Editor’s Note: In this blog series, we are getting to know the members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. TYLA, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, works to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All TYLA programs are accomplished through the volunteer efforts of its board and committee members, with the cooperation of local affiliate young lawyers associations. Learn more at tyla.org.

Name:  Tiffany Sheppard

Firm:  Massey Balentine, PC

Area of Law You Practice: Real Estate, Estate Planning and Probate, Guardianship, Title Examination, Collections, General Civil Litigation

Position Held in TYLA:  District 15 Director

How did you get involved in bar service? 

I immediately became involved in our local affiliate of TYLA and then went on to participate in the LeadershipSBOT Class of 2017. I met so many amazing young attorneys from across Texas and really became invested in the projects of TYLA. From that moment on, I was hooked!

What is your favorite TYLA project and why?

My favorite TYLA project is I Was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too! (See http://iwasthefirst.tyla.org/.) It’s a project about inspiring people who were the first ones in their families to become lawyers, the first from their neighborhood, and other “firsts.” I am particularly fond of this project because I am the first in my family to complete college and the first lawyer in our family. This project highlights the incredible “firsts” that inspired so many of us to pursue legal careers!

What tips can you give to other attorneys to manage stress? 

Find a balance and prioritize your wants and needs. It’s great to make a ton of money, but if you cannot enjoy your life and family, what’s the point? Find an outlet and join a gym or a group of friends that enjoy a hobby that interests you. Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff! At the end of the day, the work will still be there tomorrow and so will the stress—take a breath and unwind.

What is a piece of advice you would give new lawyers or law students?

Take every opportunity presented to strengthen your network! Often, it’s not what you know but who you know. Also, you’re always one CLE article away from an answer; it’s called the practice of law for a reason.

What do you do in your spare time? 

When we aren’t living a pandemic lifestyle, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially hosting friends in my home!

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? 

I decided I wanted to pursue a legal career in fifth grade and I never faltered in that pursuit. However, if I didn’t become a lawyer, I would have pursued a career as a hairstylist—I enjoy creativity and art!