story is too long for this venue.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? putter around my house

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? use of email as main means of contact with clients and other attorneys
 

Jan is Senior Counsel at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. in Houston.

You can also view Jan’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Dan Hargrove, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson:
Meet people. 

Bet you didn’t know:
I lived in Sweden for a year and Egypt for 6 months.  I speak neither Swedish nor Arabic.  But my Spanish from growing up on the Texas border came in handy with the Columbian soldiers we served with in the Middle East.  Good soldiers, even though they scorned my border Spanglish. 

Family/personal:
Charming wife, Susie (married at A&M.  Whoop!)
3 kids (18, 15, and 11 years old – oldest is freshman at Texas A&M)

Areas of practice:
Qui tam.  It’s a lovely phrase.  Catching the white-coat criminals, if you know what I mean.  Please follow my blog (http://govtfraudlawyer.blogspot.com/). 

Another little known fact:
I was sworn in to practice law in the stands (UT side) at the 1994 A&M-UT football game in Austin.  The Aggies smoked the awful horns, of course.  It was a glorious day. 

Likes/Dislikes:

Likes: my kids; my wife; writing; reading; running; cooking; beer; eating; sleeping; qui tam; skiing; Aggies; high pressure systems; Lake Medina; San Antonio; and orders denying summary judgment motions.  

Dislikes:  Indian food; ice chewing; bills; traffic; traffic tickets; flat tires; red lights; air planes; pain; low pressure systems; the Brazos River; and summary judgment motions. 

Pet peeve:
Ice chewing.  It drives me nuts.  And it’s bad for your teeth . . . so don’t do it.  But don’t tell my opposing counsel that it’s my pet peeve.

Secret for staying young:
Microbrews.  They’re small, so that helps.  Also, I’m in the Army Reserves.  It’s kind of a big deal in the Army to stay fit—they like it for some reason.  Otherwise they get mad at you and tell you you’re fat to your face (really—and that hurts, a lot).  It’s humiliating being observed by several soldiers watching you tip the scales.  So I try and go small on the microbrew consumption.

Any words of wisdom or advice for the president of the State Bar of Texas?
Convince the ABA and law schools to reduce law school to two years.  Three years is a waste of time and money.  Shame law schools to keep costs down and discourage student loan debt. 
 

Dan works at Hargrove & Rea in San Antonio.

You can also view Dan’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Constance Mims, Fort Worth

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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: The ever-taxing test of my cognitive abilities!

Most important career lesson: Read everything before  signing ... seriously ... in its entirety!

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? The shrinking practice of law coupled with the growing list of attorneys. 

Favorite composers: John Williams and Danny Elfman, every movie they score is the better for it!

Family: Married for 8 years to Dereck Mims; son Kevin D. Gardner, 19, who is a sophomore at University of North Texas; 3 step-children, Halee, Aireyuna, and Dereck.

Areas of practice: Primarily family law since licensure in Nov.  2007.

Education: (BS) Texas Christian University, 2002; (JD) Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, 2007.

Bet you didn’t know: That I love movies more than almost anything! I watch all different types, but my favorites are the Usual Suspects, Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back, a Nightmare Before Christmas, and Good Will Hunting.

Another little known fact: I was a legal assistant for 4 years prior to and during law school. Before that I was a store bookkeeper, an accounting manager, and a payroll and benefits coordinator.

Bad habit: Allowing my cases to stress me out to the point of not sleeping.

Mentors/heroes: My mentors in the legal field have been Bobby J. Mann of Meridian, Texas, and Eric D. Beal of Southlake, Texas. Bobby helped me through every step of law school, whether it was questions about legal theory or just some moral support. I owe a lot of my legal background to him. I have been with Eric almost since the beginning of my licensed legal career, and his expertise in the field of litigation, his immense understanding of the practice of law, and his friendship have created a nurturing and joyous environment for me.

Secret for staying young: Family, family, family. Every week and weekend is filled with dinner parties, afternoons in the park, movie nights, game nights, coffee house get-togethers, and countless trips to the bookstore for new adventures.

Memorable vacation: San Juan and Seattle.

My favorite weekend retreats are: My bed.

If I had more time, I would: Unfortunately, probably just work more.

What most people don’t know about me: I love the DC Universe (sshhhhh)

The part of my job I do best is: (written by Eric Beal) Everything! Preparation with a great attention to detail, dealing with clients, juggling all of the different demands of running an office and handling dozens of clients.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Barack Obama!

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Watch movies!

Favorite saying/quote: Charles Dickens, in Bleak House, of the Court of Chancery: “[it] gives to monied might the means abundantly of wearying out the right, which so exhausts finances, patience, courage, hope, so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart, that there is not an honourable man among its practitioners who would not give the warning “Suffer any wrong that can be done you rather than come here!”

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Technology will continue to streamline the practice, and hopefully a balancing of rights will come back into vogue.

Constance is a senior associate with the Beal Law Firm.

You can also view Constance’s TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 87,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Mike Sims, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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:  Helping others become lawyers

Most important career lesson: Arrive early, stay late, and remain curious.

Bet you didn’t know: I’ve traveled to all 50 states.

Born/Age: Houston, 45 years old

Family: Married to Michelle Sims, two kids Megan and Matthew, and three dogs Monarch, Maggie and Mystic (see a pattern?)

Areas of practice: President of BARBRI bar review

Education: University of Texas School of Law 1992; Texas A&M B.S. in Agricultural Education 1987

What kind of car do you drive? GMC Yukon

Community Involvement: Vice President on the Board of Trustees at Temple Emanu-El

Mentors/heroes: Senator Lloyd Bentsen and Speaker Pete Laney

Secret for staying young: Spending lots of time with law students

Favorite music/musician: Jackson Browne

Favorite movie: Lonesome Dove

Favorite magazine: The Atlantic

Hobbies: Tournament bass fishing

The part of my job I do best is: Teaching legal writing to bar exam candidates

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: If you can’t answer yes to the question, “Is it fun being you?” then you should change what you are doing. - Denny Crane


Mike works for BARBRI bar review.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 86,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Karissa Hostrup Gonzalez, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-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:  It’s very rewarding to have the opportunity to not only help my clients navigate the legal issues surrounding business decisions, but in being a part of the team that moves those decisions forward.

Most important career lesson:  I’ve learned that it’s very important to work with my clients to reach a solution that satisfies business goals while also minimizing legal risks. 

Favorite saying/quote:  Work to live, don’t live to work.  While I believe that practicing law is important work, I’ve seen many attorneys completely wrap themselves up in work and ignore the rest of their lives. 

Born/Age:  32 years old

Areas of practice:  General corporate.

Education:  JD from University of Iowa College of Law, 2003; BA in Political Science from Texas Christian University, 2000

Bet you didn’t know:  I like to smoke cigars.

Another little known fact:  I love cars!

What kind of car do you drive?  Audi TT Roadster….Red.

Community Involvement:  I’ve volunteered as a Child Advocate for CASA since 2004.

Memorable vacation:  My mom always said that taking vacations is an important way to create memories.  Many people think that they don’t have the time or money to take vacations, but I can remember even the shortest and least expensive vacations taken with my family as a child.  I use those memories as a reminder to me to make an effort to break away from my busy schedule to see new places and have new adventures.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be?  Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today?  Work-life balance.  The question I ask myself when I’m struggling with deciding whether I can miss work in order to attend a family gathering or be there for a loved one is whether, at the end of the day when I look back on my life, will I wish I had worked another day or spent more time with my family?

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in?  Interior design.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney?  We did a project in the sixth grade where we had to pick a career and use the money from that career to pay bills, rent an apartment and buy a car.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be, so I selected attorney and have never looked back!

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years?  Over the next several years, I think law firm fee arrangements will move away from the billable hour.  Billable hour fee arrangements create an inherent conflict of interest for the law firm attorney which I think is slowly but surely being rejected by both clients and their outside attorneys.

 

Karissa works for WellMed Medical Management.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 86,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Rob Ranco, Austin

Rob RancoBest thing about being a lawyer: Helping people who desperately need help.

The part of my job I do best is: Adapt to the situation in front of me. There is no script for what I do.

Bet you didn’t know: I was a music major in college and I came to Austin for a master’s program at UT in ethnomusicology.

Another little known fact: My parents were not excited about my choice of major.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? When my wife pointed out there were no listings in the classifieds for ethnomusicologists.

Family: Wife, Laurie; kids: Megan (17), Eric (13), Tori (8) and Kasey (6)

Areas of practice: Plaintiff’s personal injury/

Education: Dartmouth College - B.A. (1990). University of Maine School of Law - J.D. (2001)

Bad habit: Espresso.

Culinary talent: BBQ ribs and chicken.

Community Involvement: Coaching kids’ baseball in Georgetown.

Mentors/heroes: My parents.

Most important career lesson: Understanding your clients, what they need and what they want is more important than being able to quote case law.

Latest pursuit: Giving piano lessons to my kids.

Current Project: Work and family; fixing up the 25 year old house we just bought.

Favorite saying/quote: Can you come in now?

Pet peeve: People who think their pets are their children. It’s OK to love your pets, but you really can’t compare the two.

Secret for staying young: Shaving my head before anyone knew I was going bald.

Memorable vacation: Bar Harbor, summer 2010.

My favorite weekend retreats are: My backyard.

If I had more time, I would: Spend more time with my family.

What most people don’t know about me: I was a bartender at TGI Fridays for 7 years.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Being with my family.

Favorite TV program: The Daily Show/It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Favorite artist: Kasey Ranco (age 6).

Favorite composers: Duke Ellington/Elvis Costello/Patty Griffin.

Favorite album: John Coltrane/A Love Supreme.

Favorite music/musician: Ruthie Foster/Bob Marley/Chris Thile.

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction.

Favorite food:  Chicken parmesan, BBQ brisket.

Favorite restaurant: Gino’s Pizzeria in Round Rock.

Talents (besides law): Music (play piano); I found out recently that I’m pretty good at 3rd grade math, too.

Hobbies: Music and sports.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be?  Rick Perry.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Teacher.

Rob works at The Carlson Law Firm and is the supervising attorney for the firm's three Austin offices.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 86,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Alberto Mesta, El Paso

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 86,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?


Alberto is seen here doing outreach with farmworkers who are harvesting green chile.

Culinary talent: Green Chile poppers.

Bet you didn’t know: I tore down the goal posts when UTEP defeated BYU (14-3) in 1997.

