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Jaha Thomas is an Associate Attorney at the Brandy Austin Law Firm.
Jaha (pronounced jay-ya) grew up in the Arlington area. She had a very joyous upbringing and very close-knit family with strong connection with her grandparents. Jaha learned from an early age that education is the great equalizer, so she worked hard to become a life-long learner and took advantage of every opportunity that came her way. Her family has always been tremendously supportive of everything she wanted to do, no matter how unattainable it may have seemed. She vividly remembers when she was 5 years old, telling her grandfather that she wanted to be a ballet dancing surgeon, to which he replied, “Well, let’s get started! We’ve got goals!” This can-do attitude molded her into a person that works for results and never ever gives up, regardless of what people said or did to deter her.
After graduating from Bowie High School, she attended Texas Christian University where she was a pre-med major. After working as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) in various nursing homes, she determined the medical field was not her calling. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Science, she set out to travel the world. Not long after graduation, she moved to Costa Rica where she worked as an English teacher, danced with a Salsa dance company and took Spanish classes. After a year of living the “Pura Vida” (pure life), Jaha decided to move to Queens, New York to experience the big apple. In New York, Jaha continued dancing for fun and she also taught English to adults. She really enjoyed teaching English because her class of thirty students were from 20 different countries. This was a very positive experience, as Jaha witnessed people from all corners of the earth work together and create a unique supportive learning community. This sparked a desire in her to meet and learn from different people of different cultures. From that point on, Jaha traveled to as many countries as she could. She would take out a map, close her eyes and book a ticket for the next unknown adventure.
After a while, the hustle and bustle of New York and homesickness began to wear on her, and she decided to move back to Texas to be near her family. At this point, she realized that teaching came naturally, so Jaha pursued teaching and became certified in elementary bilingual education. She taught bilingual Kindergarten, 3rd grade and first grade. While teaching, Jaha obtained a Master of Arts from the University of Texas in Arlington in Modern Languages with an emphasis in Linguistics. While studying at UTA, Jaha and two other graduate students had the remarkable opportunity to go to San Andres Chicahuaxtla in Oaxaca, Mexico to study the endangered language Triqui. This is one of Jaha’s fondest memories as she felt incredibly fortunate to visit the village, as the habitants were apprehensive of visitors, due to unpleasant interactions in the past, however the people were so welcoming and eager to share their culture, customs and language.
During a 10-year career in bilingual education, Jaha took advantage of the teacher’s schedule and traveled to 43 different countries. Her travels cultivated an appreciation and respect for all people and their differences. Many people would ask her why she was always traveling and was she afraid of what may happen. Jaha always responded in the same manner “carpe diem”, you only live once, cherish the time and opportunities you have now because life can change at any moment and regret is the nemesis. Jaha traveled to many countries alone, but she traveled responsibility with a well-planned agenda and has gained life-long friendships from her travels. Due her extensive travel, she is now fluent in Spanish and also proficient in Brazilian Portuguese and French.
Jaha always had a conviction and zeal for social advocacy, equality and equity. Teaching allowed her to help her students and their families by creating relationships, giving guidance and advice to improve their educational experience. Working with mostly immigrant families who struggled and feared the law, she knew that it was time to do more, so she left education to pursue law. Her reasoning was due to her desire to guide others through the happiest and most challenging moments in life and she also has a devotion to community outreach. Jaha has always been attracted to family law because family is the most precious and valuable asset to most, including herself. She loves the wide umbrella of family law that embodies a person’s entire life. This essentially means that an attorney can represent and advocate for a family for a lifetime.
In the spirit of “go big or go home”, Jaha rented her house to a rental company, packed a U-Haul with her life and moved to Lansing, Michigan for law school at Western Michigan University. While in law school some of her accolades included: Mock Trial Competition Winning duo, Moot Court Competition Finalist and “Top Advocate”, Client Counseling Finalist and being on the Dean’s List for several terms. She also wrote for the Journal of Practical and Clinical Law as an Associate Editor. In addition, she worked for the Sixty Plus, Elder Law Clinic where she advocated for indigent clients in various topics ranging from: landlord tenant issues, civil rights, divorce, guardianship, preparation of wills, powers of attorney, medical health directives, public benefit issues including social security, Medicare, and Medicaid planning.
While in law school, Jaha met and married her husband. After she graduated with her Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University, she and her husband moved back to Arlington. After taking a break to start a family, Jaha became a licensed attorney and began to search for her legal career home.
For Jaha, good health is one of the most important assets a person can have. She works out consistently for a healthy outlet. She enjoys running 5ks, boxing, kickboxing, Muy Thai, and dancing. Her personal goal is to compete in a fitness competition, in the next year. For relaxation she enjoys watching extremely unrealistic shark based sci-fi movies. Work life balance is extremely important to Jaha, as she wants to give the same enthusiasm and excellence to her career as she does her family.
Jaha’s personal mantra is “Let’s make it happen, if I don’t know how, we’ll figure it out”; Integrity or the lack thereof tells a lot about a person. I don’t what the world to be a better place just for me, my family, like thinkers or people that look like me, but I want the world to be a better place for every single person.
Brandy M. Austin
Brandy M. Austin
As founder and managing attorney of Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, Brandy Austin has worked hard to build an innovative law firm that caters to the legal needs of each client, provides professional growth opportunities for each team member, and gives back to the community. She strives to create a diverse team of legal professionals that provides innovative, high-quality, and cost-effective legal services to the everyday person and small business. Brandy frequently represents the underdog against big businesses and insurance companies. She also represents small businesses and business owners who are taken advantage of or who often give more than they receive. As a business owner herself, she shares a special connection and understanding with small business owners and their families.
Brandy Austin manages all the business, financial, marketing, and administrative aspects of the firm. She also supervises client accounts and each department’s case assignments and assists in more complex matters. Committed to the success of happy employees and a positive work-life balance, Brandy has created an inclusive team culture that celebrates individuality and promotes diversity.
Brandy Austin focuses her personal legal practice on multiple types of litigation, including personal injury, business disputes, probate, and contested family law. Brandy has tried multiple cases to verdict and is the lead member of the firm trial team.
Educated clients is one of the founding principles of the firm. Brandy Austin strives to simplify the legal process, automate the routine office tasks, and streamline the typical case process. One way Brandy educates her clients is by hosting a weekly Facebook and YouTube Live show – Disclosure: Live with Brandy Austin Law. Each episode is dedicated to a legal topic or question that may be in the news or that may be a frequent question or topic presented by clients. The show generally begins with a fun segment and local news headline segment before diving into the topic of the week. The show focuses on educating people on Texas law and the rights of its citizens, and even those who are not citizens.
