From London to Austin, TX, to Los Angeles, your first few years after college were anything but ordinary. Tell us about this time in your life. What were your career goals after graduating from college?
My goal after college — without any idea how I was going to accomplish it — was to become a working actress. I developed a love for acting in high school and college and decided to give myself a few years to see if I could make a go of it as an actor. I'm a complete Anglophile and Shakespeare nerd and had always dreamed of attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. I saved up for the classes and living expenses by working during college. It was such an amazing and invaluable experience. I met amazing people, grew as an actor, and figured out how to navigate a huge city on my own. After that, I moved back to Austin to get some acting credits on my résumé and replenish my savings account (Austin has a less competitive acting market and lower cost of living than LA). Finally, at 22, I loaded up my car and drove out to L.A. It was terrifying — I had no idea what I was doing! I worked a series of odd jobs, auditioned for commercials and small projects, took acting classes, and gave it my best shot. Ultimately I decided that the unpredictable lifestyle did not suit my personality at all, but I’m so glad I went for it. I learned a lot about myself and will never have to regret not trying.
In 2009, you began law school in Houston. How did you decide to go back to school — and law school at that? Had you always wanted to become an attorney?
Becoming an attorney was always my “real job” backup plan. I think there’s definitely a correlation between certain aspects of litigation and theater. Before I even graduated from undergrad, I took the LSAT (a standardized test you have to take to apply to law school). Your score is saved for five years, so I knew I had a set window of time in which to decide whether to go back to school. Also, my then-boyfriend, now-husband was in law school in Houston while I was in Los Angeles. Hearing about his experience as a law student and later as an attorney confirmed for me that it was the right career for me as well.
You currently work as a labor and employment attorney in downtown Houston. What are your job responsibilities?
I really love my job. As an associate in the employment and labor group at my firm, I assist with all aspects of employment litigation, from single plaintiff cases to class action litigation involving wage and hour disputes, allegations of employment discrimination and retaliation, breach of employment contracts, and benefits issues. I also assist in counseling employers on a wide range of issues, including hiring, termination, compliance, and drafting employee handbooks and policies.