Another little known fact: If loving musicals is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Bad habit: Continuing loving the Oakland Raiders despite their continual losing seasons.

Favorite album: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Family: Engaged to Elizabeth Molina, who is also an attorney who works at the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. - El Paso office.

Areas of practice: Farm worker Employment Litigation, Consumer Rights, and Real Estate.

Education: University of Texas School of Law (J.D. 2002); University of Texas - El Paso (B.A., Political Science, 1999).

Community Involvement: I am a board member with the Nonprofit Enterprise Center, which is a resource center for the non-profit community in El Paso. I serve on the board with the El Paso Bar Association.

Mentors/heroes: My parents who represent the American dream.

Most important career lesson: Listen.  

Favorite saying/quote: The lyrics to “Simple Kind Of Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Favorite artist: John Singer Sergent.

Favorite composers: Don Williams and Badly Drawn Boy.

Favorite movie: The Alamo with John Wayne.

Favorite food: Steak Frites.

Hobbies: Lawn care and lawn care accessories.

Collects: I collect caps from the bars and breweries.

If I had more time: I would help more indigent clients that need help.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Helping a person resolve a problem.

The part of my job I do best is: Being able to explain complicated things to clients with limited education and have them understand.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? An archeologist seeking to rediscover the lost works of Antiquity by helping the Herculaneum Society work at Herculaneum and the Villa of the Papyri, which has a extensive library buried during the eruption of Mt. Vesvius in 79 AD.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? The biggest challenge that attorneys face is restoring our reputation among society that it is honorable and noble profession.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would be an archeologist with a hat and a whip.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I was born with a desire to advocate for social and economic justice.

Who are the people you admire most, and why: I admire my clients who despite being poor have tremendous generosity and strive to make most of their day.

Alberto is an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA), and is the managing attorney for the El Paso office.

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


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 86,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Jason Katz, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 86,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Bet you didn’t know: I dislike ice tea even though I grew up in Macon, Georgia.

Culinary talent: Grilled cheese.

Most important career lesson: Never underestimate your opponent. 

What most people don’t know about me: I have a twin brother. 

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: My grandfather required that I hit the golf ball out of the bushes. He wouldn’t let me move the ball – I was eleven. He told me that I needed to follow the rules. I live my life that way. My wife calls me the rules patrol. It has served me well.  

Family: Ginger Appleberry (wife) and Jackson Katz (son).

Areas of practice: Civil Litigation, Bankruptcy, and Appellate.

Education: J.D. (2002) and MBA (1999) from Univ. of Arkansas – Fayetteville; BA from Univ. of Georgia (1997).

Another little known fact: My mom is Canadian.

Bad habit: I work too much.

Secret for staying young: Diet and exercise.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Splitting time at work with time at home.  

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would work in the UGA athletics department in any capacity they would let me.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I negotiated a deal with my mom when I was a kid when my twin brother and I were in trouble. At the end of the day, she told me that I should go to law school because I made a great deal.   

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Spend time with my family.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? My wife. It is hard to practice law and raise a family. She does a great job of doing both.  

Favorite TV program: UGA football games.

Latest pursuit: Working on triathlon competition – currently side tracked due to injury.

Pet peeve: Loud drinkers – you know who you are.

Favorite artist: Allman Brothers Band.

Favorite album: Live at Ludlow Garage 1970.

Favorite music/musician: Jam bands.

Favorite movie: Depends on my mood…currently The Natural.

The last movie I saw: Ratatouille (my son loves it).

Favorite magazine: Sports Illustrated.

Favorite food: Cheeseburgers, bacon, - I could go on, but you get the idea.

Favorite restaurant: Depends on my mood – Chow Thai in Addison.

Talents (besides law): making people laugh.

Hobbies: Running, biking, swimming, golf, tennis.

Collects: golf balls from courses I play.

Memorable vacation: Hawaii (Maui) – honeymoon. 

My favorite weekend retreats are: hanging out with my son and wife – don’t care where we retreat.

If I had more time, I would: play golf.

Best thing about being a lawyer: it is generally interesting. 

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The use of computers and e-mail (versus formal letters).

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Most law offices will probably be paperless.

Jason Katz works at The Curtis Law Firm in Dallas.

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

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 86,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile." While you’re at it, click “My Directory Options” and add a photo, law firm link, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog accounts – all for free.

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

Random Profile: Aric Garza, San Antonio

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-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:
Being able to help people when things are looking bleak

Bet you didn’t know:
I’m a master of obscure and useless information.

Another little known fact:
Dave Matthews and I are exactly the same age, and that means I must be cool.

 

Born/Age:
San Antonio, Texas / 43 years old

Family:
Married to Elizabeth Olea Garza for 20 years with two children (Mia 15 and Aric 13)

Areas of practice:
General Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Family, Corporate/Commercial

Education:
B.A. and J.D. from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio
M.P.Aff. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

Likes/Dislikes:
Like - playing guitar to alleviate stress
Dislike - not having enough time to get work done

Culinary talent:
Official Family Breakfast Maker (French toast, pancakes, migas, eggs, fresh squeezed OJ, bold coffee, biscuits, bacon/sausage, tacos)

What kind of car do you drive?
2003 Toyota Camry

Community Involvement:
St. Mary’s University Area Revitalization Committee, United Way of San Antonio, San Antonio Bar Foundation, pro bono legal work on various consumer matters for people who really need it but can’t afford it.

Heroes:
I don’t really have any heroes, but I very much admire Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon, Mohandas Ghandi, Bertrand Russell, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey.

Most important career lesson:
Learn to enjoy it when business is slow.  It’ll be stressful when business picks up (and it always picks up).

Current Project:
Developing a mobile phone application for use by attorneys

Favorite saying/quote:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you?
Steve Carrell

Secret for staying young:
Laughing

Favorite TV programs:
Man vs. Wild; The Office; The Simpsons

Favorite artist:
Marcus Garza

Favorite composers:
Lennon/McCartney

Favorite albums:
Aja by Steely Dan, From the Cradle by Eric Clapton, Revolver by The Beatles, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, The Unforgettable Fire by U2

Favorite musicians:
Steely Dan, The Beatles, U2, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Van Morrison, Dave Matthews

Favorite movies:
Excalibur, High Noon, A Man for All Seasons, Life is Beautiful, Gideon’s Trumpet

The last movie I saw was:
The Town

Favorite magazine:
Rolling Stone

Favorite sport:
Basketball

Favorite food:
Carne Asada Tacos

Favorite restaurant:
Güeros Taco Bar (Austin), Mama Margie’s (San Antonio), Rudy’s BBQ

Where to be found on a Saturday night:
At home, at dinner, or at the movies with my family

Talents (besides law):
Ability to make people laugh (unfortunately, sometimes people laugh at me)

Collects:
Movie ticket stubs

Generally likes to read:
John Grisham books; all news junkie

Memorable vacations:
Christmas in New York City in 2009;
A two-week drive across the southwest with my family in 2009.  Stops included Las Cruces, Tempe, Flagstaff, Sedona, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

My favorite weekend retreats are:
Hiking or biking around Lake Lady Bird (formerly Town Lake), Austin;
Friedrich Wilderness Park, San Antonio

If I had more time, I would:
Go on more vacations to far away places with my family

Biggest misconception about me:
That I’m a “square.” People who like Star Trek can be cool too.

What most people don’t know about me:
I’m a pretty good blues guitarist.

The part of my job I do best is:
Being appreciated or thanked for working hard

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom:
“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” (from the book with the same title)
*Big Caveat—this axiom does not apply when in federal court

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be?
The President of the United States

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing attorneys today?
Resisting the extreme pressure to approach the practice of law strictly as a business, and losing sight of our role as professional problem solvers.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why?
Rudy Baylor (played by Matt Damon) in The Rainmaker. Baylor is single-minded, tenacious, skillful, and not afraid to take on much more powerful opposition - qualities I like to think that I have.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in?
A professor, a teacher, or a coach. I like teaching people and inspiring them to do better.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney?
Realizing that I could use my skills to help people, make my family proud by becoming a professional, and make a comfortable living all at the same time.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do?
Play guitar, play video games, or just relax at home.

Who are the people you admire most, and why?
My parents. They both came from very difficult backgrounds, and provided my brother and sister and I with a great childhood and education.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed?
Social media and law firm websites as tools to market to new and existing clients.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years?
There will be virtual law offices, where clients and attorneys interact regionally, nationally, and even globally through video (e.g. Skype).
 

Aric Garza works at The Law Offices of Aric J. Garza in San Antonio.

You can also view Aric' TexasBar.com profile.



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. Law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Phillip Herr, Flower Mound

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-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: The opportunity to represent an individual’s rights.

What most people don’t know about me: I speak, listen, and read the Spanish language.

Most important career lesson: “The first to present his case seems right, until another comes forward and questions him.” Proverbs 18:17.

Family: Married. We have two dogs: a Yorkie whose name is Buddy; and a miniature Schnauzer whose name is Einstein.

Areas of practice: Civil litigation with an emphasis on Family Law.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin-1995. Law Degree from South Texas College of Law-2001.

 Bet you didn't’t know: I participated in two half marathons (Dallas White Rock Half Marathon & the Fort Worth Cowtown Half Marathon).  

Another little known fact: I have been playing the guitar for the past 20 years. The highlight has been playing four gigs. Two gigs were for the Flower Mound Rotary Club’s annual bicycling event known as the Cross Timbers Classic, where the proceeds benefit local charities. The other two gigs involved a gathering of friends.

Community Involvement: Flower Mound Rotary Club-Board of Directors, Flower Mound Bar Association-Board of Directors, Denton County Bar Association.

Mentors/heroes: Hon. Jim Munford, Associate Judge 322nd District Court.

Favorite saying/quote: Ye shall know the truth & the truth shall make ye free.

Favorite artist: Disciple

Favorite album: Horse shoes & Hand grenades by Disciple.

Favorite music/musician: Joe Satriani

Favorite movie: Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The last movie I saw: Inception

Favorite food: Tex-Mex

Favorite restaurant: Pappasitos

Herr is an associate attorney for Comer & Associates, P.C.

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


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. Law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Douglas Clayton, Southlake

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Tony Romo, preferably on a Sunday in early February.

Bet you didn’t know:  I’ve been an extra in two Hollywood movies.