Brandy is involved in the community and instills this principle into the firm culture. Each department and all members of the firm have the opportunity and are encouraged to become active members of the local community, as well as non-profit organizations that directly support the local community.
Born and raised in the small-town Salisbury, North Carolina, Brandy Austin is the first college graduate of her family. Neither of her parents graduated from college and she defied the odds to attain a high level of education. Following law school, she worked on medical malpractice and medical device cases, initially, on behalf of insurance companies. Soon after, Brandy transitioned to representing insured drivers of a non-standard insurance company. This position lacked the client interaction Brandy needed. She also married and became a mom during this time. Work-life balance become the highest priority after having her first child.
Realizing the need for a firm that creates, even encourages, a family-friendly environment, along with a place legal professionals could find value in the day to day work within the field of law, Brandy Austin started her own firm May of 2013. She worked only part-time in the beginning and only had a total initial investment of $300, which was the firm’s business registration fee with the state of Texas. The first year, with only a small number of clients, Brandy continually reinvested in herself and the firm to help it grow. The next few years were a building period. As with most businesses, some decisions were effective and helpful, some failed miserably. Creating a team of people with a shared vision and excitement for each day is a difficult task. People change, lives change. Brandy has worked diligently to find a group of people committed to providing quality, ethical legal services to a diverse community. The goal of the organization is to share differing views in an environment supportive enough to analyze them in a legal context and apply those ideas with the community and the profession of law.
Her life is a testament to what you can achieve through hard work, perseverance, determination, and resilience. She has an entrepreneurial drive that constantly moves her forward in the face of obstacles.
- Rising Star, Super Lawyers 2015-2018
- Fort Worth Magazine 2015-2018
- Top 10 Attorney Award Under 40, National Academy Of Personal Injury Attorneys
- AVVO Top Attorney Award
- Top Attorney, Ft. Worth Magazine 2015-2016
- 10 Best Client Satisfaction, American Institute of Legal Counsel
- Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation
- Associate Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
- Reversal of existing law: Terry Revell v. Morrison Supply Company, LLC, No. 02-15-00195-CV
- Judgment awarded for over $1,000,000 for dog bite injuries
- Texas, 2008
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 2013
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 2014
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 2014
Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas
- J.D. – 2008
- Honors: Dean’s List
- Honors: Chair of the Alumni Committee for Phi Alpha Delta
- Honors: Finalist of Naman Howell Smith and Lee Interscholastic Client Counseling Competition
- Honors: Coach of National Client Counseling Team
- Honors: High A; Family Rights Litigation
- Honors: Participant in Strasburger & Price Moot Court Competition
East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
- B.A. magna cum laude – 2005
- Honors: Dean’s List, Chancellor’s List
- Honors: First Generation College Graduate
- Honors: Recipient of Carlton-Troutman Scholarship for Political Science
- Honors: Attorney General of the East Carolina University Judicial Board
- Honors: Scholar for Council on Legal Education Opportunity
- Honors: Treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta
- Honors: Member of Gamma Beta Phi
- Honors: National Society of Collegiate Scholars
- Honors: Member of East Carolina Honors Organization
- Honors: Chancellor’s List
- Honors: Top 10% of Graduating Class
- Major: English & Political Science
- Quarterly Family Law Newsletter, April, 2009
- Cemetery of Roses, Nonfiction, Rebel: 47., 2005
- Uneaten Birthday Cake, Fiction, Rebel: 47., 2005
- At the End of the Dirt Road, Original play performed at Emerge Art Gallery, 2005
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Tarrant County Trial Lawyers, President-Elect
- Tarrant County Bar Association
- Trial Law Institute
- Diversity Law Institute
- Arlington Chamber of Commerce
- Professionals Serving Seniors
- Tarrant County Probate Bar Association
- Arlington Bar Association
- BNI, Lake Arlington
I was born on January 18, 1961, in Port Arthur, Texas. I have lived in the Port Arthur area all my life. I was blessed with amazing parents, Horace and Lois Bullion. I have two brothers, who still live in that area. All my life my parents were so supportive, loving, and always there for us. I will be forever blessed with them in my life. I pride myself in trying to live my life the way I was so beautifully taught by them.
Growing up I attended Catholic school. In 1979 I graduated from Bishop Byrne High School and was one of the top-ten students and was in the National Honor Society. Even though I was heavily involved in sports, I made sure not to let my academics ever suffer. From a very young age, I was involved in sports, especially softball. During the years, I played on league teams and also traveling teams. My Dad coached some of the teams and my Mom enjoyed being the team mom. I cannot remember a time that my Dad and Mom were not at one of my games. Every day after I got home from school, the first thing my Dad had me do was practice pitching (fast-pitch) with him. I excelled in it and also was a very good hitter. I made the All-Star team every year and in high school our team won the State Championship. I was selected as the All-State Fast Pitch Pitcher. These are some memories for which I will always cherish.
After high school, I went to Lamar in Port Arthur, Texas and graduated in 1980 with an Associate of Applied Science-Paralegal degree. It was not easy, but I did a two-year degree fast by taking classes in the summers and also day and night classes. But once again, even with the heavy schedule, I did not let my grades suffer. In college, I was also a member of the National Honor Society.
In 1980 I started working for Hugh O’Fiel, Attorney At Law, in Beaumont. I worked for Hugh from 1980 to 1995. Learning in school is one thing, but hands on experience is invaluable. Hugh definitely taught me a lot. In August 1995 I went to work at Packard LaPray for the Senior Partner, Bernard Packard. In 2019, the firm separated and I continued to work for Mr. Packard at Packard & Packard until December 2020, when he retired. Mr. Packard is a very special person of whom I am very thankful to know and to have worked for. I was responsible for the handling of the family, criminal, and probate cases from start to finish, with the primary focus in family law. I love what I do and had amazing bosses, who became my dear friends.
I married in 1981 and divorced in 2011. From that marriage I had two amazing children, Jason and Lori. My son, Jason, was born in 1983 and is employed in the medical field. My daughter, Lori, was born in 1989 and is a Paralegal in Dallas. Lori married Brandon in 2011, and he is an attorney in Fort Worth. They gave me the most special, beautiful blessings, two grandchildren, Emma who was born in 2016 and Levi who was born in 2020. They truly make my heart full. I never had thoughts of remarrying, but I met a wonderful man, James, and we married in July of 2018. We took a cruise to the Panama Canal, it was an amazing adventure. We love to travel, and in 2019 took a family trip to Disney World in Florida
My Dad passed away in October of 2016 and that same month I found out that I had breast cancer. It was a very difficult time in my life. I was a “Daddy’s girl” and was so close to him. Having to go through this diagnosis and surgery without him was almost unbearable. Thankfully, I was blessed with amazing support from my mother, children, family, and friends. As a tribute to me, in October 2018, my kids organized our participation in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure. It was special doing this with them.
