Naomi Howard comes to Rusty Hardin & Associates from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in the state. During her tenure with the Court, Naomi served as briefing attorney to the Honorable Bert Richardson. Naomi credits her mentor, Judge Richardson, with providing her a unique window into the appellate process. Judge Richardson presided over several high-profile trials and capital punishment cases as a senior visiting judge who traveled all over the state of Texas, and Naomi benefitted from his broad judicial experience both at the trial and appellate levels.
Even as a law student, Naomi was gathering valuable courtroom experience. During her time as an intern with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio, she was chosen by her supervising attorney to present a sentencing issue in federal district court. Then as a student attorney in St. Mary’s Center for Legal & Social Justice, Criminal Justice Clinic, Naomi argued an appeal before a three-justice panel of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals, which included then-Chief Justice Catherine Stone and current Chief Justice Sandee Bryan Marion. As a student attorney, Naomi was also able to get a case against a juvenile defendant dismissed, and she credits this experience with kindling her interest in juvenile law and sealing her belief in hands-on investigation. These and other advocacy experiences earned Naomi membership into the prestigious Order of the Barristers, a national honorary organization promoting oral advocacy and brief writing.
Although Naomi’s childhood dream was to be a lawyer, life’s detours took her to Japan where she taught English, and then to Austin and New York City where she worked in some of the top Japanese restaurants in the country. Naomi is one of few women to have been trained as a sushi chef. But Naomi’s love of writing ultimately led her back to the study of law and a legal career. Naomi is a helper at heart, which is why she joined Rusty Hardin & Associates. “Rusty cares about his clients. He really listens to them,” she says. “Every client at Rusty Hardin & Associates gets personal attention. I want to work for a firm that puts the client first. Rusty Hardin & Associates is where I want to be.”
In her spare time, Naomi has volunteered with Bexar County Community Justice Programs, working on pro bono clinics involving probate, divorce, immigration and veterans’ issues. She has also given her time to Habitat for Humanity International. She looks forward to volunteering in the Houston community.
J.D., St. Mary’s University, School of Law, San Antonio, Texas
Order of the Barristers; Phi Delta Phi; staff writer for The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice, Vol. 15