They may be mid-level executives who, despite their lack of official authority, are influential within the company. That person without the title, though, may not always feel free to act like a leader because she doesn't want to step on her boss's toes, overstep her authority or, for any number of other reasons, prematurely fly her leader flag. But it's not necessary to have official authority to wield significant influence in the workplace. "Women have been using informal power effectively since the Garden of Eden," says Anne Morriss, managing director of Concire Leadership Institute. "In healthy organizations, influence is rewarded with power. Making a decision to impact your environment and setting others up to succeed will get you to the corner office faster than waiting for the proverbial tap on your shoulder." This issue of Straightline will offer some tips for aspiring leaders looking to separate themselves from the pack, in big ways and small. There's no need to wait until you've been given formal authority before you act. Patience may be a virtue, but a little well-placed impatience can pay long-term dividends in your career development.
Be Authentic In order to be seen as a leader, you must first inspire trust. And that can't happen if you're being inauthentic. Most people can see through a poser, even if they can't put their finger on why they don't trust someone. They just know that something is "off." But authenticity doesn't always come easily. It requires an honest examination of our own past, what crises or challenges shaped us, and our flaws. It's equally important to know what others think of us and how our behavior is perceived, both by our colleagues and our supervisors. Getting honest feedback can be difficult, but it's essential to discovering and accepting our true selves.
Get Over Yourself Organizations are looking for leaders who can inspire others to do well. If you can show yourself to be as focused on your team's success as you are on your own, you'll shine. That doesn't mean you can't pursue your own goals, but you're more likely to achieve them if you put others first. That can seem risky for some because it means you have to "stop scanning the horizon for predators," Morriss wrote in the Harvard Business Review. Women and minorities, in particular, may be reluctant to stop looking out for their own interests because of societal attitudes that seem to call their competence into question. But putting your own interests after those of your team is the first step to becoming a leader, so make your team's success--not your own--a priority.
Manage Up While making a team of colleagues and subordinates successful is important, don't forget about those higher up the corporate ladder than you, in particular your immediate boss. Having a healthy relationship with your boss can pose a quandary, however, because it means that you go to her when you have challenges, and that means admitting weakness to the last person you want to see those weaknesses. If you don't yet have an honest relationship with your boss--if you never let her see your weaknesses--don't presume that she's all "judge" and no "coach." To begin down that path, choose a low-risk situation to consult her about and give her a chance to offer support and guidance. She may surprise you.
Organizations are looking for leaders who can inspire others to do well. If you can show yourself to be as focused on your team's success as you are on your own, you'll shine.
Take Advantage Of Every Chance To Shine Rather than seeing every interruption and distraction during the day as a barrier to getting your work done, try seeing them as opportunities to stand out. After all, if we're honest with ourselves, our days rarely turn out like we plan them to. The interruptions and occasional fires we have to put out can sometimes take up the bulk of our day--and they may ulti-
Welcome to Straightline
Straightline is a publication from Andrews Kurth for women, by women. We will give you the bottom line on women's issues, be on the front line for timely substantive legal topics, and serve as the hotline for firm news. We'll introduce you to fresh faces at Andrews Kurth, provide a pipeline of topical legal updates, and promise to infuse some fun features, facts and resources along the way. So join us for what promises to be Straight Talk on women's issues. No lawyerspeak. No double talk. Just the most direct line between you and our women lawyers.
mately make up a significant portion of our intangible work "portfolio." Small interactions can often leave big impressions with our colleagues, subordinates and bosses, and ideally we want that impression to be a positive one. As Douglas Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup Company and co-author of "TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments," writes, "Whether you are a manager, a mentor, or a parent, you want to touch others in a way that makes them want to do the right thing. You want to guide them in a way that helps them make good decisions, even when you are not in the room--which, if you are a leader of leaders, is 99.9 percent of the time."
Don't Be Afraid To Raise A Few Eyebrows If you're looking to be seen as a leader, you'll need to take some risks and step outside the confines of your official job title. To do that, you need to know your company's culture and when it's appropriate to overstep those boundaries, but don't be afraid to raise a few eyebrows now and then.