My Mom passed away in March of 2020. To this day, it does not seem real. We definitely had a special mother-daughter bond. I miss my parents every day. In their elder years, they depended on me a lot, so I would not have moved out of the Port Arthur area while they were still living. With my parents having both passed away, my husband and I decided it was time to be closer to our children and grandchildren. So in October 2020 we made the move to Fort Worth and bought a house.
One of life’s greatest blessings to me is to be able to see and spoil my grandbabies. Emma loves to play soccer and to dance. We go to her soccer games every week. I cannot wait to see what interests Levi has and to be able to attend those games or activities. My husband’s daughter and family are moving to Fort Worth in January 2021, so more family will be even closer to us.
If I had to summarize myself, it would be “extremely family orientated” nothing means more than family to me. I also am an avid animal lover. We have always had a dog in our family, sometimes two. I look forward to the next stages of our lives here in Fort Worth.
I was born and raised in Southern Maryland, right on the Patuxent River. I have been drawn to the water since I was a child. I grew up with my father and brother until I turned 7 when my father remarried. I gained a stepmother and a younger sister. Growing up I loved sports and still do. I played competitive Volleyball and Softball from the age of 10 till 21. My senior year of High school I was able to compete in our state championship for Volleyball where we won the game. I was given the award of first team all-state Libero. At this game I was approached by a college coach asking me to join their volleyball team. I decided to continue with Volleyball when I started college in the fall. I went to college in a Small town in western Maryland known as Frostburg which had no water at all, but we did get rigid temperatures. After my sophomore year of College, I decided to take on a double major which had taken me away from playing Volleyball the remaining 2 years. In December 2018 I graduated with a double major in Business Administration and Legal Studies. I would spend most of my summer breaks from College in Ocean City, Maryland working as a bartender and enjoying living walking distance from the Ocean.
I met my husband at Frostburg State University in 2016. We got married in the Spring of 2019 in North Carolina where he was currently stationed. Shortly after we had gotten married, we found out that he was getting stationed in Anchorage, Alaska with the Army. We decided to drive 13 days from Virginia to Alaska. We drove 6 hours a day, while spending some time in each state that we traveled through. We got to tour the Kentucky Derby, saw the place the Wringling Brothers held their first circus, ate a cheese board for the first time in Wisconsin, walked around the Chicago zoo and saw amazing mountain views along the way. We stopped in approximately 10 different states, as well as traveled 1500 miles through Canada. After about a month in Alaska, we got our first puppy, she is a rescue German Shepherd named Lilly. She turned two in April. Lilly has hip dysplasia causing her hip joint to pop out of socket during everyday activities. In May she received surgery to ease her pain in her hip and help her be able to run again. She has been doing extremely well since the surgery and enjoys playing fetch. During the time of her recovery, we got another German Shepherd puppy names Riggs. He is a super energetic and playful puppy. He loves running and jumping to catch his frisbee. He enjoys the snow in Alaska most of all and spends many hours licking and eating it throughout his potty breaks. They are working dogs so although they enjoy learning new commands and tricks, they are extremely spoiled when it comes to toys, treats and loads of love.
Alaska is extremely cold in the winters, as you could imagine. Summers only reach about a high of 75 and average 60-65. I found a passion for hiking during the warmer months and the view from the top of the mountains makes the hike extremely rewarding. Blueberries are very popular in Alaska. If you hike to the top of most of the mountains there are patches of blueberries that are free to pick. Many natives spend their summers picking pounds of blueberries to have for the winter. Alaska is known for their wildlife, mainly, the moose and bears that roam the woods. I never had an encounter with a bear while hiking, but I have seen many moose outside of my front door. In the winter times, I spent majority of the months learning to snowboard. There are many ski resorts to enjoy different mountain ranges. Alaska Snow is extremely hard due to the amount of ice that accumulates through the winter months so learning how to stop and not fall were crucial in my snowboarding journey. I have always been a skier so having both feet strapped into one board was a very different experience. It was a harder adjustment than I had thought it was going to be. There are very limited activities to do in the winter because of the negative temperatures. I decided to spend those months continuing my education.
I have always dreamt of becoming a Lawyer since I was a child. When I graduated College, I did not want to go straight to Law School because I was unsure if I wanted to continue with Legal Studies or Business Management. I wanted to make sure that was the right path for me, and it would be something I was still passionate in. While in Alaska I had the ability to work as a Law Office Assistant and from there my passion for law has continued to grow. In March 2019 I went back to school at the University of Texas at Arlington to achieve my Paralegal Degree. I graduate from that program with a 3.99 GPA and was able to receive my Paralegal Certificate. I hope to continue my education and apply to Law schools in the upcoming months. I have a passion for many different areas of law. I hope to find the one I love working with through this experience and hopefully I will be able to excel in that area.
My husband was born in Fort Worth. When he was 12 his family moved to Virginia where he has stayed until he joined the Army. He has always dreamed of moving back to Texas. When we found out that he was finishing his contract with the Army, we decided that it was the perfect time to make Texas our home. This is my first time even visiting Texas, let alone be moving. Through my time here I have fallen in love with the sunsets and open skies Texas provides. It is very different from the living situations I am used too, that being the Ocean. I will definitely be making every family vacation from here on out near the Ocean.
Jessica Rabena, as the Firm’s newest extern, is in her last semester of law school at Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth. Jessica is also a member of Tarrant County’s Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court. As a law student, Jessica worked at a general practice trial law firm focusing on personal injury, criminal defense, and family law. Additionally, driven by a passion to support military veterans and their families, Jessica participated in the Texas A&M Family and Veteran’s Law Clinic and will be participating in the Texas A&M Criminal Defense Clinic during her last semester. In the future, after gaining a lot of experience in the legal field, she thinks she would enjoy being a mediator or a law professor. She is primarily interested in family law, criminal defense, estate planning, business law, and as mentioned previously – serving veterans and their families whenever possible.
Prior to law school, Jessica was enrolled at Texas A &M University in College Station (Go Aggies!), where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. Jessica balanced her undergraduate studies as a full-time student while working as a bartender throughout her time at Texas A&M University. She also did volunteer work at an animal shelter in College Station. Additionally, she took on an active role writing for the psychology department blog and served as a research assistant for psychology labs focusing on cognitive processes. Her initial intent was to immediately pursue a Master of Science Degree in Psychology after graduation; however, after much soul searching, which included taking several employment personality assessments where she continuously saw the word “attorney” in the assessment results, Jessica realized a career in law was her calling all along. After extensive research, she decided she wanted to completely switch paths and apply for law school. Her goal was to be in a career path that would allow her to use her interpersonal skills, education, and passion for helping and advocating for those in need. While a career in psychology would likely have met this goal as well, she felt a much stronger calling to be a lawyer and is confident she made the correct choice. Her passion for learning and practicing the law grows every day.