Favorite saying/quote: “When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment or the moment defines you.” Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy

Born/Age: 1972/37

Family: wife, Alicia Clayton; two daughters, Avery (6 years old) and Gracie (4 years old)

Areas of practice: Corporate and Securities; Mergers and Acquisitions

Education: JD, Harvard Law School, 1998; BBA, Texas Tech University, 1995

Bad habit: Drinking Diet Dr Pepper

What kind of car do you drive? Chevy Tahoe

Mentors/heroes: Dean Tetirick, who has a tremendous combination of smarts, integrity and likability. He is masterful at advocating for his client while remaining calm and respectful of his adversaries.  

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? Tim Robbins

Favorite TV program: The McLaughlin Group, The Sports Reporters

Favorite movie: Old School

The last movie I saw was: The latest Disney princess movie with my two daughters.

Favorite sport: Basketball

Favorite food: Blue Bell Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Favorite restaurant: Abuelo’s

Generally likes to read: Anything by Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy) of ESPN.com or Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online.  

Memorable vacation: My family was visiting London during the 2005 subway bombings.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? My dream job would be to be a sports radio talk show host. I’d love to get paid to tell the world what the Cowboys and Mavericks should do to improve their play.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? A high school field trip to the Travis County Courthouse. We sat in on a DWI trial and I thought “Hey, I think I could do a better job than the prosecuting attorney.”

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Document delivery by e-mail. It seems like I spent half of the first 6 months of my career preparing to fax or FedEx lengthy documents or scrambling to get to an after-hours FedEx drop-up location before the final pick-up. I haven’t used a fax machine or rushed to a FedEx box in years, thank goodness.
 

Douglas Clayton works at Cantey Hanger LLP in Dallas.

You can also view Douglas' TexasBar.com profile.



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. Law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Chad Ruback, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Community involvement: former president, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers

Mentors: Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. During the year I spent as Justice Dauhpinot’s briefing attorney, she taught me a lot about the law and even more about life.

Memorable vacation: Rio de Janeiro.  I had so much fun that I missed my flight back to Dallas. . . on purpose.  I’m looking forward to taking my wife to Rio in December for our better-late-than-never honeymoon.

 

 

Area of practice: appellate law

Education: business degree from UT, law degree from SMU

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? spend time with my nieces and nephew (3-year-old Caitlyn, 2-year-old Brynlee, and 1-year-old Carter)

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? diamond dealer.  My family has been in the diamond business since 1908.

Hobbies: reading Dallas Court of Appeals opinions and publishing notes about them on my blog (http://news.appeal.pro)

If I had more time, I would: re-learn Spanish.  It’s frustrating that I used to be conversational in Spanish and now speak it like a caveman.

Family: dog Charlie (a Sheltie), dog Daisy (a Chihuahua), and wife Jamie (an Aggie)

Latest pursuit: potty-training a Chihuahua

Bet you didn’t know: My wife and I hated being engaged.  After five weeks of being engaged, we ran off to Vegas.

Culinary talent: burnt toast.  My wife is teaching me how to make the other kind of toast.

Chad Ruback works at The Ruback Law Firm in Dallas.

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



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt.

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. Law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Viki Martino, Beeville

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family: Son, Travis and daughter, Chelsea.

Areas of practice: criminal, juvenile, misdemeanor, criminal.

Best thing about being a lawyer: The opportunity to help people.

Bet you didn't know: I help my daughter raise goats for show!

Most important career lesson: document everything.

Part of my job I do best: defending motions to revoke.

Biggest challenge facing attorneys today: for criminal defense lawyers, the zero tolerance society  holds for criminals, especially juveniles, that doesn't allow for forgiveness even though they've paid their dues.

Pet Peeve: A client who believes, that because my services are free, I am not a good lawyer.

When not practicing law what do you like to do: I coach a club volleyball team, help my daughter raise goats for show, and I enjoy photography.

Favorite saying: "Life is too short to be lived in fear," and also "Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal  or greater benefit."

Favorite movie: To Kill a Mockingbird.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you'd be in? Teaching.

What was the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I was teaching at the time and would talk about how I wanted to go to law school. Some of the people I told would tell me that teaching was a good job with a good summer schedule. But one day someone said to me, "well then why don't you?" It sounds cliche but I thought to myself, "why don't I?" It was what I wanted to do and at that moment I decided I would.

Viki Martino works for the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid office in Bee County.

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


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link.

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - James Schull, Benbrook

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Helping clients solve problems

Bet you didn’t know: Ran for State Representative

Most important career lesson: Don’t go it alone.

Born: 1971 / Age: 38

Family: Married to Jennifer Schull – 12 years; Children – Jayden Schull (son) age 9, Morgan Schull (daughter) age 5, Jace Schull (son) age 9 months

Areas of practice: General Practice; Wills, Estates, Trust and Probate; Civil Litigation; Personal Injury, Business Law; and Collections

Education: BBA in Finance from Baylor; JD from Texas Wesleyan School of Law

Likes: Golf, Movies, Swimming / Dislikes: Spinach

Bad habit: Procrastinate

Is not good at: Saying No

What kind of car do you drive? Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Community Involvement: Councilman for the City of Benbrook; Board of Directors – YMCA; Board of Directors – Benbrook Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club

Latest pursuit: Sports Agency

Current Project: Building Sports Agency

Favorite saying/quote: As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.

Pet peeve: Being honest

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? Johnny Depp

Secret for staying young: Laughter

Favorite TV program: House

Favorite artist: G. Harvey

Favorite album: Bill Cosby

Favorite music: Christian / Favorite musician: Casting Crowns

Favorite place to find albums: LifeWay

Favorite movie: Facing the Giants

The last movie I saw was: Wolfman

Favorite magazine: Sports Illustrated

Favorite sport: Football

Favorite food: Hamburger

Favorite restaurant: Japanese Palace

Where to be found on a Saturday night: Out eating with the family and friends

Talents (besides law): Coaching youth sports

Hobbies: Golf, Guitar, Sports, Swimming, Being With Family

Collects: Coins

Generally likes to read: Self Improvement / Last book read: Art of War / Current reading material: Monday Morning Choices

Memorable vacation: Cancun Cruise

My favorite weekend retreats are: San Antonio

If I had more time, I would: Write a book

The part of my job I do best is: Connect with clients

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Don’t compromise your principals

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Michael Jordan

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? The constant time deadlines imposed on attorneys.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Jim Carey in Liar Liar

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Technology in the courtroom.

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas? Don’t go it alone.

 

James Schull works at The Law Office of James D. Schull in Benbrook.

You can also view James' TexasBar.com profile.



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Charles B. "Brad" Frye, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Helping people when they need it.

Bet you didn’t know: That I played college basketball fifty pounds ago.

Another little known fact: My mother didn't like my moustache.

Born: May 14, 1956

Family: Three children and two grandchildren

Areas of practice: Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation

Education: The Colorado College, B.A., Political Science, 1978; Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D. 1982

Likes/Dislikes: Like: Grandchildren, John Wayne, and my Crackberry. Dislike: Deadlines.

Bad habit: Inhaling nicotine.

Doesn’t: watch much television.

Is not good at: Embroidery. Though, I admit, I haven't tried it.

Culinary talent: Chili!

What kind of car do you drive? Ford Expedition

Community Involvement: Relay for Life, Adjunct Instructor in Paralegal Studies at Houston Community College

Mentors/heroes: Don Hunt and Gerry Spence

Most important career lesson: Do it now. Not later. Now.

Latest pursuit: Learning Spanish.

Current Project: Writing on Texas Civil Forfeiture

Favorite saying/quote: Fiat Justicia et ruant coelle. (Let justice be done though the heavens fall.)

Pet peeve: Cellphones in restaurants.

When they do the film about you, what actor should portray you? John Lithgow.

Secret for staying young: Grandchildren and deadlines.

Favorite plays: A Man for All Seasons; Buddy

Favorite TV program: Scrubs

Favorite artist: Norman Rockwell

Favorite composers: Warren Zevon

Favorite album: Honky Tonk Masquerade, Joe Ely

Favorite musician: Warren Zevon and Joe Ely (a tie)

Favorite place to find albums: Cactus Music, Houston, Texas

Favorite movie: The Searchers

The last movie I saw was: In the theater, Harry Potter and whatever was the last one; on DVD - GI Joe.

Favorite magazine: Texas Monthly

Favorite sport: Basketball

Favorite food: Homemade chili

Favorite restaurant: Clayton's, Houston

Where to be found on a Saturday night: Home!

Talents (besides law): Writing

Hobbies: Writing

Collects: Zippo Lighters and Coffee Cups

Generally likes to read: Everything!

Memorable vacation: Cruise to the Cayman Islands

My favorite weekend retreats are: What's a "retreat?" (None, I suppose.)

If I had more time, I would: Learn Spanish more quickly and write more fiction.

Biggest misconception about me: That I look like my old law school classmate, Jim Peacock.

What most people don’t know about me: That I write poetry.

The part of my job I do best is: Writing.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Don't assume everyone dislikes what you dislike. Don Hunt, Texas Tech Trial Team Coach, 1981.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? No one. I enjoy being me!

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Time pressures which challenge us to do everything more quickly, with the same level of excellence.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Rumpole of the Bailey. He spoke the truth, except when he knew better.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Sales.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I realized I hated manual labor when I graduated from college.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Write.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? I admire the folks who minister to the profoundly ill; they must do their jobs in the face of terrible odds, endure losses with frequency, and yet still go on with hope for the next patient.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Time pressures. In the "old days," one would actually ponder a question, think it through, and arrive at a conclusion. Nowadays, with computer assisted legal research and email, along with that old nemesis, the telephone, we are called upon to do quality legal work in minutes or hours, not days or weeks.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? More specialization as the law grows more complex. Simple legal chores will be "de-lawyered," and performed by consumers themselves or by paraprofessionals.

Any words of wisdom or advice for the president of the State Bar of Texas? Listen. Then
listen some more.

Brad Frye works at Lindeman, Alvarado & Frye in Houston.

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



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Billy Skinner, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Being able to help people when they REALLY need it.

Most important career lesson: Never give up. Struggle makes success sweeter.

Bet you didn’t know:  I participate in the Livestrong Challenge.

Born/Age: Longview, Texas, September 2, 1972/ 37 years old 

Family: wife, Kari Alkire Skinner, practices family law at the firm of Lilly, Newman & Van Ness; sons, Will-8 years old, Cale-5 years old

Areas of practice: Criminal Defense 

Education: BA- Journalism, Stephen F. Austin State University, 1995
MA- Mass Communication, Stephen F. Austin State University, 1998
JD- South Texas College of Law, 2006

Another little known fact: I love rap music.