Continued on page 2
2012. Produced by Andrews Kurth's Women's Initiative Team.
Strike a balance between good management and good leadership by learning to work with and through others. Whether moving up the ranks or just starting out, sharpen you ability to take the lead.
1 Being the Boss The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader by Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback
2 TouchPoints Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments by Douglas Conant and Mette Norgaard
3 Unusually Excellent The Necessary Nine Skills Required for the Practice of Great Leadership by John Hamm
Unfurl Your Leader Banner
Continued from page 1
Some women may have trouble with this, Morriss says, because they're typically more aware of how others perceive them than men are. But, she adds, "for organizations to change, it often requires making people uncomfortable." Women sometimes have a hard time getting over the need to be liked, Morriss says. But that need is a formidable barrier to their success, so it's important to conquer it by making a conscious effort to step outside their comfort zone every once in a while. Shake Off Your Self-Doubt
Women are plagued by low self-esteem and professional self-doubt at much higher rates than men, and that lack of confidence shows when it comes to asking for raises, promotions, higher starting salaries and other job perks. It even plays a role in downplaying their ambitions--often a self-fulfilling prophecy. According to a 2011 study by the Institute of Leadership & Management, women with low confidence are least likely to achieve their career ambitions, whereas 40 percent of highly confident women and men feel they have fulfilled theirs. To combat this phenomenon, women suffering from a crisis of confidence might consider finding a professional coach who could help them boost their self-esteem. Short of that, though, a little "fake it till you make it" can do wonders in a pinch.
Put It Out There
While all of the above tips will reflect well on you at review time, don't expect your boss to spend much of her day thinking about ways to advance your career. Ultimately, that's your job, so if she doesn't know you're looking to grow and move up, let her know. Don't assume she'll see you as an adversary. For all you know, she's looking for a promotion and would be willing to groom you to take her place, or there's a potential opening in another department in which she'd like to have an ally. Organizations thrive when they produce a steady supply of new leaders committed to both the company's success and their own. If there's a leader inside you waiting to march into battle, by all means, get out of your own way and bring her out in the open.
4 From Bud to Boss Secrets to a Successful Transition
to Remarkable Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris
Bob Jewell, firstname.lastname@example.org Meredith Mouer, email@example.com
Tammy Brennig Elizabeth Campbell Marty DeBusk Deborah Grabein Amy Hancock Donna Kim Kendall Lowery Peter McKee, Jr.
Howard Ayers Courtney Culver
Thomas Perich Shemin Proctor Robin Russell Michele Schwartz Lisa Shelton Laura Trenaman Kathleen Wu
Editor in Chief:
Kathleen Wu, firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Kim Shemin Proctor Laura Trenaman
For more information, please contact Courtney Culver at 214.659.4689 or email@example.com.
Catch the Altruism Bug
you've ever participated in Secret Santa, you know the thrill of the anonymous good deed. Sure, the "big reveal" is nice, but there's something exciting, even life-affirming, about secretly brightening someone's day. There's no reason you can't have that feeling year-round. In fact, there are some sound, scientific reasons why you should make anonymous good deeds a regular part of your life. Kindness doesn't just give a boost to the recipient. It can have fairly significant health benefits for the person being kind. It can also be infectious, sparking a chain reaction of kindness. Don't want to be anonymous? That's okay. Kindness is kindness, and it's all beneficial.
Pay the toll for the next car in line at the tollbooth, or pick up the Starbucks tab for the car behind you.
According to Dr. David Hamilton, a former pharmaceutical researcher and author of "Why Kindness is Good for You," doing good prompts the production of a whole host of hearthealthy, stress-reducing hormones and chemicals, such as endogenous opioids (our body's natural versions of morphine and heroin), dopamine and oxytocin. And because oxytocin has been shown to reduce the levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system, being nice to others may even help slow the aging process. Obviously, kindness begets kindness, as anyone who has disarmed a surly cashier with a warm smile can testify. And despite evolution's reputation for "survival of the fittest" heartlessness, we may actually be hard-wired for niceness, given its ability to strengthen communal bonds and thereby improve a group's chance of survival. But few people have taken altruism to the lengths that an anonymous 28-year-old Michigan man did in 2006, when he offered up one of his kidneys to a complete stranger. That
Write encouraging notes in sidewalk chalk in front of your neighborhood school.