Although Jessica hails from Harker Heights, Texas (in the Ft Hood – Central Texas region), she grew up as a military brat and has lived in various military communities across the United States and overseas. Jessica’s father was a career Army officer. Both her mother and father are her role models because of the strength they exhibited throughout her life and the sacrifices they made for their family and others. She also remains very close to her siblings – two brothers (one older and one younger) and one older sister. Between her father’s multiple deployments and moving on average every two years, Jessica experienced first-hand the sacrifices that military families endure. Although always changing with each move and new school, the close-knit military family environments taught her the value of sacrifice, commitment, and community. She’s thankful for the experience and feels it made her more resilient. In addition to growing up in Copperas Cove and Harker Heights, Texas, Jessica has lived in Kansas, Pennsylvania, the Mojave Desert in California, Giessen Germany, and a quaint little Bavarian village in Germany named Beratzhausen. While living in Germany, Jessica and her family traveled to France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Switzerland. Aside from Texas (of course), her favorite place to live was Germany because of the cultural experiences, travel, skiing, and food. She looks forward to future travel in Europe.
Jessica’s family stopped moving when they were stationed at Ft Hood the second time in her father’s career. It was here that she attended Harker Heights High School in Texas, where she excelled in academics, music, and competition cheer. An honor graduate, National Honor Society member, a leader in Student Government, choir, and cheerleading (school and competitive), Jessica served in various leadership positions and was selected as the Varsity Cheer Captain and Choir President her senior year of High School. She’s achieved regional singing competition recognition in high school, and is no stranger to performing on stage either with a group or as a solo singer. Although she’s moved on from her choir days, Jessica isn’t shy around the mic in an occasional Karaoke Club.
Currently, Jessica Rabena channels her time and energy into excelling in law school, networking, and learning from the keen and experienced legal minds of Tarrant County’s Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court members who practice law in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and the Professors at her law school. She also prioritizes maintaining balance in her life by staying active in the gym, jogging, taking her dog on walks, and yoga. She recently started playing the piano again, and tends to her family away from family (her Golden Retriever puppy, Buddy, and her cat, Stella). Jessica is a huge football fan and blocks her calendar for Aggie football and the Baltimore Ravens each weekend (Monday Night Football and Thursday nights when applicable).
Eventually, Jessica would like to have children and a family, but right now, her focus is on building a career in law. She is detail-oriented, a hard worker, well-organized, very punctual (subscribes to the Vince Lombardi 15-minute rule), friendly, and dedicated to making a positive impact on as many people’s lives as she can. Jessica is excited for the opportunity to work for the Brandy Austin Law Firm because of shared values – specifically the emphasis the Firm places on client satisfaction and communication.
Sylvester Spencer III
Sylvester “Trey” Spencer, III
Sylvester Spencer III, also known as “Trey,” is a legal assistant and attorney liaison at the Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. As the legal assistant, Trey assists in drafting various case-related documents and directly communicating with the clients and Courts. He is not only responsible for the client’s case progression but also ensuring the attorney’s equipped with all the necessary tools for success. He is responsible for schedule coordinating and inquiry screening but also efficiently managing the client intake process. The attorney liaison is imperative for the law firm’s success. In both positions, the individual needs to possess specific characteristics, such as self-motivation, detail-oriented, and highly organized, while managing high client demand. For Trey, this is indicative of the lifestyle he’s accustomed to from growing up on a ranch.
Trey grew up in Wills Point, a small, quiet town, located about 55 miles east of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. He graduated from Wills Point High School in 2007 in which participated in numerous extracurricular activities. These activities ranged from sports (fall and spring), marching band, student council, and academic societies. Mr. Spencer received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Similar to his high school tenure, Trey quickly became engaged in campus organizations, for example, Model Arab League, Mock Model United Nations, Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, Student Veterans Organization, and Mortar Board Senior National Honor Society. For Trey, you must possess the mindset of capitalizing on the advantages that each organization provides. The organizations not only educate but also exemplify unparalleled practices in critical thinking, international knowledge, leadership activities, and diplomacy. Trey utilized the involvement to expand his global perspective and learn about cultural differences.
In addition to his involvement with academia, Trey spent multiple occasions assisting his aunt, Joyce Ann Brown, with her nonprofit organization, Mothers (Fathers) for the Advancement of Social Systems (MASS, Inc). After serving nearly ten years in prison, his aunt founded the organization after her wrongful conviction. This event sparked not only his initial interest in judicial reform but also the desire for societal unification. The wrongful conviction of his aunt was an unusual obstacle and hardship that his family faced. The particular circumstance does not occur in every family, so first-hand witnessing the improvement of the United States legal system was inspirational.
When Trey isn’t busy with work and preparing for law school, you can find him providing for the agriculture economy. As a third-generation rancher, the Spencer Boyz Ranch in
Wills Point prides itself as an efficient operation. Annually, the Spencer Boyz Ranch manages roughly 80-100 head of cattle and harvest the hay that feeds them throughout the colder months. By doing so, this allows them to save money on purchasing hay from an outside source. They are a family that loves their Ford trucks, Kubota Tractors, and John Deere hay equipment. In other words, if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it. His passions are to continue the ranching operation while advocating for more societal participation in agriculture.
As for his leisure time, Trey enjoys pretty much anything that requires him to be outdoors. When the weather is beautiful, he loves attending country concerts at venues around the state of Texas. Some of his favorite singers, preferably Texas country artists, include Turnpike Troubadours, THE King himself aka George Strait, Wade Bowen, the Randy Rogers Band, and Kasey Musgraves. One thing he loves about being from a small town is the space and quietness away from the big city. In the country, one factor that everyone loathes is the seclusion. For Trey, the isolation allows him to roam the country streets on his horses or ATV’s, but most importantly, it will enable him to spend time with his hometown friends. He also enjoys putting a pole in the water. In the Spencer family, fishing was a way of relaxing and bonding with each other. He still fishes today when given the opportunity, whether it is on a boat with his uncles or on land with his grandmother. During football season, you can find him rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers and cheering for the Oklahoma Sooners (Boomer Sooner!). To him, there isn’t a sport he doesn’t enjoy watching. Wholeheartedly, Trey considers himself as a small-town kid who’s devoted to God, his enormous family, future career, and the agriculture community.
