What drew you to a career in law?

My mom was a public school teacher for 35 years in the Houston area.  She graduated from The University of Houston. My father was a welder (after enlisting to serve in the Navy in Vietnam and then riding bulls professionally for 3-4 years) who started a welding supply business in the late 70s.  He attended a semester of college but obviously didn’t graduate.  None of my grandparents went to college, much less graduated from it.  So, I don’t come from a family of lawyers.

The IRS audited my dad’s company several years in a row in the late 80s and early 90s.  He didn’t do anything wrong, and to my knowledge never had to pay anything extra.  However, it took a big toll on him, and he was always frustrated with the process, as it was the same IRS agent leading the audit every year. After seeing that as an 8-12 year old, I figured that if I became a lawyer, I could avoid getting the run around myself and protect other people from the same.  I also participated in theater as well as debating/public speaking in high school, and I developed skills that I thought would translate well into the legal world.  It seemed like a good fit, skill-set wise, to me.

Have you set a specific goal that you want to achieve in the next year

For a long time, I was a workhorse associate who handled other people’s work. In the process, I’ve developed a book of business that allowed me to become a Shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka.  Next year, I want to continue to grow and diversify that book of business.  To do so, I plan to network outside of my comfort zone across Houston. I want to develop relationships where I (and our Firm) can help small and mid-sized companies resolve their tax, corporate structuring, intellectual property, commercial, labor and employment, maritime, insurance, or casualty legal issues, both before they reach a critical stage and after litigation or arbitration is the only option. I’ve already started doing that, and want to double the amount of commercial litigation I originate and handle in 2019.

Another goal for the next year is to do at least one presentation for the Houston Bar Association Speaker’s committee each month. I enjoy giving “The Importance of Jury Service” speech to high school kids.  It gives me a chance to talk to them not just about an important civic duty, but also to talk to them about the profession as well as give advice to anyone who is interested in pursuing a legal career.

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