single act, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, triggered nine other such transplants, when a family member of the original recipient offered his kidney in a "pay it forward" donation, and so on and so on. Not up for donating a kidney? You can still experience "helper's high" by incorporating some of these ideas (courtesy of guerrillagoodness.com and kindnessgirl.com, among others) into your life: Write encouraging notes in sidewalk chalk in front of your
neighborhood school. Leave friendly notes in popular library books before
returning them. Rake an elderly neighbor's yard or offer to walk her dog. Pay the toll for the next car in line at the tollbooth, or pick
up the Starbucks tab for the car behind you. Go out of your way to return a lost cellphone or other
valuable you find. Leave $5 gift cards to local businesses (with a friendly note)
in obvious places for strangers to find. Leave flowers or other small goodies at a neighbor's house. Send Valentines to a co-worker (keep them platonic so as
to avoid potential embarrassment or misunderstanding). Pick up the tab for another diner as you're leaving a restaurant. Leave a big tip on a small bill. Bring in some doughnuts, bagels or other treats for your
office mates. Bring dinner (or a gift card to a restaurant) to a friend with
a newborn, recently home from the hospital, or otherwise temporarily impaired. Make a purely social call on an elderly neighbor. Give a small gift or gift card to a cashier, barista, waiter, postal worker or other service worker you encounter frequently. Make regular, small donations to your favorite local charity.
The possibilities are limitless. If you start now, you might just have a head start on Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 1319.
2012. Produced by Andrews Kurth's Women's Initiative Team.
Top of the Line
Getting a Good Start Why wait until year-end to make a charitable contribution? Treat yourself now and show your support in style with products that pay it forward.
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by Altru Artistry at candledelirium.com A fragrance medley of warm spices, vanilla and black tea. 20% of proceeds go to the children's charity In a Perfect World.
3. Seven Year Pen, $8
by Seltzer Seven Year Pen at seltzergoods.com Writes up to 1.7 meters a day for seven years and supports environmental causes with a portion of sale proceeds. For 10% off, enter "AGOODSTART" at checkout.
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by WeWOOD at we-wood.us Made of 100% natural wood, WeWOOD partners with American Forests to plant one tree for every product sold.
5. Viva Glam Lipstick, $15
by MAC at maccosmetics.com Each tube supplies a woman with HIV in Africa with a month of free public transportation for doctor's visits.
6. African Sunrise Whole Bean Coffee, $14
by Global Benefit Coffee Company at globalbenefit.org/coffee All profits from the beans will go to build wells in Rwanda through thewaterproject.org. In 2010, the group helped 100,000 Africans get clean water.
Wheels Up and Away Where will the new year take you? Whether jetsetting for business or pleasure, get away and arrive there with unique travel accessories.
Andrews Kurth was recently recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal as a leader in diversity, and received the 2012 Diversity Leader Award for demonstrating outstanding diversity communication practices throughout the year.
Donna Kim (New York) received the 2011 Women of Color Achievement Award presented by the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express OPEN, the small business division of American Express, and 100 Black Men of America.
For the second consecutive year, business litigation partner Lynne M. Fischman Uniman (New York) was named by Super Lawyers in the Top 50 Women New York lawyers for 2011. This list recognizes the lawyers who received the highest point totals in the New York Super Lawyers balloting covering the five boroughs and Long Island.
The Washington, DC office coordinated a book drive to benefit DC LEARNs, which is an organization in the District of Columbia that works for adult, children and family literacy programs. The office collected over 100 books, which were distributed to various member organizations of DC LEARNs, including schools, youth programs and community development organizations.
Eden Burgess (Washington, DC) appeared as a guest lecturer at Catholic University's Columbus School of Law's Art Law Seminar. She spoke about passage of time issues in art cases.
