Sharing Resources Based on Lessons Learned

Ten years. It is hard to believe that 10 years ago, I looked at the pass list for the July 2010 bar examinees and saw my name. It was a moment of shock and utter joy—my biggest accomplishment. I am in a completely different place than I envisioned back then. My journey of navigating law school, finances, and finding the practice area that brings me joy inspired some of the projects the Texas Young Lawyers Association is developing this year.

When I started at the University of Texas School of Law (hook ’em!), I had no idea what I was doing or what I was in for at the time. I just knew I needed to work hard, get good grades, and obtain a job that would help me pay for my student loan debt. I simply took out the loans each year and went to school. If I knew then what I know now, I would have made much smarter decisions with my finances and summer firm salaries. I have learned that many of my fellow young lawyers were in the same boat back then, so now, we want to help our future colleagues. With that, we are developing our Financial Literacy and Debt Management Series, which will have an entire section directed toward law students. Our goal is to better educate law students and young lawyers on how to successfully take charge of their financial well-being and make informed decisions earlier in the process. The project will also include information on retirement planning and disability insurance. We aim to assist all lawyers, especially solo and small firm attorneys.

When I began my legal career, I worked at a litigation boutique in Austin practicing commercial and employment litigation. It paid very well and allowed me to make those pesky student loan payments and more importantly, pay my dad’s college tuition. However, that job brought me very little joy, and I was beginning to doubt my decision to practice law. It was not until I took a pro bono family law case that I realized I was meant to be a lawyer. I contemplated my transition to family law for about a year. I took family lawyers to lunch and coffee, attended CLEs, and met with a financial planner. In September 2013, I made the decision to leave my firm and started practicing at a prestigious family law firm in Austin.

In trying to develop additional projects for this year, I spoke with fellow board member Meagan Harding, of Houston, and we discussed the difficulties lawyers desiring to transition to a new area of practice may have. And from that, we developed the idea for Transitioning Your Area of Practice: A Guide to Ease the Transition. This guide will consist of advice and accounts from lawyers who have successfully transitioned from one area to another and provide information about some of the changes to expect. We are looking forward to launching this spring.

We cannot wait to share these resources with you!

2020-2021 President, Texas Young Lawyers Association

For more information on TYLA, contact them at tyla@texasbar.com or go to tyla.org.


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