Amy M. Emerson, a partner at Allensworth & Porter, has been selected for our interview feature this week.
Emerson graduated with a B.A. from Southwestern University in 2003 and received her J.D. with honors from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in 2007.
What follows is the interview.
Question: What was the biggest influence in you becoming a lawyer and why?
Answer: I went to high school in Christoval, Texas — population 422. I don’t think a single lawyer lived there, but some pretty great teachers did. One noticed my loud mouth and encouraged me to join the debate team. I took that advice and with the help of some great coaches, ended up winning two state championships. I also found that I loved analyzing a question and then arguing my position, so I decided to make it my career.
Q: How would you describe your practice?
A: I focus on problem solving. My legal specialty is trial and appellate law, and I’ve primarily worked with governmental entities on a broad range of issues. Most recently, I’ve focused on construction-related disputes. Being a trial lawyer doesn’t mean I spend all of my time in a courtroom. Lawsuits arise out of problems — a disagreement over a contract, a plant that doesn’t work right — and my job is to find a way to get that problem solved for my client. My knowledge of the legal process is one of the tools I use to make that happen.
Q: What do you like most about this area of law?
A: I like continually learning something new. The subject matter of each case is different, and I have to learn a lot about it in order to advocate. Thanks to my career I’ve gotten to learn about everything from cloud-seeding to wastewater treatment. It’s constantly a new adventure.
Q: What do you like most about practicing law, specifically in Central Texas?
A: I’m the first native Texan in my family — my parents are Yankees. Growing up in a small West Texas town, I fell in love with the culture and the people in Texas, and although I’ve traveled throughout Europe and lived in London, I always found myself drawn to Texas. Central Texas offers both a small-town feel and a diverse culture, so it’s a win-win for me.