The Board of Regents of the American College of Bankruptcy has elected its Class of Fellows for 2012. Fellows will be formally inducted to the College at the United States Supreme Court on March 16, 2012. The class includes four new Fellows from the Fifth Circuit, including Robin Russell (Houston). Robin was also recently named a 2012 Award Winner by Profiles in Diversity Journal's "Women Worth Watching."
Kathleen Wu (Dallas) authored the article "Banishing the Word `Bossy' from Women's Vocabularies," featured in Texas Lawyer and The Current Conscience blog. She was also profiled in "Ahead of the Game" in Texas Super Lawyers 2011 and Texas Monthly.
35 Andrews Kurth lawyers were named to the 2011 Texas Super Lawyers list. Included on this list were Kay Lynn Brumbaugh, Wei Wei Jeang and Kathleen J. Wu from Dallas and Terri Lacy, Gail Merel and Robin Russell from Houston.
Andrews Kurth is proud to announce the addition of our Research Triangle Park office in Durham, North Carolina. This area is a central hub of the high-tech industry, and we're looking forward to serving local business clients.
1. Universal 3 Type Travel Adapter, $25
by DCI at accessorygeeks.com Toggle between contacts for connections in the UK, US or Australia, or press lightly in the center for use in Europe.
2. Hand-stamped Luggage Tags, $26
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3. Travel Flats, $195$295
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by Steamline at steamlineluggage.com Traditional lines with modern updates featuring TSA-approved locks, a trolley handle, roller wheels and an interior washbag.
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by Abas at abas.net Tote all your travel accessories including your passport, credit cards, identification and boarding passes.
6. Beauty Boost Kit $10
by Air Repair at airrepairskincare.com The only travel skin care system created specifically to combat the effects of flying and the environmental changes of travel. For 15% off, enter "AKLEGAL" at checkout.
The firm donated over $58,000 in cash to those in need this past holiday season. The donations were made on behalf of the firm's clients and in recognition of the charities' ongoing efforts to serve those in need throughout the country. Food bank contributions were made in the cities in which the firm operates, including:
Capital Area Food Bank Austin North Texas Food Bank Dallas Houston Food Bank Houston City Harvest New York Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina Research Triangle Park Interfaith of The Woodlands The Woodlands The Capital Area Food Bank Washington, DC
The firm also sponsored its 5th annual "Open Up Your Heart and Give" campaign, which collectively donated 14,179 food items and 13,842 meals and in addition to the firm's financial contribution, the staff and attorneys donated another $16,452--enough cash and food for the food banks to provide thousands of meals. The firm also gave a financial contribution to No Kid Hungry and the World Food Programme.
2012. Produced by Andrews Kurth's Women's Initiative Team.
The Essentials of E-Discovery
Co-authored by (left to right)
M. Katherine Strahan and
company's failure to deal appropriately with electronic discovery--innocently or not--can lead to significant sanctions and even adverse judgments in a lawsuit. For example, courts have ordered offending companies to pay the other side's (sometimes sizable) legal fees incurred to pursue inappropriately
withheld or destroyed electronically
stored information ("ESI"). Courts
have also given juries "adverse inference" instructions that
a company's destroyed or unavailable ESI may be presumed
to have been harmful to its legal position. These and similar
court orders across the country are driving the development of
prudent corporate policies for the handling of ESI in litigation.
The following are a few key takeaway points from ESI rulings
around the country that a company needs to know:
Issue Litigation Hold Letters Early, Often, and to All Relevant Staff
After restoration of certain backup tapes revealed that employees had deleted emails relevant to an unemployment discrimination case, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a series of wellknown e-discovery rulings against the defendant, including an adverse inference jury instruction and an order that the defendant pay the plaintiff 's fees and costs. The court said that in order to meet its discovery obligations, a company and its lawyers must: (1) issue a litigation hold whenever litigation is reasonably anticipated, oversee compliance with the hold, and periodically re-issue the hold to keep it "fresh in the minds of all employees"; (2) communicate directly with "key players" in litigation to understand how they store information; (3) "instruct all employees to produce electronic copies of their relevant active files" and (4) make sure that all backup media are identified and kept in a secure place. These rulings illustrate that it is important to issue litigation hold notices as soon as possible. The requirement in most jurisdictions is that a litigation hold notice be issued as soon as litigation is reasonably anticipated, which sometimes can be even before suit is filed. For example, if a written demand or threat of suit is made before filing, such communications can trigger the obligation to issue a litigation hold notice. Beyond just issuing a litigation hold at the outset, it is also important to revisit and re-issue the notice throughout the life of the litigation if the scope of relevant information or document custodians changes.
