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Linda Ottinger Headley Shareholder Littler Mendelson, Houston Linda Ottinger Headley majored in fine arts in college with an emphasis on pottery and painting and put her degree to work in the retail field. She graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1982, and now helps businesses from another end, as an employment attorney. Part of her job is to assist clients as they deliberate over management decisions. “They anguish over letting someone go,” she says. “We make people feel more secure about their decision-making. You deal with people who care deeply about the issues they’re involved with, whether it’s a mom-and-pop store or a big corporation. “One of the things I really enjoy is feeling like I made a difference.” Headley, 50, has worked in the labor and employment law field since graduating from law school. After stints at several other firms, she joined Littler Mendelson in May 1999 and is managing shareholder in the firm’s Houston office. As a lawyer on the management side, Headley has done defense work in the sexual harassment area and helped represent management in Ali Boureslan and EEOC v. Arabian American Oil Co. and ARAMCO Services Co., in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that American citizens working overseas for American employers are not protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An important part of her job is keeping up with developments in a field where the law is changing. “If you don’t keep up with it every day, you’re behind,” she says. “You’ve got to stay on top of it.”

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