What kind of car do you drive?  Chevy Tahoe

Mentors/heroes: Rusty Hardin: both mentor and hero

Favorite saying/quote: “It is what it is.”

Favorite TV program: The Office

Favorite album: Trace, by Son Volt

Favorite music/musician: Steve Earle, circa 1989

Favorite movie: 300

Favorite magazine: Texas Monthly & The Atlantic

Favorite sport: Racing

Favorite food: Whataburger with cheese and jalapenos

Favorite restaurant: Churrasco’s

Where to be found on a Saturday night: Home with my wife and kids

Last book read: Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an eavesdropping Waiter

My favorite weekend retreats are: New Orleans

If I had more time, I would: Write

The part of my job I do best is: Identifying and communicating with my clients.

What most people don’t know about me: I’m older than I look.

Who are the people you admire most, and why?  I admire people who love what they do.
 

Billy Skinner works at The Law Offices of Billy Skinner.

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



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Patricia B. Cole, Ft. Worth

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Practice areas: Probate & Business Litigation, Estate Planning.

Education: Louisiana State University, (B.A., 1996);
Texas Wesleyan Univ. School of Law, (J.D., 2000).

Best thing about being a lawyer: Being able to help people.

Most important career lesson: Attorneys are in customer service business.

Favorite retreats: Kemah, Texas.

The last movie I saw: Avatar.

If I had more time I would: Travel more.

Favorite food: Sushi.

Favorite tv show: The Good Wife.

What most people don't know about me: I have a 25 year-old son.

The part of my job that I do best: Argue cases.

Community Involvement: Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Habitat for Humanity. Texas Humane Society.

Favorite saying/quote: "I will trust God to provide what I need."

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I would say that ethics-wise, remembering not to cut corners.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? There will be more focus on guardianship and elder law as baby boomers retire and pass away.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would want to be in? I can't imagine being anything else but an attorney.

Patricia is a shareholder in Decker Jones

You can also view Patricia's Texasbar.com profile


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Daryl Sinkule, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Recovering money on behalf of clients wronged by their employers

Latest pursuit: Attempting to survive the renovation of my historic (1926) Houston Heights home

Bet you didn’t know: I know my way around the kitchen.

Born/Age: 1975/34 years

Areas of practice: Labor & Employment Law

Education: Texas A&M University, B.A., 1998; University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 2002

Most important career lesson: Some clients will lie to you.

Pet peeve: Tardiness

Secret for staying young: Eating more “real” foods and less processed foods

Favorite TV program: 30 Rock

Favorite place to find albums: iTunes

The last movie I saw was: Avatar

Favorite sport: Baseball

Favorite food: Mexican food

Hobbies: Keeping up with politics: local, state, and national

Current reading material: Currently reading The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak) and Open (by Andre Agassi)

If I had more time, I would: Relax more

 

Daryl Sinkule works at Shellist Lazarz LLP.

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



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

 

Random Profile - Alia Derrick, Dallas

Alia DerrickFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family: Single, 5 nieces and 2 nephews.

Areas of practice: Civil Litigation & Labor and Employment.

Education: B.A., Rice University (2003); J.D., University of Texas School of Law (2007).

Secret for staying young: Worrying less, laughing often, and walking in faith.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Volunteering your services to those who cannot afford it. To borrow from DVAP’s tagline: “It [truly is] like billable hours for the soul.”

Latest pursuit: Funding a child whose parents have succumbed to Aids/HIV.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Time: An uncertain economic time and its effect on the practice.


Bet you didn’t know: I have delivered a Sunday sermon at church.

Another little known fact: I like to sew and decorate.

Culinary talent: Hawaiian Stuffed Chicken.

Community Involvement: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dallas, Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, JL Turner Legal Association Co-Chair of Community Outreach Committee, Dallas Bar Association, Law in the Schools Committee, the Dallas Women's Foundation.

Mentors/heroes: high school mentors --Ron Kirk (current US Trade Representative and former mayor of Dallas, TX) and Amy Yeager (current in house counsel for Baylor Hospital) .

Most important career lesson: As a young associate, I have learned that tenacious persistence and people truly are your best resources because both are a tremendous help that ensure you survive, and (eventually) thrive in a legal career where clients depend on you to know the practice even though you may lack first hand experience.

Current Project: Turning an extra room into a proper study/office.

Favorite saying/quote: “I want young men and young women who are not alive today, but who will come into this world with new privileges and opportunities –I want them to know that these new privileges and opportunities did not come without someone suffering and sacrificing for them.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Favorite TV program: The Cosby Show.

Favorite music/musician: Gospel/Christian.

The last movie: The Blind Side.

Favorite magazine: The Economist.

Favorite sport: Kickball.

Favorite food: Lamb chops.

Favorite restaurant: Carraba’s Italian Grill.

Talents (besides law): Singing and acting.

Generally likes to read/ Current reading material: Bible.

Memorable vacation: Cancun, Mexico with good friends.

My favorite weekend retreats are: Quick flights to anywhere friends are.

If I had more time, I would: Help save the world.

The part of my job I do best is: To advocate on my client’s behalf.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: The best advice ever given to me was not given in the form of advice but was communicated as an observation by my high school Chemistry AP teacher, Dr. Charles Tuttle. Dr. Tuttle witnessed the huge crocodile tears that spiraled slowly, then uncontrollably, down my cheeks. My many failed attempts to do well on his quizzes and exams had finally gotten to me - not because I was failing but because I was truly trying as hard as I could, even attending tutoring sessions. Noting all of this, Dr. Tuttle looked at me and encouraged me saying “Alia, you will do well because you are ‘tenacious.’ Tenacious means that you never give up when challenged and with that tenacity you will get it, it will click for you. Well, soon thereafter it "clicked," and I made a 103 on the next Chemistry AP exam (even answering the bonus question correctly). Although Dr. Tuttle may not realize it, when faced with challenges, I have repeatedly referred back to his "advice" and it has carried me far!

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? John Travolta in “A Civil Action,” because he sought to right a huge injustice despite this stand costing him his legal practice. Attorneys should strive to have a legal practice built on justice which at times may require a huge sacrifice to do the right thing, nevertheless, the sacrifice  must be made. Afterall, in the words of Justice Douglas S. Lang, each attorney’s career should be built on “deeds, not words.” Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinny" is a close second because of its huge lesson to new attorneys. First year attorney Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci) wins his first case but not before experiencing great humiliation and uncertainy! New attorneys inevitably will experience some embarrassing moments in the practice, but true client advocacy means enduring and quickly learning from those humbling experiences to deliver the favorable results clients seek.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Educator: High School History and/or Spanish Teacher because I love attempting to make an impact on society.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? The turning point that made me restart my journey to becoming an attorney was a good college friend of mine. She called me one evening, gave me a good “talking to,” and the next thing I knew I was applying to law schools.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Relax, catch up with friends, and enjoy my nieces and nephews.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? My Parents (Randall & Alice Dozier) who taught me and my siblings the value of education, the devotion and sacrifice of parenting, and the peace and joy of serving Jesus Christ.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The use of the internet by the courts. Who would have ever thought you could watch oral arguments for the Texas Supreme Court live; or file pleadings electronically?

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Video-conferencing voir dire and trials perhaps?

Alia is an associate in the Dallas office of Jackson Walker, L.L.P.

You can also view Alia's TexasBar.com profile


 

Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Charley Prine, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Finding solutions for real world problems

The last movie I saw was: Ernest Saves Christmas. It's not Christmas without it – “KnowhutImean”

Collects: My clients send me decks of playing cards from around the World. I have cards from all continents except Antarctica, several islands, and many tourist spots in the U.S. Interesting decks in my collection include decks from Air Force 2 and Marine Helicopter 1, a deck made by a missionary group in Africa, and decks from companies and countries that no longer exist.

Born: 1952

Family: Still married to Marilyn, my high school sweetheart for 30+ years

Areas of practice: Family, Probate, Real Estate (Homeowner Associations)

Education: South Texas College of Law 1992; University of Texas at El Paso 1980

Bet you didn’t know: I would answer this question

Likes: I like to photograph people un-posed, having fun.

Culinary talent: You bet. I’ll never be skinny.

Community Involvement: Photographer, University of Houston Marching Band

Heroes: My daughters, Jennifer and Rebekah, are my heroines.

Most important career lesson: You are never too old to change careers.

Favorite saying/quote: I have two :

Winston Churchill, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

Thomas Jefferson - "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Favorite composer: John Williams

Favorite musicians: My daughters, Jennifer and Rebekah

Favorite place to find albums: my website http://public.fotki.com/cepjr/

Talents (besides law): Photography

Hobbies: Photography

Last book read: Guns, Steel and Germs by Jared Diamond. The book attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others, while attempting to refute the belief that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral, or inherent genetic superiority.

Memorable vacation: A ten day car trip with my wife and daughters to see mountains and canyons out west.

If I had more time, I would: Learn calculus

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? The internet

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Political Consultant

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I wanted to stop traveling and stay close to home to be a part of my daughters’ lives.

 

Charley Prine works at Charley E. Prine, Jr. Attorney at Law

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



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

 


 

Random Profile - Larry Fogel, Dallas

Larry FogelFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Areas of practice: Litigation

Education: Texas Christian University, B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin, J.D.

Bet you didn’t know: that I’m allergic to shellfish, and I bet you didn’t care either.

Bad habit: rooting for Kansas City sports teams.

Most important career lesson: Be honest, even when it hurts.

Latest pursuit: Raising my daughter Ryan (2) and my son Zane (3 months) with my wife, Jenny.

Pet Peeve: I love virtually everything about football except when players (seemingly everywhere) hold up four fingers at the end of the third quarter. We get it.

Best thing about being a lawyer: People always seem interested in finding out I am an attorney – whether it is because they like lawyers or hate them, cannot wait to tell a lawyer joke (looking at you, Dad) or somehow think I can properly advise them on an obscure probate or criminal issue. 

Current Project: Helping my wife start her photography business (check it out! www.fogelphotography.com)

Favorite TV program(s): Currently - Mad Men and Friday Night Lights; of all-time – probably The Wire.

Favorite artist: My daughter.

Favorite movie: The Natural.

The last movie: Blind Side.

Favorite magazine: I get my news and gossip online.