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It is also important that all relevant employees receive litigation hold notices; sending them only to upper level employees is not sufficient. Courts have held that reliance on the unauthorized instructions of company employees is no defense to destruction of relevant ESI, so it is in a company's best interests to ensure all employees are on the same page with respect to the handling of ESI. Also, special consideration, including identification of language differences and alternate computer operating systems, should be given to crafting the proper instructions for non-USA employees in order to avoid inadvertent destruction of relevant ESI.
Involve Information Technology Personnel at the Outset The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ordered a plaintiff and its counsel to pay $137,168.41 in sanctions for discovery violations that included: (1) false certification that all relevant records were kept in paper format and there was no ESI; (2) delayed and inadequate production and failure to search for documents in a timely manner; and (3) counsel's failure to familiarize himself adequately with his client's document retention practices and to assist in document production. Contrary to prior assertions by counsel, the plaintiff 's corporate representative said in a deposition that electronic technology existed and that the information technology ("IT") consultant could easily have searched and produced the ESI, but no one had "bothered to ask IT." This case illustrates the importance of involving IT staff or consultants from the beginning. These individuals are critical to identifying the scope of accessible ESI so that appropriate individuals can receive litigation hold notices, appropriate preservation and collection procedures can be implemented, and appropriate objections and responses can be made to any propounded discovery requests.
Develop Policies and Procedures for Preserving and Handling ESI The United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Court sanctioned a defendant for its conduct in handling ESI and prohibited the defendant from seeking indemnification or reimbursement of the sanctions amount from its insurance company after a special master appointed by the court found a lack of "any corporate policy, procedure or concerted effort [to] preserve electronic evidence" in the face of litigation. This ruling underscores the importance of thinking ahead and developing uniform policies and procedures for handling ESI so that you will be prepared whenever litigation is anticipated. When developing policies and procedures for handling ESI in litigation, companies should take care to consider specific procedures for backup tapes. At least one court--the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania-- has allowed an adverse inference jury instruction against a plaintiff for destruction of backup tapes, even though the plaintiff did not act in bad faith, but simply failed to curtail its standard procedure of overwriting backup tapes once litigation was reasonably anticipated. Several courts in addressing ESI discovery issues have specifically considered the procedures in place for preserving and dealing with ESI in litigation. While not entirely dispositive, it does appear that strong corporate policies and procedures relating to the handling of ESI may affect whether and to what extent sanctions are imposed, especially if there is corporatewide understanding of the importance of preserving ESI.
Educate Employees about ESI on an Ongoing Basis Employees of corporations need to know the consequences of improperly handling ESI, including personal social accounts such as Facebook and Twitter, email accounts and laptops. It is also important that employees understand the duty to preserve relevant information once litigation is anticipated and the consequences of failing to do so.
It is important to issue litigation hold notices as soon as possible.
Holdings from various courts reveal that nothing and no one is immune from discovery and possible sanctions if ESI is improperly deleted. For example, one court imposed sanctions against a defendant company because the president disposed of his laptop computer used for personal and business matters after it was believed to have crashed. Another court ordered an individual party to provide log-on information to his Facebook account so that the court could conduct an in camera review. It is also important to note that courts have often held that they, not necessarily the parties, are the ones to determine what is and what is not relevant. So, an argument that deleted ESI was not believed to be relevant will not necessarily avoid court imposed sanctions.
Litigation Hold Notices May Be Subject to Discovery Although litigation hold notices from lawyers are usually privileged and not subject to discovery, the court may order a party to produce its litigation hold notice in order to determine its adequacy. Indeed, courts have specifically held that a preliminary showing of spoliation will waive the attorney client privilege. For example, a New Jersey judge ordered that litigation hold notices be produced after witnesses testified that they did not save any emails and did not even know what a litigation hold notice was. Once produced, the notices revealed that the party improperly waited until after suit was actually filed to issue them, even though litigation was reasonably anticipated before that date.
