A Father's Day essay by Lara Hollingsworth, Of Counsel with Rusty Hardin & Associates, was featured in Texas Lawbook in celebration of lawyer-fathers who inspire their children to practice law.
In the article headlined “Learning to Balance Family and the Law,” Lara wrote: “I remember the exact moment when I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. I was 8 years old and my dad told me that if I went to law school he would buy me a car! Even at 8, I knew this was a good deal. Of course, looking back now, I know my dad made the offer in jest, and I know that I did not go to law school because I wanted a car. I went to law school because I wanted to be just like my dad.” Read the whole essay here (subscription required).
Lara's father, Jim Hudgins, started a law firm with his brother and brother-in-law and brought in family members as bookkeepers, file clerks and eventually lawyers. Lara describes getting her father's blessing when she decided to go to Baylor Law School, though all the other lawyers in the family attended at South Texas College of Law. When she graduated, he gave her a job, but then gave her his blessing again when she decided to practice law with her husband instead. “He reminded me that family always comes first and that family now included my husband.”
Lara described the lessons she learned about being a good lawyer. But she stressed the even more important lessons he taught her about how to balance being a lawyer and a parent. “He taught me that you do not have to sacrifice family to be a great lawyer for your clients. He didn't just tell me these things; he showed me by example.”
In her ode to her lawyer father, Lara notes she doesn't recall any important event in her life at which he was absent. She concluded by hoping her own children have as fond memories of lawyer parents as she does.