Favorite sport: College basketball.

Favorite food: Kansas City barbecue (Gates, Oky Joe’s, JackStack) – it merits a trip to KC if for no other reason.

Hobbies: Sports (playing and watching), reading, spending time with my family.

Generally likes to read/Last book read/Current reading material: Greg Iles

If I had more time, I would: Fall asleep in the hammock reading a great book.

Biggest misconception about me: I’m actually 6’4. I just slouch a lot and hate playing post in basketball games.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: “Keep the faith – stay on the right track and have a wonderful life.” (my Gram)

Who are the people you admire most, and why? Single mothers. No question. We have two small kiddos who are absolutely incredible children. I have found, though, that despite being married to a world-beater of a wife and having incredibly selfless family members around to help, there are many days when I go to bed flat-out exhausted. I cannot imagine how incredibly difficult it must be to do it all alone. 

You can also view Larry'sTexasBar.com profile


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Everett Newton, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Favorite saying/quote: “He who has it not in his head must have it in his feet.”

Bet you didn’t know: I have a rock band whose music is being featured in an upcoming horror film.

Talents (besides law): Talk radio. For four years, I hosted my own legal call-in talk show on a local CBS radio affiliate.

Age: 44

Areas of practice: Criminal defense, expungements, orders of nondisclosure.

Education: University of North Texas, B.A. University of Houston, J.D.

Is not good at: Anything (and I mean ANYTHING!) having to do with math.

Another little known fact: I once won a belly dancing contest.

Mentors/heroes: My Uncle Lon, who happens to be the smartest AND the nicest guy in the world.

Secret for staying young: Don't drink, don't smoke, work out regularly (weights and cardio)... and drink LOTS of water!

Favorite album: Little Morphine Annie (self-titled). I like it so much, in large part, because I played guitar on the album and wrote the words and music. 

 

Everett Newton works at Berlof & Newton, P.C.

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



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

 

Random Profile - Steve Collins, Austin

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson: Integrity matters. Be the same person at home, at work, and in the world. Be consistent.

Bet you didn’t know: I married my high school sweetheart, who was the homecoming queen. We’ve been dating, going steady, broken-up, engaged, or married since she was a sophomore and I was a junior in high school.

Another little known fact: My daughter was homecoming queen 31 years later.

Current Project: Surviving a kitchen remodel.

Favorite TV program: Daily Show

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Drive my Miata, ride my motorcycle, make sawdust.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Overcoming the image that we will lie and misrepresent in order to serve our clients.

Family: I am married to Beth, a reading specialist who recently retired from teaching in public elementary schools.  I have two adult children, a teacher and a sound engineer.

Areas of practice: Governmental relations; higher education general counsel practice.

Education: B.A., U.T. Austin with Honors (1973); J.D., U.T. School of Law (1976)

Bad habit:
 Giving the urgent priority over the important.

Culinary talent: 
Marinara, Alfredo, all things Italian

Community Involvement: Leadership roles in church and our neighborhood association. Formerly active in leadership roles in school district.

Mentors/heroes:
H. Malcolm Macdonald (U.T. Government Professor); Bernie Ward (U.T. Law Professor); Pat Currie (a deeply spiritual and gentle lady)

Latest pursuit: 
Contentment

Favorite saying/quote:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Philo Judaeus

Pet peeve:
People who think the world is their personal trash can or ash tray.

Secret for staying young: 
Exercise, reading, involvement.

Favorite album: 
Blind Faith/ Blind Faith

Favorite place to find albums: 
My son’s collection of his (and mine)

Favorite movie: 
Paths of Glory (1957; Kubrick)

The last movie: 
Up!

Favorite magazine:
Popular Mechanics

Favorite sport:
High school football

Favorite food:
Italian

Collects:
Vintage mechanical watches

Generally likes to read:
History, including historical fiction. Last book read: American Gospel, Meacham.

Memorable vacation: A month with no plans or obligations.

My favorite weekend retreats are: 
Kairos Prison Ministry

If I had more time, I would:
Ride my motorcycle more.

Best thing about being a lawyer: 
Being a problem solver.

The part of my job I do best is: 
Thinking and communicating.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom:
People are always more important than stuff. Jack Collins (my dad).

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? 
I don’t care to be anybody else.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? 
Atticus Finch, because he acted with integrity.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in?
  Pastoral care.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? 
High school speech and debate.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? 
Those people who have learned to be content with whatever their circumstances.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? 
  Having been licensed for 33 years, EVERYTHING has changed technologically. I am barely Westlaw literate; I still prefer BOOKS.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? 
As with many other professions, ours will have to learn to deal with the ever-growing abundance of bad information and bad legal advice that circulates on the internet.

Read Steve's Texasbar.com profile


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Stefanie Klein, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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:  Being paid to argue! Aside from that, the best surprise about the practice of law has been the people. Whether the interaction is with opposing counsel, co-counsel, clients, witnesses, or judges, the opportunity to teach, to learn from, to help and be helped by the people around me makes this profession worthwhile.

Favorite saying/quote:  “We’ll probably find it if we start picking everything up.”

Family/personal:  My husband Alan and I have two teenaged sons, Ian and Graham; one dog; and two cats.

Areas of practice: My practice focuses on commercial and bankruptcy litigation, and related appeals.

Education: I have a B.A. in economics from UT Austin, and a J.D. from SMU.
 
Community Involvement: I serve on my parish’s finance council.  I have also taught religious education at the three-year-old, five-year-old, second grade, and seventh grade level, and, with my husband, been a sponsor couple in our parish’s marriage preparation program.

Favorite magazine:  Slate.com
 
The part of my job I do best is:  Advocacy

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Rachel Maddow

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why?  Matthew Shardlake, for his combination of compassion, conscience, and intellect, and for his ability to recognize and admit his mistakes.

Stefanie Klein works at Neligan Foley LLP.

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



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

 

Random Profile - Stephen Daniel

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Being involved in the community and making a difference in my client’s lives.

Favorite saying/quote: The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

Bet you didn’t know: I was a finalist in the Nintendo World Championships when I was much younger. 

Born/Age:  September 15, 1976 in Austin, Texas. Age is 33. 

Family/personal: I live in Maypearl, Texas with my wonderful wife Stephanie and two children, Madison (age 5) and Teagan (3 months).
  
Areas of practice: Personal Injury. 

Education: University of Texas at Austin, B.A. and St. Mary’s School of Law, J.D.  

Another little known fact: I have an English Bulldog named Lovie.  

Likes/Dislikes: I like rational thinking based on facts. I dislike the blatant misrepresentation of anything.  

Bad habit: Leaving too many water bottles in my car.  

Is not good at: Cooking.  

Culinary talent: Eggs, barely.  

What kind of car do you drive? Chevrolet Tahoe.  

Mentors/heroes: My parents, friends and teachers throughout my life. Also, during my senior year at UT, I was the personal assistant to Sarah Weddington, the attorney who won Roe v. Wade. She gave valuable advice on life and the legal profession.  

Most important career lesson: Choose your jobs carefully.  

Latest pursuit: I am the VP of the Ellis County Bar Association and we are finally setting up an online presence for members and the citizens of Ellis County.  

Pet peeve: Defense lawyers that sit at the table closest to the jury box.  

When they do the film about you, what actor/actress should portray you? David Boreanaz.

Secret for staying young: Get exercise and eat healthy. Enjoy life.  

Favorite plays: I saw Lion King and Rent in New York, which were both excellent. Exploring Polyester was a local play in Dallas that was great as well.  

Favorite TV programs: Mythbusters, Lost, The Tudors and Meet the Press. I still watch reruns of Seinfeld, Friends and Stargate SG-1.  

Favorite artists: GNR, George Strait, Beatles, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks.  

Favorite composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  

Favorite albums: Eagles Greatest Hits, Appetite for Destruction, Forrest Gump Soundtrack, George Strait Greatest Hits Collection.  

Favorite music: Rock and country.  

Favorite place to find albums: I download my music from Amazon MP3 Store and iTunes.  

Favorite movies: I love movies so this one is tough. Godfather, Gone with the Wind, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, Fight Club, Matrix, Forrest Gump and Terminator 2.  

The last movie I saw was: “Inglourious Basterds” with Brad Pitt.

Favorite magazines: Wired, Popular Science, Golf, Time and Sports Illustrated.  

Favorite sports: UT Football, Cowboys Football and Golf.  

Favorite food: Mexican Food

Favorite restaurant: Nos Ancêtres les Gaulois, Paris, France.

Where to be found on a Saturday night: With family and friends.  

Talents (besides law): Computers.  

Hobbies: Golf, Computers.  

Collects: Latest electronics.  

Current reading material: Currently reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  

Memorable vacation: Trip to Europe with my wife.  

My favorite weekend retreats are: My home and we occasionally like to travel to random places around Texas on the weekends.  

If I had more time, I would: Spend all the time with my family and travel the world.  

The part of my job I do best is: Holding wrongdoers accountable.  

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Stand up for what you believe in, be proud of yourself and learn from your mistakes – Parents.  

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? U.S. President or NFL quarterback.  

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I think the two main challenges for attorneys is (1) overcoming the negative propaganda associated with being an attorney; and (2) adjusting to the technological changes that will impact the practice of law in Texas.  

Who are your favorite on-screen or literary attorneys?

1. Atticus Finch / Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Perry Mason / Raymond Burr, Perry Mason
3. Vincent Gambini / Joe Pesci, My Cousin Vinny
4. Jake Tyler Brigance / Matthew McConaughey / A Time to Kill
5. Denny Crane / William Shatner / Boston Legal  

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Physician or computer programmer.  

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I do not think there was ever a turning point because it is something I have always wanted to do.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? I like to spend time with family, friends and travel the world.  

Who are the people you admire most, and why? I admire my parents.  

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Email through cell phones is probably the biggest change. Only a handful of people had it when I began practicing and now it is very common. Also, many lawyers use electronic filing and rely more on internet for advertising.  

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I think the legal world will change over the next 15 years mostly aided by technology. I believe that technology, to the extent it is not already happening, will render most traditional legal advice redundant.  There are internet sites right now where lawyers give real time advice online which is very convenient and appealing to many people.  

Also, I think the following will be common place in the next 15 years, most of which is already happening: (1) automated document assembly and retention; (2) full time connectivity to networks; (3) on-line legal guidance and advice; (4) open-source legal resources; (5) on-line networking and sharing of experience; (6) workflow automation and project management; (7) constant connection to relevant laws, codes, regulations, etc.; and (8) on-line communications minimizing need for in-person meetings.  

