Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Almost Anniversaries and Happy Returns

I published this (and a related LinkedIn post) a couple weeks ago and then got a call early the next morning from a partner about to go skiing with his kids to let me know the firm had a whole PR rollout planned for my big news and could I maybe wait? Then the global head of PR emailed to let me know they were creating a backup plan if the news needed to go out asap and his team was working on a press release and I was like "oh my god I don't even work there yet and I've messed something up and made people work on a weekend." So I pulled the posts because I definitely did not need to break this newstory via blog post.

So now, please go back in time, to the moment when I was going to announce an ending of one amazing phase of my career and the beginning of another. And then I'll write one about getting this next chapter started!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[Feb. 4, 2022] Last week, on the exact 10 year anniversary of the day I told my old law firm that I was leaving to go to the SEC, I told my supervisors at the SEC that I was leaving to go back to my old law firm. I left Vinson & Elkins as a mid-level associate in the Austin office and am rejoining as an equity partner in the Dallas office and I could not be more excited about this change and the opportunity it provides for me, my career, and my family.
It's the perfect thing at the perfect time and after a million interviews, a hundred phone calls with contacts and mentors, a dozen business plan drafts, and a full partnership vote for admission, I could burst with how happy I am to have it all worked out and official.
My last day at the SEC was today. The whole family came to help me say goodbye to Office 1930 and the kids posed for one more picture crowded around my desk and one more picture in front of the SEC sign. We got a few inches of snow yesterday and everything remained frozen solid today, so I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to get to the office to turn in my devices, but the roads cleared just in enough in the afternoon to allow James's 4WD car to get me and my pack downtown.
I have two weeks off and then I start at the firm on February 21st. The week of my 39th birthday. The last year of my 30's and the start of a whole new chapter. I am, as noted above, VERY. EXCITED. about every bit of this. We took the kids bowling after I turned everything in and I bowled a strike on my first frame. I'm seeing this as an auspicious sign for this next step.


In support of this new path, James and I have spent a lot of time talking about how the balance of responsibilities will shift between us, the childcare we need to get everyone where they need to be each day, and our overall goals for this next stage. So far this has involved many conversations, watching the final season of Hanna on Amazon Prime, two spreadsheets, several lists, and a consultation with a CPA and financial advisor. I feel like there should be some sort of power point at the end.


In other changes we are finally turning the TV room into a real in-home office for me! No more working out of the corner of our bedroom! I spent a weekend clearing out our old bookcases, selling all our furniture, and am working with a desiger to rework the whole space. My new desk has been delivered and I am obsessed. It is so pretty and sturdy and heavy (300+ lbs!) with beautiful details and all the drawers and a hidden section for the cords to be wrangled. James also has a new desk and we have a really nice sleeper sofa for guests or Landon when he doesn't want to sleep in the girls when we have guests. I'm so excited about using the space in this new way and I have a pink oriental-style rug, pretty chandalier, crazy wallpaper, and the most beautiful art piece for the wall behind my desk. I can't wait for the project to be done so I can show you!


Also on the to do list is finding me a suit. I do not currently own one, and while I did approximately 167 interviews during my job search, they were nearly all on Zoom and I could get away with just a blazer + top + pants (possibly of the pajama varietal). I've tried on everything at Ann Taylor and didn't love any of it. I've now ordered options from J Crew and Banana Republic because Nordstrom has absolutely nothing and Dillards had one (and it was a no). It's almost like stores know people are mostly working from home and not dressing up... [Feb. 23 update - I found a suit! I now have this blazer and this skirt from J Crew in every color because it's the first almost flattering business suit I've ever worn.]


As I make this transition and look forward to all that lies ahead, I've been doing a lot of musing on how we got here. In March it would have been 10 years at the government and will be 10 years in this house and this city- a city neither James nor I had been to until we house hunted for 3 hours and then moved here. I didn't know a single person in the DFW area and often felt so alone and unconnected. Now James has taught 1 out of every 5 kids we see around town and I see someone I know everywhere I go. I've taught barre and yoga to so many, served on PTA Boards, gotten to know my kids' friends' parents, know the names of the people I see each day. I have a community here, a deep, well-rooted one, and for that and many other reasons I will be commuting to Dallas 3 days a week and working from home the other 2 instead of moving. At least for this phase of life, I want the kids to continue in their schools and I want to stay in my community here. James has built an incredible team and reputation as a coach and we both want that to continue (and not just because he coaches our three kids, but also exactly because of that).