Like many individuals worldwide, the pandemic inspired Trey to find additional activities to help pass the time. Recently, he has channeled his inner-green thumb and became obsessed with plants. The plant’s primary function focuses on assisting with air pollution and helps with allergies. Allergies are a constant battle every year, primarily while residing in an apartment. You cannot have plants and not give them names. As an agriculture member, it is common for them to be extremely personable with creatures, considered their “children.” Trey joined the club and named a few of his first plants. Their names are “RiRi” for Rihanna (Ivy), Black Betty (Majesty Palm Tree), Ole Lucille (Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree), and Adele (Aloe Vera).
In light of his favorite teacher’s passing, he has decided to read more books. A message the teacher always advocated for that “we [humans] need to educate our minds constantly,” and he has been doing just that. He’s currently reading novels, such as Crime and Punishment, Color of Law, and Sense and Sensibility, and relaxing while lounging next to his plants.
A few quotes that exemplify Trey’s outlook on life:
● “There is no greater honor than to sacrifice for a brother (sister). That should encapsulate your mindset on how you operate throughout life.” – As a sports fanatic, this quote from the Sam Houston State University head baseball coach portrays Trey’s mindset when working in a team atmosphere. When there is a strong team dynamic, it can strengthen the weaker areas.
● “Give people their ‘flowers’ while they are still alive and get the chance to enjoy them.” – This quote from his dad illustrates how too often we overlook the magnitude of a small gesture and the impact it can make on someone’s day.
● “One exceptional aspect of being an agriculture member is the fact that we not only provide for our family and friends but also the people who consider you an enemy.” – This quote from his grandpa represents the foundation of Trey’s philosophy on life. Growing up, his grandpa reiterated this quote for just about any scenario, from complaining about stringing a mile worth of barbed wire to missing friend’s birthday celebrations because we had to bale hay before it rained. He’d recount this quote to explain the hatred throughout society despite being born around the “The Red Summer” period in the United States of America. He instilled how even your biggest adversary relies on our agricultural contribution.
● “The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence; it is greener where you most water it.” – To Trey, this quote represents the temptation of comparing and desiring another’s life to yours. Everyone must walk their journey. Once you believe in your mission and who you are and the importance of loving something greater than yourself, you will understand your real purpose.
Bryant Surley-Strong is the Personal Injury Litigation Paralegal at the Brandy Austin Law Firm. As a litigation paralegal, Bryant assists the Personal Injury attorneys with managing cases in litigation. He works closely with clients to help make their lawsuit move forward as smoothly as possible.
Bryant grew up in the DFW metroplex and graduated from Mansfield-Summit High School in 2005. During his senior year of high school, Bryant had the incredible opportunity to attend President George W. Bush’s second inauguration as a part of the National Youth Leadership Institute. This event helped foster his passion for politics and civic engagement. Bryant received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in German from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. At UNT, Bryant quickly became involved with student leadership, becoming a resident assistant at Kerr Hall and chairman of the North Texas College Republicans. As College Republican chairman, Bryant honed his skills as a student leader, participating in numerous televised student debates, campus political demonstrations, and campaign volunteer events. Bryant’s first job after graduating was with the College Republican National Committee. As a field representative for the CRNC, Bryant worked with College Republican chapters at colleges and universities across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grow their memberships and volunteer in campaigns in the 2010 midterm elections. He is proud of the work he did helping Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and former Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) win their elections. Bryant then returned home to DFW to work as a campaign representative for local Republican candidates. Two years later, Bryant returned to Pennsylvania to serve as the digital director for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Working on a presidential campaign was the opportunity of a lifetime, and although Mitt Romney did not win, Bryant is incredibly grateful for the time he spent working during such an important moment in our nation’s history.
Although politics will always remain a personal passion and pastime for Bryant, the life of a traveling campaign consultant had started to lose its appeal. In 2013, Bryant decided to leave Washington, DC and return home to Texas. After leaving politics, Bryant briefly pursued a career as a teacher. He taught 7th grade Texas history and 11th grade SAT English prep at a charter school in south Dallas. Although teaching was an incredibly rewarding experience, he ultimately decided that it was not for him. He entered the legal profession in 2016, working for a boutique family law practice in Dallas. When that firm dissolved, Bryant joined a civil rights firm in Arlington as a legal assistant. It was at this job that he discovered a passion for law Working in civil rights law was deeply rewarding, and Bryant especially enjoyed working with clients to defend their rights.
In 2018, Bryant was thrilled when he received an offer to join the Brandy Austin Law Firm as a personal injury paralegal. New to personal injury law and a passionate lifelong learner, Bryant loved delving into the art of personal injury law. When working in pre-litigation, he loved taking all the disparate facts and figures from complicated cases and carefully crystalizing them into a single, easily understood narrative. Now as the litigation paralegal, Bryant loves working closely with clients to help them navigate the tricky waters of litigation. He is honored to work with such dedicated and exceptional team of attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, and attorney liaisons. Joining the litigation side of personal injury has been an exciting and rewarding experience.
Bryant has a passion for Personal Injury. In college, Bryant was once rear ended while waiting at a red light by an uninsured, unlicensed driver. He understands how difficult and
devastating a car accident can be, particularly when you are not at fault. While he is forever thankful that neither he nor his passenger were injured, losing his car hundreds of miles away from home was a disaster. Bryant takes pride in helping others navigate through stressful situations like the one he had to endure years before. He firmly believes that no one should have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence.
In the Fall of 2013, Bryant met the man who would become his husband. After dating for a few months, Bryant knew that if he was going to make a life with his boyfriend, he would have to find a career with the stability that campaigns could not offer. Leaving professional politics was an easy choice when compared to the happiness that he had found with his boyfriend. Two years into their relationship, Bryant planned a trip for the two of them to visit the Grand Canyon. After a long day of hiking, he suggested that they stay at the park until after dark to gaze at the stars, where he then proposed. They married in the summer of 2016 and have been happily together ever since. In March of 2020, they adopted a precious baby girl, and they could not be happier! As a new parent, he cannot thank Brandy Austin and all of his coworkers enough for all the love and support they have shown him and his family.
When not working, Bryant loves spending time with his family and friends, watching movies with his husband, going to the theater, playing video games, cooking, and traveling. Bryant has had the opportunity to travel abroad to countries such as Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, and Wales. He and his husband hope to add France, Japan, and Norway to that list soon. Bryant became an Episcopalian in college, and he and his husband are active members of their church. Bryant and his husband also have three cats: Freddy, Jason, and Michael.