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas? Best wishes.

Stephen Daniel works at Jenkins & Jenkins, P.C.

You can also view Stephen's TexasBar.com profile and his other profiles below:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dallaslawyer
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stephendaniel
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dallaslawyer
Google Profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/plaintiff



Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

 

Random Profile - Cami Boyd, Dallas

Education: Southern Methodist University, B. S. Economics, 1990; Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., 1993

Areas of practice: Intellectual property law. My practice focuses on all aspects of business and intellectual. I routinely advise clients on all aspects of the development of a business.

Family: Husband, Randy. Spoiled pets – Scamp and Marilyn.

Favorite music/musician: Steve Vai.

Favorite place to find albums: Vintage music stores or those few places left that actually sell albums and CDs.

Memorable vacation: A week in Cabo San Lucas with the only decision of each day – which pool do I lounge in?

Mentors/heroes: Louise Raggio, whose tireless efforts have paved the way for women’s property rights and the rights of women lawyers in Texas. My grandmother, Grace Dawson, who literally has wrestled more than one alligator to the mat in her day.

Most important career lesson: An attorney must stand on her own two feet. Be diligent in honing your legal careers and stay singularly focused on providing clients with high quality legal services in furtherance of the clients’ goals and desired results. An attorney who delivers quality and results to clients will build long lasting clients relationships that will enable you to pursue your career goals and dreams, whatever those may be.

Hobbies: Skiing, reading, making gemstone jewelry.

Collects: Gemstones.

My favorite weekend retreats are: My own home, spending the weekend with my husband.

Bet you didn’t know: In August, 2009, I started my own law firm – Cami Boyd Law PLLC. Running my own firm is something that I have wanted to do for 5 years. Now, I’m off to a tremendous start.

Another little known fact: My relationship with my husband, Randy, is the perfect compliment to my law practice. My husband is an artist, musician and photographer.

Bad habit: Work too much and play too little!

Culinary talent: My strongest culinary talent is knowing when to turn over the kitchen to my husband (who is an excellent chef)!

Community Involvement: Every year, I make a significant time commitment to a charity or non-profit organization, typically one focused on improving education for young people in Texas public schools. I served on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Dallas for 7 years. More recently, I served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Music Project. And, currently, I am supporting Imagination Celebration and the actress Betty Buckley’s project to bring arts education to students of the Fort Worth Independent School District.

Latest pursuit: At long last – the launching of Cami Boyd Law PLLC!

Favorite saying/quote: Goodness, truth and happiness!

Secret for staying young: Laughter!

Favorite TV program: I admit it, as stereotypical as it may sound, I am hooked on Law & Order and CSI.

Favorite food: Sushi.

Favorite restaurant: Tei Tei Robata Bar.

If I had more time, I would: travel the world.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Freedom to do what I am passionate about every day.

The part of my job I do best is: Invest myself and my time in my clients and their businesses. Building relationships with clients is the key to success.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I think that clients are weary of the traditional law firm business model and the feeling most clients get that their attorney, and law firm, are simply out to generate as many fees as possible. The current economic climate is, in my view, creating an important change in the legal profession. Lawyers need to understand the challenges their clients are facing, economic and otherwise, and work to accomplish results that clients need, as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I was a child when I decided that I wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer. I have not regretted a single moment of it!

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Vacation and enjoy time with family.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? I have been practicing long enough to remember a time when most filings were not made electronically and many clients preferred not to communicate by email. The great leaps forward that we have made as a society over the past 15 years, in communications technology and use of the internet for business, have dramatically changed my practice and the expectations of my clients.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I believe that clients will demand changes in law firm billing practices and attorney fee structures. I believe that attorneys and law firms that cannot keep pace with changes in technology (which impact our society and business world from top to bottom) will not be able to keep pace with the competition for business.

Cami recently established her own law firm, Cami Boyd Law PLLC.

 You can also view Cami's TexasBar.com profile


Prizes
It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile
Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Victoria Broussard

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Walking in the courtroom when I know I am prepared and ready to rock and roll.

Bet you didn’t know: My son, Jean-Luc, is a fourth generation only child and was named after Jean-Luc Pickard, the Captain of the Starship Enterprise, Star Trek, The Next Generation.

Another little known fact: My mother told me when I was a young girl that I would be a good attorney.

Born: In Port Arthur, Texas, December 10, 1970    

Family: I live in Georgetown, Texas with my teenage son.

Areas of practice: Family law comprises the bulk of my practice. I also perform services in areas related to Probate, Criminal, and Civil.

Education: Juris Doctor, Texas Southern University, 2004, Summa Cum Laude; Executive Editor of The Law Review, The University of Texas at Austin, 2000

Likes/Dislikes: I dislike personality types that are prone to make premature judgments about situations and people in those situations. I like rational thinking.

Bad habit: I leave water bottles in the car; I have heard that drinking the water is unsafe.

Doesn’t: I do not require others to fulfill responsibilities that are mine.

Is not good at: I am not good at math.

Culinary talent: Rice Krispy Treats!!

What kind of car do you drive? Infiniti FX35

Community Involvement: AAU and Select Basketball

Mentors/heroes: President Obama; Dr. John Butler, professor, entrepreneur, world renowned speaker, author, creator, and businessman; Judge Lora Livingston of the Judicial District Court, Austin, Texas.                                                     

Most important career lesson: As soon as you know the facts are not aligned in your client’s favor, be honest with your client and with yourself regarding the chances of emerging the victor.

Favorite saying/quote: “People do not plan to fail; they fail to plan.”

Pet peeve: Half-hearted attempts at accomplishing the task.

When they do the film about you, what actor/actress should portray you? Halle Barry

Favorite plays: The Color Purple and A Chorus Line

Favorite TV program: Reality TV.

Favorite artist: Michael Jackson - RIP                         

Favorite album: Thriller

Favorite musician: Michael Jackson - RIP

Favorite movie: Walt Disney’s Meet the Robinsons

The last movie I saw was: Transformers

Favorite magazine: US Weekly

Favorite sport: Gymnastics

Favorite food: Vegetables

Favorite restaurant: Pappadeaux

Where to be found on a Saturday night: At a movie, dinner, or home.

Talents (besides law): Dancing, choreography, writing.

Hobbies: Dancing, bike riding, exercising, tending to my plants and yard, swimming, and traveling.

Collects: Lamps

Generally likes to read/Last book read/Current reading material: The Davinci Code; Triumph of Justice by Daniel Petrocelli

My favorite weekend retreats are: Going to Dallas for a play or concert, or the coast for fishing.

If I had more time, I would: Complete the three books I started writing.        

Biggest misconception about me: Because I am small, I often believe people underestimate how aggressive I can be.

What most people don’t know about me: I am older than I look.

The part of my job I do best is: Staying calm and making my clients comfortable and giving them support.                                                                 

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: “You can get more from honey than you can with vinegar,” by my mother.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Michelle Obama

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Juggling the multitude of tasks in their personal life and keeping up with ever changing laws.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Perry Mason. He was always in control.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Psychiatrist or psychologist.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I always wanted to be an attorney; when I got divorced in 2001, I figured it was the perfect time to go for it.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Spend time with my family and friends; get chores done around the house; play, exercise, and travel.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? I admire people who work hard and know how to orchestrate successful outcomes.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The Texas Family Code.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I believe the laws will get more beefy relative to child protection.

Any words of wisdom or advice for the new president of the State Bar of Texas?  Be courageous!

Victoria Broussard works at the Law Office of Victoria Broussard.

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


 
Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Thomas W. George, Austin

Thomas GeorgeFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family: Single, two children, six grandchildren.

Areas of practice: civil trial law/health care law and policy/university teaching.

Education: M.S., J.D. - American University; LL.M. Health Law & Policy Institute - Univ. of Houston Law Center; Ph.D. - UTMB

Bet you didn’t know: I have an interest in end-of-life legal and medical issues; a doctorate with emphasis on bioethics.

Another little known fact: I have a ranch in Wyoming; although I never go, I just love knowing it’s there.

Mentors/heroes: There are so many! Two favorite Lawyers: Mahatma Gandhi & Clarence Darrow & my high school English teacher, Dorothy Waisner, our own “Good Morning Miss Dove.”

Best thing about being a lawyer: So many wonderful things: i.e., meaningful involvement and opportunity to make a difference in peoples lives.

Most important career lesson: Choose your law partners very carefully.

Current Project: Taking a deep breath and reflecting on 30 years of a wonderful private practice and several years of university teaching.

Favorite saying/quote: There are so many, one perhaps, “ I want nothing,” “I fear nothing,” “I am free.” Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco.

Pet peeve: Political spin as fact.

Secret for staying young: If anyone knows, please tell me.

Favorite TV program: Charlie Rose.

Favorite artist: Pieter Brueghel/ Thomas Hart Benton.

Favorite composers: Ludwig van Beethoven.

Favorite album: Concert by The Sea – Erroll Garner.

Favorite music/musician: Frank Sinatra.

Favorite place to find albums: Mail-order catalogues.

Generally likes to read/Last book read/Current reading material: A Lucky Child - A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy. Thomas Buergenthal.

Memorable vacation: Greek Islands.

My favorite weekend retreats are: Home.

If I had more time, I would: Read & travel.

Bad habit: Can’t sleep  

The part of my job I do best is: In trial; In court; in the class room.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: If For Boys, Rudyard Kipling.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I could write a book on this subject, we often are the best; perhaps self- image and dedication to the profession of the law; “Attorney heal thyself.”

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Clarence Darrow /Louis Nizer: real literary lawyers through their writings and recorded trial presentations.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Surgeon, perhaps, perhaps not.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? Graduate School.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Read, grandchildren, workout, ride my horse.  

Favorite movie: Shane.

The last movie I saw: Glengarry Glen Ross.

Favorite sport: Football.

Favorite food: Steak.

Favorite restaurant: Las Palomas.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? People who believe in what they are doing with their life, and try to do it the best they can.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Computerized virtual reality and the loss of human interaction.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? More computerized virtual reality and more loss of human interaction.

Thomas W. George is a private practitioner.

 You can also view Thomas' TexasBar.com profile


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Stacey Holley Valdez, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Areas of Practice: Criminal and Family Law.

