Julia Mann, a litigator who has practiced at Jackson Walker for 12 years, is the first woman to serve as managing partner of the San Antonio office, which opened in 1991. She is also only the second woman to serve as an office managing partner in the firm’s 132 years.
And, Pillsbury environmental partner Amanda Halter was just appointed managing partner for the firm’s 16-year-old Houston office, a job she assumed on March 4, even though she is expected to go on maternity leave March 18.
Halter said she did consider her impending maternity leave—her second child is due on April 1—when deciding whether to take on the management responsibilities, but “firm leadership felt like I could do it.”
Halter said she lateraled into Pillsbury six years ago and she feels comfortable in the culture.
“I’ve really looked for ways to be of service here,” she said.
She has been a co-leader of the firm’s crisis management focus team and has also served on the firm’s associate development, sustainability and technology committees.
As the new Houston managing partner, Halter will be tasked with doubling the size of the office over the next five years, she said, in accordance with the 20-lawyer office’s recently rolled-out growth plan. Hiring will focus on lawyers in the energy, biotech and life sciences practices, she said.
Halter succeeds insurance recovery partner Vincent Morgan as Houston managing partner.
“Amanda is well-suited to the role of Houston office managing partner, previously serving in a number of leadership roles at Pillsbury and having earned the respect of so many colleagues within the firm and the local legal community,” firm chair David Dekker said in a statement. “Her talent and enthusiasm are infectious, and will be instrumental in helping Pillsbury further expand and enhance our offering to clients in the Texas market and beyond.”
At Jackson Walker, Mann said she looks forward to applying the management experience she has already developed in various roles at the firm to leading the San Antonio office. She has chaired the litigation practice in San Antonio since 2013—a role she will continue until the end of the year—and was in charge of leadership development firmwide for litigation associates.
“It provides an opportunity to continue the success that Jackson Walker has built with what I feel is our next generation of leaders,” Mann said of her new role leading the 42-lawyer office.
The San Antonio office is expanding and the firm will announce several lateral hires soon, she said. She sees opportunities for growth in the litigation and real estate practices, she added.
Within her energy litigation and financial services-based litigation practice, Mann has built a niche practice in agricultural law, she said. Agricultural supplier Helena Chemical Co. has been her client for more than 15 years.
“Julia represents the kind of leader Jackson Walker looks for and celebrates. She is committed to her clients and has a take-charge attitude,” firmwide managing partner Wade Cooper, who is based in Austin, said in a statement.
“Julia’s new role in San Antonio is a tangible example of how we’re working hard to recruit, develop, and promote excellent lawyers who will be great leaders,” Cooper added.
Mann succeeds partner J. Scott Rose as managing partner in San Antonio. Mann moved into the management role Feb. 9, although the firm announced it this week.