Lead Attorney Liaison
Loren grew up in East Boston, Massachusetts. She has an older brother and sister and was happily surrounded by both parents’ sides of the family. After both of her parents received jobs at American Airlines, they decided to move to Arlington, Texas.
Her sister, who was in college, stayed in Boston, along with the rest of her family, who are still currently residing in the New England Area.
Loren lost her father after his struggle with Emphysema. They were very close. He taught her how to love music and enjoy the little things. Because of her father, Loren developed a love for Elvis Presley. They travelled to Graceland together when she was about 9 years old, and he shared his stories of his experiences of his love for Elvis.
One of her favorite stories her shared was the one of her parents first date. Her father chose to attend Elvis’ funeral instead of meeting her, she forgave him pretty quickly and they were married for 28 years before he passed away in 2001.
During high school Loren was active in sports and events at school. She was on the volleyball team and ran track and cross country. She was also in the marching band and played the Tuba, being the shortest tuba player on the field. During high school, the band received awards for the performances and the tuba line was considered one of the best around. Getting up early in the morning and practicing late into the evening in rain or shine taught Loren how to keep with something and push for what you believe in, no matter how hard the work.
Years after graduating high school, Loren began a family of her own and got married.
While she was married, her husband was placed on active duty and served a tour in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She lived on the army post in Ft Hood Texas, where it was just her and her son. Loren was an active member of the military family clubs, mother and child groups and enjoyed the comfort of knowing she was so close with the other mothers on the army base.
Loren loves her children, but now that they are older, she loves spending most of her free time with them. Together, they enjoy hiking, exploring and creating family meals together. Loren enjoys the closeness that they share. She also enjoys playing classic arcade games and pinball games. She enjoys them so much in fact, that she has an arcade at her house that includes 15 pinball machines and about 16 arcade machines is a member of a woman’s pinball league in the area and has attended festivals and events specifically dedicated to pinball. A few of her favorite games include Blackout, Gorgar and the classic arcade game Mortal Kombat. Her son also shares her joy of classic arcades. He has participated in a few pinball tournaments, placing higher than anyone his age group. More things that Loren enjoys is history especially WW2 and learning about the past presidents, reading, watching movies and listening to true crime podcasts. Loren is also a believer in the paranormal. She enjoys going on ghost tours in all of the cities or towns that she visits. Along with the ghost tours, Loren has visited numerous cemeteries.
When she got a bit older, she decided to go back to school, and she enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Tarrant County College. As a double major, Loren decided to incorporate Nutrition to add to her degree plan.
Loren found her true passion with healthy concepts of creating wonderful, delicious meals. She felt confident learning that the meals also helped people add the best form of nutrients, which made her feel fulfilled knowing that she was making people happy and healthy by her dishes, especially her family.
During her studies in culinary arts, Loren traveled with a small group of fellow students, to Italy for a study program. They attended courses in Parma, Rome, Venice, Florence and Ferrara.
Spending time in a foreign country while enjoying the views and studies, Loren learned first-hand the detailed more in-depth style of Italian cuisine and received a certificate specializing in Italian Cuisine from an Italian cooking school in Rome. She hopes one day to go back, as well as to travel to India, Cambodia and Egypt to learn the cuisines and cultures.
Loren worked in the restaurant industry for years after college, starting in the front of the house as a server, to server trainer then trying her hand in the back of the house as a cook and even a dishwasher. Sticking with the hospitality industry, Loren has been a health coach and was a private chef for a while. With her skills and knowledge of food, she was also an instructor at a coffee school teaching people the history, extraction methods and different styles of coffee.
Since moving past the hospitality industry, she decided to continue her education. She is currently pursuing her degree to become a Holistic Health and Wellness Nutrition Practitioner as well as her master herbalist certification. Her dream one day is to open her own apothecary that offers nutrition classes, as well as natural handmade body products. She is not only passionate knowing about what goes in the body, but also what is put on the body.
After working in the hospitality industry for years, Loren decided that for the benefit of her family, she wanted to not only continue with her education, but find a more suitable position for herself and her family.
She always found an interest in law, which led her to the position she is now in, the Attorney Liaison. With the years of customer service skills from the hospitality industry, she enjoys helping people with anything customer service related.
Loren is still very passionate about her sports teams from New England and continues to stick with the east coast Italian family traditions that she grew up with as well as her love for Elvis.
Assistant Attorney Liaison
Darian, known as Dare by those closest to her, is an outgoing, confident and curious young woman. As the middle child of a large ever evolving family, Dare became comfortable with being everyone’s confidant. She may not be the favorite child, but every sibling would call her their favorite sister. The practice of holding space for people to vent or be themselves became second nature to her. She grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex although her family moved often. Once a year to be more forthcoming. There had to be close to 7 elementary schools and 3 middle school as least that Darian attended. Whether it was a new job or husband for mom, life happened, and often. Fortunately, by the time high school began, Darian’s family began to put down roots in Arlington. Darian has since developed a sense of resiliency that she carries with her in her educational, personal and professional life. It didn’t take long for her to realize that life’s disappointments are more often redirecting her to something more suitable for her.
College for instance, was a slow but steady trek for her as she searched for her passion amidst her basic studies at Tarrant County College. Math certainly wasn’t her strong suite, but Darian is not one to be easily discouraged. What she lacked in mathematical skills she made up for in her English, Philosophy, and History lectures; soaking up as much of humanity as the books and discussions had to offer. It was an outside source that directed her purpose though. In 2013, she rescued a neglected Saint Bernard, Daisie Mae, prompting her to evaluate her eating habits. It was this unique creature that profoundly motivated Darian to stop eating animals and instead appreciate them for the beings they are and not the convenient sustenance they provide. This lifestyle change, in particular, is what lead to Darian’s pursute of a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Texas Woman’s University. A love of food, particularly exploring new foods and plant-based alternatives to her family favorite recipes, developed effortlessly over the years. She may not be considered the best cook, but she is certainly the most thoughtful. A sense of self-awareness arose in her as well and she’s since come to understand that her actions can have a profound impact on those around her. Darian’s often fantasized about writing a book or two on this notion alone.
This idea was proven true when Darian found her church home at Northgate Pentecostals in January of 2017. It’s at this modest church in North Richland Hills that Darian loves to stay involved with the youth group as a chaperone and with the children’s ministry as a Sunday school teacher. It’s in this intimate community of whole-hearted believers that she was able to really hone her character for the first time in her life. There just wasn’t enough spare time in childhood for her parents or guardians to concern themselves with instilling sound morals in her. Instead, Darian has found mentor after mentor in the men and women, more fondly referred to as brothers and sisters, at this church. Because of them, Darian has learned that the simplest way to serve the Lord daily is by treating people with kindness and respect. The desire to be of service has been close to Darian’s heart for many years. Therefore, volunteer work has practically been a hobby of her since she was a teenager. Apart from the countless hours she spends volunteering at church, Darian makes it a point to spend one week each summer at The Parenting Center of Fort Worth working closely with young children and their siblings, grandparents, and or parents to find the best way to thrive in their family dynamic.