Most Important Career Lesson: Don't bury your head in the sand.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Ride on the back of my husband's Harley.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? When I saw the movie And Justice For All. It inspired me.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Keeping current of changes in the law.

Favorite TV Program: Reality television.

Pet Peeve: Stupid people.

If I had more time I would: Travel.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Paris Hilton (I love shopping and that's all she ever seems to do).

Favorite on-screen or literary attorney? Atticus Finch.

Mentors: Tom Stickler.

Heroes: Thurgood Marshall.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Being part of keeping constitutional laws in place.

Stacey Holley Valdez works at The Law Office of Laird Valdez, LLP

You can also view Stacey's TexasBar.com profile


 
Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Mark Williamson, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Winning custody for pro bono clients.

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Paul Newman as Frank Galvin in The Verdict - a great film about personal redemption and winning the right way.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: “You can always make new friends, but you can’t make old friends.” – my father

Education: University of Texas School of Law, JD, 1985; Baylor University, BBA, 1982

Areas of practice: Family law

Family/personal: Married for 18 wonderful years; two children in high school and one in middle school.

Bad habit: Improving the lie of my golf ball, but only when it’s really necessary.

Doesn’t: admit to improving the lie of my golf ball.

Is not good at: texting.

What kind of car do you drive? Black

Mentors/heroes: Ed Blackstone, retired from practicing law, now a Methodist minister in East Texas; and Keith Nelson, the coolest divorce lawyer in Texas.

Most important career lessons: Get paid before trial. Clients will lie to you. Know when to stop talking and sit down.

Favorite saying/quote: “The best day in a man’s life is the day after his first divorce.”

Pet peeve: Self-absorbed people.

Secret for staying young: Choose your parents carefully.

Favorite TV program: The Office

Favorite artist: David Gilmour

Favorite album: Dark Side of the Moon

Favorite movie: The Godfather, Part II

Favorite sport: UT football

Favorite restaurant: Ojeda’s

Collects: old black and white boxing photographs.

Memorable vacation: Cabo, via private jet on someone else’s dime. Sweet.

If I had more time, I would: play golf every Friday afternoon.

Biggest misconception about me: That I am cocky. 

The part of my job I do best is: keep my clients calm in the storm of divorce.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Living a balanced life. The pressure to work more, bill more, and make more money will pass, and so will we.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? A Tarrant County Judge. Hey, just kidding! If you’re from Dallas, you get it.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? I was a senior about to graduate from Baylor when it struck me that in less than 90 days I would start a career in accounting, working for someone else for the rest of my life. Sheer terror. Just in the nick of time to apply for admission to law school.

Any words of wisdom or advice for newly licensed attorneys? When you leave on Friday, don’t darken the door of your office until Monday morning. Your family and friends love you and deserve your time more than any client or case you will ever have.


Mark Williamson works at The Williamson Group, PC.

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


 
Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Brian Johnson, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Helping people.

Mentors/heroes: Family, the people who have the same drawbacks/obstacles that I face and find a way to perservere. The connection is close enough to see that I can make it as well.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? Why would I want to be anyone other than me? It has taken me 28 years to learn how to be good at being me; I think I may have it down by the time I’m 75. Until then, I need the practice being myself.

Born: November 6, 1981

Family/personal: I am single. My family is from New York/New Jersey. They all currently live in New Jersey, except for me. My mom is a semi-retired school secretary, and my dad is a semi-retired jack of all trades. I am very close to my sister, even though she is fourteen years my senior. I have three nieces, Taylor, Haley, and Lindsey, who keep me young.

Areas of practice: Immigration

Education: Rutgers, 2003; University of Houston Law Center, 2006

Culinary talent: Scrambled eggs - that’s about it.

What kind of car do you drive? Beat-up pickup truck. I have gone through four cars since I was sixteen. All of them eventually died on me because I would drive them into the ground. My dad gave me this truck (used) in 2004 because he thought I ought to have a pickup truck if I were in Texas. I drove the truck down from New Jersey, have used it to move countless times, and have used it to move many friends. At least a few times, the car has held all my worldly possessions. It keeps me grounded to say the least.

Most important career lesson: You have to want what you got. Take advantage of your God-given gifts. Don’t try to be something that you aren’t. I’m not a genius, so I don’t pretend to be. I always look up everything. I don’t pretend to remember every client’s entire life story. I listen, I take notes, and I study the case. I try to learn new things every day. I think the biggest mistake lawyers make is thinking that they are doing learning in law school. Law school taught us “how to learn.” I think I have earned multiple JD’s for the amount of studying I’ve done since entering practice.

Favorite saying/quote: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” 

Secret for staying young: Be happy.

The last movie I saw was: Monsters vs. Aliens in 3-D with my two nieces Taylor and Haley.

Favorite food: Anything in Houston.

Favorite restaurant: Again, anything in Houston is fine by me.

Where to be found on a Saturday night: With friends and family.

Talents (besides law): Jeopardy?

My favorite weekend retreats are: New Jersey/New York. My entire family still lives there as well as all my childhood friends who I now consider family. It is my foundation, and sometimes I just need to visit and recharge. I made a promise to my sister when I left for law school in 2003 that I would be home for my nieces' birthdays every year. She tricked me by adding another to the bunch in 2006. So I’m back to New Jersey every February, April, and September for Taylor, Lindsey, and Haley.

If I had more time, I would: spend more time with family, expand our practice to help more people in the greater Houston area and beyond.

The part of my job I do best is: Client service. We give out our personal cell phone numbers so our clients can always reach us.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Do your best, from my Mom and Dad. No matter what ability or talent you may have, no one can fault you for doing your best.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Providing quality service to clients, listening to clients.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Accountant, teacher, or politician. Every college graduate in my family has become an accountant. My mother and stepfather worked in the school system for my entire life. I spent a lot of time seeing the education system from the school point of view instead of the student. I think I would make an awful teacher, but it wouldn’t be for lack of effort. I was a political science major in college and would have taken a position with a congressman in Washington, D.C., but I wouldn’t have been able to live on the salary. 

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? When I applied for a number of congressional staff positions, the chief of staff told me bluntly, “You are the best person for this job and I want to hire you, but you won’t make any money. If you want to get a good job in this town, you either have an Ivy League degree or a law degree.” I was a month away from graduating Rutgers College, so the only option was law school. When I visited the University of Houston, I felt the opportunity in the air. I still get the same feeling when I arrive in Houston from a business trip; I walk out of the airport, and I’m excited about the possibilities that await me. 

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Enjoy life to the fullest. I am still relatively new to Houston and Texas. There is a lot to explore.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? My family, whether it is my co-worker Frank, my sister Laura, my Mom and Dad, or my best friends; I am constantly inspired and motivated by how individuals face and overcome monumental challenges. 

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? There is no reason why attorneys should not take advantage of all that technology has to offer. We use technology to better serve our clients: filing cases online, sending documents instantly overseas, conversing with embassies and consulates around the world, and getting information to people who need it, when and where they need it.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I think the practice will shift to a service oriented industry. We will no longer be able to stand firm with “our way” of doing business when our clients find that they can prosper without us. We need to work with our clients to find the best possible outcome.

Brian Johnson works at Guerra & Johnson, P.C.

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


 
Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Albert John 'Al' Charanza, Jr.

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family: Married to Michelle Charanza for 18 years who is my law partner. She attended the University of Houston Law School and I went to South Texas College of Law; two daughters ages 16 and 14.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Helping others who cannot help themselves.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today?  Burn out from being overworked.

Bet you didn’t know: Last Judge Advocate in the U.S. Armed Forces to complete jungle training at the Jungle Operations Training Center, Fort Sherman, Panama before the U.S. closed the base.

Another little known fact: That I was a Texas Cheerleader.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? The President of the United States. I would not be politically correct and speak what the American people want to hear from a leader.

Areas of practice: Criminal Law only, Board Certified in Criminal Law.

Education: B.S. Speech, University of Texas – Austin, 1987; J.D. South Texas College of Law, 1992.

Culinary talent: Makes a great potato salad.

Community Involvement: Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, have served for 19 years. Active at Denman Ave Baptist Church.

Mentors/heroes: Jesus Christ, George Patton, my father, my father-in-law.

Most important career lesson: NEVER QUIT OR GIVE UP.

Latest pursuit: Working to retire from the Marine Corps Reserve.

Favorite saying/quote: Never Give Up.

Pet peeve: People who are not on time or waste time because they are unorganized.

Secret for staying young: Keep your weight down and stay in shape.

Favorite album: Boston’s Greatest Hits.

Favorite movie: Too many to list.

Favorite sport: Football.

Favorite food: Bar-B-Que.

Favorite restaurant: Cheddar’s.

Hobbies: Reading.

Current reading material: Crazy Horse and Custer, the Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors by Stephen Ambrose.

Memorable vacation: Skiing with my daughters in Winter Park Colorado this year.

My favorite weekend retreats are: Staying at home and doing nothing.

If I had more time, I would: Sleep.

What most people don’t know about me: I am a warrior at heart.

The part of my job I do best is: Presenting my case to a jury and convincing them that following my theory is the right thing to do.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Give 110% in whatever task assigned and no one can complain that you did not give your best. Emmett Sterling Huff, Attorney in Houston, TX whom I worked for as a law clerk.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? Sales.

What's the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? A friend of mine, David Brown, told me that I should be in law school. I took the LSAT and applied. The rest is history.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Spend time with my family.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Computers and wireless internet.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? I believe that more court files will go paperless.

Albert John 'Al' Charanza, Jr. works at the Charanza Law Office P.C.

You can also view Al's TexasBar.com profile


  
Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Laura Upchurch, Brenham

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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: Being able to use intelligence, creativity, and compassion to help people solve problems.

Latest pursuit: Attempting to train the puppy my family got from a shelter last fall. He likes to chew everything from garden hoses to pencils and constantly manages to find new ways to escape from our backyard. 

Bet you didn’t know:  In sixth grade, I taught myself to write backwards in cursive, which served to entertain my friends and teachers. Sad to say, this skill has little practical application as a lawyer. 

Education: B.A. and J.D., both from University of Texas

Areas of practice: I focus mainly on contested probate, trust, and guardianship matters. However, like many lawyers in small towns, I also do estate planning, real estate, and small business transactions.

Culinary talent:   Though not a very inventive cook, I do a lot of baking and have become known among friends for specialties such as chocolate cheesecake, shortbread brownies, and cinnamon rolls. I also make a mean chocolate chip cookie, with oatmeal, coconut, and pecans. My tips for good baking are: use jumbo-sized eggs and lots of vanilla.

