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.
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