Darian was fortunate enough to meet the love of her life, Hunter Berryman, in the Fall of 2019. She went into Lazy Dog, the dog friendly restaurant in Arlington TX, with Daisie Mae just looking for a quick bite to eat. She didn’t expect to find such a rare man that shares all of her values and quirks. Hunter approached her as her waiter and instantly won her over with his charm. They began courting almost immediately after that day. Verily, they fell in love. He quickly found his place at Northgate as well and they were married there in a roaring twenties fashion in December of 2020. They honeymooned in Cancun Mexico, exploring the Mayan jungle together. They wasted no time starting their family. Darian and her husband are expecting Baby Berryman in late October of 2021. Good timing too, because Daisie Mae had puppies of her own in January of 2020. Ironically there had been a male Saint Bernard at the restaurant that day. The day Darian met the love of her life and father of her children, Daisie Mae did as well. After much debate, Darian let Hunter talk her into keeping two puppies of their litter. Their household now consists of three 130-pound dogs, including Daisie Mae’s son Bear and daughter Bella Rose.
It was Albert Einstein who said, “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious” and that resonates entirely with Darian. Talent isn’t important to her. It’s about the degree of determination and consistency a person has that really makes all the difference in the world. It’s the lack thereof that has cost many people around Darian to not succeed. Inadvertently, this method has proven tried and true. It’s not important to Darian to be the best at everything, however, it is important to do her best at everything. As the newest Attorney Liaison of the Brandy Austin Law Firm its Darian means to come in and learn by example and experience. Iron sharpens iron, as they say, and the team at the firm is iron clad. Darian feel’s confident that she was made to fit this role. It’s her intention to make such a difference for clients’ experience here at the firm that life won’t be the same without her.
Daniel is an associate attorney at the Brandy Austin Law Firm with a focus on family law.
Daniel was born and raised in Glastonbury, a suburb outside of Hartford, Connecticut. He was born into a loving and supporting family, He attributes his work ethic, pragmatism, and attention to detail to his father, while his sympathy, zealousness, and sense of justice comes from loving mother. His best friend is his younger brother.
From a young age, Daniel desired to be an attorney. So, after graduating East Catholic High School, Daniel attended the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT. There, he was on Dean’s List, and he was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honor Society, He graduated cum laude with major in Political Science and a minor in History.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, he decided he follow his dream to become a trial attorney and was accepted to the Mississippi College School of Law.
In the summer after his first year of law school, he clerked for two well-established solo practitioners in the Jackson, Mississippi area. His first clerkship was with a criminal law attorney. There, Daniel assisted in felony trials, conducted legal research, and drafted memoranda and jury instructions.
Seeking to expand his knowledge, his second clerkship was with a reputable attorney located in the rural area of Forest, Mississippi. There, he drafted pleadings, appellate briefs (one of which was a first impression on the Mississippi Supreme Court, and assisted in hearings for all types of litigation, including family law, personal injury, criminal law, land disputes, and business litigation.
Wanting more experience in criminal law, Daniel externed with the Mississippi Federal Public Defender’s office in Jackson, Mississippi. There, he was sworn in under Mississippi’s limited practice act, which allowed him to take part in a variety of pre-trial criminal hearings, including detention hearings, motions to suppress evidence, and sentencing hearings.
Still heeding the call to criminal law, Daniel clerked briefly for the Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel for the Mississippi Office of the State Public Defender. In this office, Daniel assisted in researching and drafting memorandum and appellate briefs for prisoners on Mississippi’s death row.
However, Daniel’s work in law school was not limited to clerkships and externships. He developed as a person and followed the calling to help the downtrodden. So, in his last year of law school, he was nominated to be the President of the American Civil Liberties Union and Animal Legal Defense Fund student chapters. He also revisited his passion for philosoph, and he was invited to be the research assistant for Dr. Mark C. Modak-Truran for the Law and Religion seminar and assisted in other scholarly articles.
After graduating from law school, Daniel felt homesick, and he returned to Connecticut to Boyle Shaughnessy, one of New England’s most experienced and renowned defense litigation firms. Daniel received hands-on experience with all types of personal injury litigation, including motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, professional liability, subrogation, insurance coverage issues, product liability, construction litigation, and wrongful death. He also acquired a no-nonsense, pragmatic, and analytic approach to the law.
Yet, during his time at Boyle Shaughnessy, that Daniel had his own personal experience with divorce, child custody, and visitation. This sparked his deep passion for family law.
So, after Boyle Shaughnessy, Daniel accepted a position as an associate attorney at a private full-service law firm with a focus on family law, landlord-tenant law, business disputes, and personal injury. Daniel handled cases at all stages of litigation including sitting first-chair a trials.
However, the call to practice solely family law was too strong to ignore. Thus, Daniel accepted a fellowship position at Connecticut Legal Services, a non-profit legal aid law firm that assists and represents clients who cannot afford an attorney. There, he and another attorney took on approximately 500 domestic violence applicants in obtaining restraining orders in the Judicial District of Waterbury, Connecticut for the e Civil Gideon Project for Domestic Violence, Moreover, Daniel also provided staff representation in divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, and post-judgment matter at all stages of litigation.
After his fellowship, Daniel was invited to be an associate family law attorney at Connecticut Legal Services for the Judicial District of Waterbury, Connecticut. There, Daniel represented primarily domestic violence survivors, and achieved desirable results in divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, and post-judgment matters, at all stages of litigation.
Daniel is quite proud of his time at Connecticut Legal Services. Not only did he acquire experience in the courtroom, but he also gained and used his own experience in family law to help his clients achieve results in their most vulnerable, sensitive, and trying times.
Now, Daniel relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth Area with his lovely fiancé, Catalina, to be closer to his son, Liam, as an associate attorney for Brandy Austin with a focus on family law.
Daniel brings a holistic, experienced, detailed, and results-driven approach to the family law clients of the Brandy Austin Law Firm. As someone who has experienced his own divorce and child custody issues, he lends a sympathetic ear to his clients’ wants and needs while laying out realistic assessments to obtain favorable results for his clients.
In most family law cases, Daniel appreciates that many of his clients are at their most vulnerable. Many times, in family law, Daniel knows that his clients are emotional. They feel exposed, uncertain, confused, scared, angry, sad, and hurt. Thus, he provides personal understanding and ensures that his clients understand the process throughout the course of case. He knows that clients want to know that someone is willing to go to bat for them in their time of need.