As I look back at the last decade I feel so grateful for all that my last job change gave us: incredible legal experience and expertise for me, a new and fulfilling career path for James, our SEC ThirdBaby who brought us all immeasurable joy, opportunities for all three kids to explore their interests and have very present parents...


Besides marrying James, joining the SEC is the best decision I’ve ever made and I’m so grateful for my amazing colleagues and the opportunity I've had to serve the public. I’ll never forget sending my first subpoena and taking my first testimony- it’s been a joy and honor and I’m proud of every case I’ve brought.


The last ten years have been an adventure and a gift; I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings!


  1. Oh my goodness, I’ve just been quietly following you for what seems like forever? Congratulations, you should be so proud. Wishing you the very best ❤️

  2. Congratulations!! I’m so excited for you. My legal career has taken many turns and I am also rejoining my old firm as a partner (although non-equity for now but with a very generous comp plan and an opportunity for equity when it won’t hurt my comp). It is a full circle but also an acknowledgment of what I offer in terms of experience and expertise. I’m 100% remote with an office if I chose to have it. I’m having the same conversations about childcare, task splitting, etc. you’re inspiring me to think more about my home office space. Best of luck anc congratulations again!

  3. Congrats!! So excited for you 👏💪🏼

  4. Congratulations! How exciting!

  5. Oh wow, that is amazing! Congratulations!!

  6. Congratulations! As a long time reader (starting when you were in law school), your career progressions have been inspiring as make my own decisions for my career and family. Best of luck!

  7. Defending white collar criminals wouldn't be my bag, but you do you.

    1. I was wondering about this too and how it would affect your emotional quality of life. But we shouldn't assume all these people are guilty. Perhaps there's some part of the job that entails counseling and strategizing with clients on how to stay within in law.

    2. Tessa, that's a pretty inflammatory thing to say on the personal blog of someone kind enough to show us into her life. Don't forget that:

      1) She just spent ten -10- years serving the US government and the US people to prosecute white color crimes.
      2) She isn't defending white collar criminals - she's defending white collar defendants. It is a distinction with a difference. All of us in the US are considered innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. Just as SEC employees and prosecutors are an important part of our system, white collar lawyers are important and valued. It takes both to make the system fair. (Yes, she may be handling appeals of convicted people but that is also part of our great legal system.)

  8. Congratulations! You will bring a wealth of experience to your new clients and this sounds like a really good career move for you and your family.

  9. I refreshed this page multiple times yesterday and then my comment wouldn't load last night! I am so excited for you! Your new/old firm is so lucky to have you. And those annual photos of the kids are total heart-tuggers. Huge congratulations to you!! Can't wait to see all the beauty these next years hold for you.

  10. Oh wow - that is amazing news!!! A few months ago I took a job change that gave me so much less time at home/ with my children than I had before but it has been the absolute right choice for all of us! Of course they are 17, 15, 14 so they need me less (and one of them drives) but our time together is more valuable than before.
    Best of luck and congrats! You will slay it!

  11. Congratulations! I can't wait to see your new home office!

  12. Very exciting, congratulations to you and your family! I love how you all cooperate to make it work.

  13. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing the good news with us!

  14. That is wonderful news. Congratulations!

  15. Congratulations! I’ve been following you for so long and I enjoy your updates and writing so much. Looking forward to your new adventure :)

  16. I am very familiar with the Lawyer Wardrobe: all the colors of the rainbow from black to navy and sometimes gray. The attorneys I worked with quietly rebelled with quirky pins and earrings. Two of my favorites were a "glass ceiling" pin and a "when pigs fly" pin which councimembers used to call an "angel pig" (whatever.) The ladies all got each others' jokes and they kept us sane. We noticed that the downtown LA firms went business casual long before we did, but we grappled with WWTH was business-casual-not-jeans for professional women! I think I am too old to go back into real suit-type suits and the nearest I get are black knits that feel like jammmies!