What kind of car do you drive? I usually drive a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but it is currently being repaired after a recent collision with a truck that was stopped in the road just after I came over a hill. The rolling hills around Brenham are quite beautiful, especially during bluebonnet season, but they can also make for perilous driving!

Favorite TV program: It’s a toss-up: “The Closer” or “House.”

Favorite album:   It would be impossible to name only one, so I’ll settle for the following five: “Closing Time,” Tom Waits; “Jubilant,” Jubilant Sykes; “Hymns of the 49th Parallel,” k.d. lang; “A Room With a View” soundtrack; and “Nickel Creek,” Nickel Creek.

Favorite magazine: Vanity Fair.

The last movie I saw was: “The Bourne Ultimatum,” on DVD.

Memorable vacation: A couple of years ago, I flew with my kids to Philadelphia and went to Independence Hall and the Franklin Institute; took a train to Hershey, PA, where we visited the water park and chocolate factory; then rode the train to New York City, where we saw all the tourist sites and went to a Broadway musical. We rode in a plane, train, taxi cab, subway, ferry, bus, bike taxi, and horse carriage all in a week’s time – none of which we have at home!

My favorite weekend retreats are: my garden, Salado, and my mother’s house. For a long weekend, it would be Santa Fe, NM.

Secret for staying young:  Trying to keep up with my children and all of their activities helps me to stay young. I had my first child at age 37, and my son was born a week after I turned 40. So while many of my friends from high school are already grandparents, I am still reading bedtime stories, listening to knock-knock jokes, and going to little league games and on bicycle rides.  Having a pre-teen daughter helps me to keep current on younger trends in music (Hannah Montana is out, Taylor Swift is in), fashion (leggings are soooo last year) and slang (a 12-year-old who is “going out” with someone doesn’t really go anywhere; it means what “going steady” meant when I was 12). Also, most of the parents of my kids’ friends are several years younger than I am, which means that I end up hanging out a lot with a younger crowd. All of this makes me feel older, but probably helps me seem younger than I am.

 
Laura Upchurch works at Moorman Tate Moorman Urquhart Haley L.L.P.

You can also view Laura's TexasBar.com profile


 
Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Marissa C. Hernandez, Edinburg

Marissa HernandezFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, 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 get to help a lot of people.

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: My Dad has always told me not to worry about the things you can’t change. I think that advice is so useful in my law practice and life in general.

Most important career lesson: Juries hate when we overcomplicate things. They stop listening when we get hyper-technical about anything.

Favorite saying/quote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Favorite sport: Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football.

Family: I have been married to Jason Hernandez, my high school sweetheart,
for 6 years. We have three children, Elijah (5), Ethan (3) and Isabella (1).

Areas of practice: General civil litigation, personal injury, medical malpractice
Education: B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame (1999); J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law (2002).

Culinary talent: I make some great tacos.

Secret for staying young: My husband is very adventurous, so he keeps me young.

Favorite composers: Lennon/McCartney.

Favorite food: Fried Chicken.

Current reading material: The Twilight Saga.

My favorite weekend retreat: Cozumel, MX.

If I had more time, I would:
Travel a lot more.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Unfortunately, I think we lawyers have gotten a bad name as a result of a few bad attorneys and lots of negative propaganda. The public has an attitude of mistrust about us although we are a part of a noble profession.

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Spend time with my family.

Marissa works at the Law Offices of Preston Henrichson, P.C.

View Marissa's TexasBar.com profile.


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile - Jimmy Verner, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson: Don't be afraid to say “I don't know” when you don't know.

Current project: A free, online searchable database of Texas family law cases, with commentary by (and credit given to) volunteer attorneys who identify and submit cases. If you're interested in participating, drop me a line at jverner@vernerbrumley.com.

Favorite saying/quote: “Take credit when available, not when it's due!” This is my sole contribution to Western Civilization.

Born: Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Age: Have made it to 55 so far.

Family: Married with adult children.

Areas of practice: Family law, especially family law appeals.

Education: B.A. (Political Science), University of Utah, 1975; M.A. (Political Science), Emory University, 1976; J.D., University of San Diego, 1979; Ph.D. (Public Policy & Political Economy), University of Texas at Dallas, t/b/a May 2009.
 

What kind of car do you drive? An Audi, but the lease is about to run out, so we just ordered a Smart Car.
 

Mentors and heroes: Ms. Hansen, my high school English teacher; Ms. Miller, my high school math teacher. These teachers inspired me and demanded my best.

 

Favorite musician: There are so many, but if I had to pick just one, I'd pick the Grateful Dead.
 

Favorite magazine: It's a tie between The Nation and Fast Company.

 

Favorite restaurant: Waffle House.

 

Current reading material: The Mamur Zapt series, by Michael Pearce.

 

Memorable vacation: When my wife and I vegetated for a week at an all-inclusive resort on the Mexican Riviera.

 

My favorite weekend retreats are: My wife and I are renovating an old sailboat that we keep on Joe Pool lake. When we can get out of town for a few days, we like to go to the mountains to fish or ski.

 

If I had more time, I would: Finish all the projects I have already undertaken.

 

When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Build/enhance websites.

 

Who are the people you admire most, and why? Politicians who stood fast in daunting circumstances. My shortlist includes Lincoln, F.D.R. and Churchill. I also admire moral leaders such as Gandhi, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, and MLK.

 

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Without question, technology. For example, back in the day, many lawyers considered the industry standard to be typing on paper with carbon attached using an IBM Selectric.

 

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Use of the Internet and wireless technologies will increase exponentially.

 

Jimmy Verner works at Verner & Brumley, P.C.  and has a blog, North Texas Family Law Blog.

 

You can also view Jimmy's TexasBar.com profile


 
Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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

Random Profile: Nelson Clare, San Antonio



For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Areas of practice: Environmental, municipal and energy law. In 2004, after 30 years of public and private practice, I retired as head of a small in-house shop to develop and run a tree farm (landscape trees). We cut, cleared, fenced, sunk wells, installed 2 irrigation systems and planted 5 species of native oak in containers. I’ve got sheep that help with the grass and chickens that help with the pests in and around the containers. It’s a one-man shop, and the learning curve has been steep, but the people in the business are open with advice, suggestions and support of all kinds, at the drop of a hat.

Favorite movie: Giant

The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: “Make yourself indispensible in whatever job you have,” given to me as a youngster by an older solo practitioner, James L.M. Miller, who, as a teenager during the Great Depression, was the sole support of his mother and 4 siblings.

The last movie I saw was: Slumdog Millionaire

Favorite magazine: The Economist. Over the years, they seem to have been ahead of the curve on a lot of important calls.   

Education: BA, University of Nebraska (1970); JD, St. Mary’s Law School (1972).

Family: My wife, Nan, and I have been married for 37 years (we met in second grade). Our two sons are married to wonderful young women. We have four grandchildren.

Who are the people you admire most, and why? Parents and teachers of children. How do they do everything they do, on a consistent basis, in a 24-hour day is amazing! Now days, there are so many things that compete for priority. In the face of that, most parents and teachers still make sure the kids come first.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? I’ve been away from it for awhile; but staying current, and coping with the pressures presented by the business side of the practice, were always two of the biggest challenges. Don’t know about now.

Bad habit: Being late for meetings, but that’s not much of a problem anymore!

Community Involvement: St. Anthony Catholic Grade School, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church

Mentors/heroes: My parents, my wife.

Most important career lesson: Stay current and keep your resume updated.  

Latest pursuit: Expanding the farm inventory to include lesser used, drought-tolerant  native tree species, e.g. Texas persimmon, Carolina buckthorn, etc.. 

Current Project: Trying to manage the farm in a way that maximizes organic practices.

Favorite saying/quote:
“Be yourself” (from my mother)
“Do the best you can, and forget about it” (from my father);
Age quod agis” or “Do what you’re doing”, a favorite reminder from the terrific priests of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who ran the high school I went to.

Pet peeve: My not putting things back were they belong.

Secret for staying young: Aspirin and red wine!

Favorite TV program: “24”

Favorite artist: Kay Jackson of Washington D.C.

Favorite album: Swing Low

Favorite music/musician: Sam Cooke

Favorite sport: College football and basketball

Favorite food: Mexican food

Favorite restaurant: La Fonda on Main in San Antonio

Generally likes to read/Last book read/Current reading material: The Snowball Warren Buffet and the Business of Life (Schroeder); The German Generals Talk (Hart). I also like to see what other people are reading, e.g. http://abajournal.com/news/whats_on_your_reading_list/

Memorable vacation: Camping in Yellowstone; Visiting the Normandy beaches and cemetery.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Being able to work with people who know what they’re doing, on projects that have a chance of accomplishing something worthwhile.

The part of my job I do best is: grow things

If you weren't an attorney (or farmer), what profession do you think you would be in?  A teacher. I’ve taught before and it’s something I think most lawyers might like to do, and would be good at doing. 

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been - licensed? I was licensed in 1973. The ways in which we can now communicate have changed everything in the practice. There are higher expectations on lawyers by clients and the judiciary. Technology has also provided great ways to help meet those expectations. Of course, the ‘increased production’ resulting from these technological developments has a price that’s not always acknowledged.

How do you think the practice will change in the next 15 years? Given the enormous changes in past 15 years, I can’t imagine; but it seems like there will be tremendous opportunities for lawyers. People who can spot issues, solve problems, pose alternate, and hopefully constructive, courses of action, etc. will always be in demand – and in the future, more than ever. On the civil side, in business settings, it seems like there will be an ever increasing demand for practitioners good at those things. The more complex things get, the more those talents will be at a premium. In that context, keeping the lines clear between the role of the client and the role of the lawyer will be as important as ever.   


Prizes

It's not every day that you're randomly picked from among 80,000 peers. To commemorate, randomly-profiled attorneys receive a TexasBar.com t-shirt and a law firm link (a $50 value).

Update Your Online Profile

Have you updated your attorney profile lately? Go to MyBarPage on TexasBar.com, log in, and click "Update My Profile."

Once on your MyBarPage on TexasBar.com under the "Update My Profile" section, click "Edit" under "My Directory Options" to add your photo for free. While you're there, consider adding a law firm link too. This is a hyperlink from your profile in our Find-a-Lawyer directory to your own law firm website. At only $50/yr, law firm links are a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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