Conclusion Although this list is certainly not exhaustive, the cases collectively demonstrate the importance of preservation and retrieval of ESI and the potential adverse impact of e-discovery missteps on a party's litigation position. In today's increasingly electronic world, a company can improve its odds in litigation by adopting effective policies and procedures to address ESI issues, including the following: Promptly issue effective and comprehensive litigation hold
notices when litigation is reasonably anticipated. If litigation occurs, make full disclosure to counsel of potential
sources of ESI so that the appropriate objections can be lodged. Involve IT personnel at the outset of any litigation that may
involve ESI. C ommunicate with all employees, including executives, about
the risks of sanctions and adverse inferences if electronic records are lost or destroyed. C onsider the potential impact of company information stored on laptops and personal computers, as well as employee communications using social media, and adopt appropriate policies. P reserve old or archived systems and backup media, including preservation of computers and other devices when an employee witness departs in the midst of litigation.
With much excitement, we welcome these new lawyers to the Andrews Kurth team.
Katharine Atlas, Houston Katharine is a Litigation Associate. She has experience in various commercial litigation matters, and was a Law Clerk for the Honorable Leonard B. Sand of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. She earned her JD, cum laude, from New York University School of Law in 2006 and her BA in English and Certificate in Finance from Princeton University in 2003.
Katherine Boatman, Houston Katherine is a Litigation Associate. She has experience in the appellate process, and was a Law Clerk for the Honorable J. Dale Wainwright of the Texas Supreme Court and the Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Katherine earned her JD, with honors, in 2008 from Baylor Law School and received her BA, with honors, in English and Political Science from Texas A&M University in 2004.
Brandy Buck, Houston Brandy is a Corporate/Securities Associate. She has represented clients in mergers and acquisitions, formed various business entities, participated in tax controversy proceedings and managed various aspects of estate planning and probate matters. Brandy earned her JD in 2007 from the New York University School of Law. She received her BA, Plan II and History, from The University of Texas at Austin in 2003.
Lydia Gromatzky, Austin Lydia has joined the firm as Of Counsel in the Environmental section. She has a broadbased regulatory, transactional and litigation practice involving domestic and Latin American environmental law. She also has extensive experience advising clients on permitting, compliance, enforcement and remediation matters. Lydia received her JD from The University of Texas School of Law in 1986. She earned her BA in American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 1982.
Jennie Howard, Houston Jennie has joined the firm as an Associate in the Corporate/Securities section of the Houston office. Her most recent experience entails reviewing credit agreements in relation to defaulting lenders as a Legal Associate for the Royal Bank of Scotland. Jennie earned her JD, cum laude, from the American University, Washington College of Law in 2011. In 2007, she received her BA from the University of Durham in Durham, England.
Nicole Kamprath, Dallas Nicole is a Litigation Associate. She has experience assisting in various litigation matters and commercial transactions. Nicole earned her JD in 2011 from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She received her BA, magna cum laude, from New York University in 2008.
Cindy Lin, Houston Cindy is a Corporate/Securities Associate. She has experience advising companies in mergers and acquisitions, financing matters, securities issues and general corporate matters. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. Cindy received her JD from The University of Texas School of Law in 2005. She earned her BA in Economics, with honors, in 2002 from The University of Texas at Austin.
Ashley Sullivan, Houston Ashley is a Litigation Associate. She has experience in various litigation matters, and was a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Kerry FitzGerald, Texas Court of Appeals, Fifth District. Ashley received her JD, magna cum laude, in 2011 from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She earned her BA, magna cum laude, in Political Science from Baylor University in 2008.
Andrews Kurth LLP announced the election of eight of its lawyers to the partnership. Jon W. Daly, Richard D. Deutsch, Tanya A. Fischer, R. Casey Low, Philip H. Peacock, Cameron P. Pope, Kelly Sandill and George J. Vlahakos assumed their new positions January 2012.
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