He is an avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, Boston Red Sox, mixed martial arts, and dystopian novels.
In his spare time, you can find Daniel honing his craft in family law, fly fishing, practicing Brazilian jiujitsu, golfing, reading, exercising, traveling and watching the Colombian national soccer team with his fiancé, and playing dinosaurs or Godzilla with his son.
Samantha Ortiz Flores
Samantha Ortiz Flores
Samantha Ortiz has been raised by her loving family in Texas. She graduated from a high school in Fort Worth and continued her education in a university in Fort Worth. She has a lot of love for Texas.
Samantha graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in 2020 where she majored in political science. Samantha grew up being very close to her family. She has a younger sister who is in high school. Her younger sister is also interested in a career in politics.
Samantha has a very supportive mother and father who she is really grateful to have. Her mother had her at a very young age, so they both grew up together, creating a tight bond between the two. Her father has always taught her how to be an independent woman. However, knowing how to change her own tire and wanting to do so are completely separate things, so it’s safe to say that she struggles with actually being independent.
Nearly as loved and ranking dangerously close to most liked by all of her family members are her two dogs, Buddy and Maxi. They are incredibly spoiled. Both dogs are beautiful black labs, and just like most Labrador retrievers, they are incredibly sweet and intelligent. Buddy is growing older, and that’s scary for both Samantha and Maxi.
Another thing that Samantha loves to do is travel. It’s most people’s goal to travel the world, and that goal is not excluded from her bucket list. Her plans to travel have never strayed, and her list for places she would like to visit continues to grow. One of the places she would love to visit is Italy, specifically for the amazing food, but the sights, culture, and history are also important. When it comes to travel, she always makes it a goal to include at least one trip a year to visit her family in her hometown in Mexico.
Her favorite thing to do when visiting a new location for vacation is to hike and explore “haunted” areas. After every slight scare at a haunted location, Samantha gets scared over any small noise for at least a week after. She blames this on watching “The Ring” at an early age. This is especially surprising because as a child, she could not watch Scooby-Doo or Coward the Cowardly Dog, and she has yet to watch any slightly scary Tim Burton movie.
Whenever she gets dragged to a horror movie showing, she brings a blanket and makes sure to only look at the corner of the screen during a scary scene. Moving on to sweeter thoughts; her love for chocolate. Having always had a big sweet tooth, she is very fond of chocolate, cinnamon rolls, and waffles with strawberry toppings. She has also recently found that she’s a fan of pie, as long as the pie has fruit stuffing. However, nothing beats her love for chocolate cake. She has yet to find the perfect one and remains on the lookout for the lifechanging slice.
Samantha’s interest in politics began at a very young age. Growing up, Samantha would hear stories from her great grandfather about his experience as a Bracero. Her great-grandfather worked in California in the strawberry fields. He would speak about how prior to the activism strikes and marches led by Chaves, he didn’t quite realize how poor the conditions truly were. In his mind, he was simply grateful to have a job opportunity that paid more than what he has been earning in Mexico. He worked as a Bracero for several years prior to National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) founded by activist Cesar Chavez. Hearing about how conditions were and how conditions became after the NFWA really inspired Samantha to do as much as she possibly could to improve the life of others, especially those who have no idea what legal options they have. She is very passionate about the injustices faced in the world, especially since she herself has experienced discrimination. With improving her community and the life of others constantly in her mind, Samantha made it a goal to do something meaningful with her career.
At first, and possibly due to too many nights binge-watching Criminal Minds, her dream was to become a phycologist and study the behavior or criminals. However, the more stories that were told to her of the experiences that Samantha’s great grandfather had lived through trying to provide a better life for his family, the more that she began to look into policies and social justice organizations.
Samantha became the first person in her family to go to college. Setting a path for her sister to follow is something that she was always told to do, and she feels proud to have accomplished that. In less than a year, Samantha will be the first one to graduate college. Her goal of making her parents proud will be complete, but her own personal goal of advancing her career by going to law school will have just begun, and she’s very excited to further her education and do as much as she can to help all in her community.
Although she has many future plans to do big things to help, she is also doing as much as she can right now. Her career goal is to work for a non-profit organization doing as much as she can to assist those around her. Although she’s not sure on which direction she wants to go to accomplish these goals of her, she has always found support through friends, family, and coworkers.
Working in the family law department with Brandy and Emily has been exciting and very educational. There has been so much information and advice that she has received. Samantha is very grateful for the great experience that working at the Brandy Austin Law Firm has provided. For that reason, and because she has a great understanding of how great everyone works together to form a very unified team, Samantha is very happy knowing that each client will receive amazing care from the team at the Brandy Austin Law Firm.
Jennefer Lowe joined the firm in July 2015 as an Of Counsel Attorney.
After high school, Jennefer spent time serving the nation in the United States Navy. Jennefer earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2011. She went on to attend Baylor Law School where she participated in the National Security Moot Court Competition and served as a volunteer for their Veteran’s Clinic.
After graduating from Baylor Law School in 2014, Jennefer moved to San Antonio with her husband and daughter. She worked from home as an Of Counsel Attorney for several different firms around Texas, doing primarily research and appellate work. In 2016, Jennefer decided to turn her attention to the practice of Criminal Defense. She joined an attorney in the Waco area and began handling several criminal cases and learning that area of law.
In 2017, Jennefer moved to Fort Worth and joined the Brandy Austin Law Frim in May. She currently lives in the Fort Worth area with her husband and two children.
- Texas State Bar, 2014
Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas
- Doctorate of Jurisprudence – 2014
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
- Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development – summa cum laude – 2011
- Honors: Dean’s List
- Honors: Top 10% of Graduating Class
- Major: Family and Human Development
- McLennan County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
- San Antonio criminal defense lawyers association
- Jennefer Lowe joined the firm in May 2016.
- After high school, Jennifer spent time serving the nation in the United States Navy. Jennefer earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2011. She went on to attend Baylor Law School where she participated in the National Security Moot Court Competition and served as a volunteer for their Veteran’s Clinic.
- Since graduating from law school, Jennefer moved to San Antonio and now Fort Worth where she currently lives with her husband and 2 children.
- Since graduating from law school, Jennefer moved to San Antonio and now Fort Worth where she currently lives with her husband and 2 children.
Operations Manager at BTHA Holdings
Hunter was born and raised in the small but growing town of Crowley, Texas. There he lived with his loving family consisting of his mother, younger brother and father. Early in his life his mother passed away after losing her battle with cancer. His father was and continues to be a strong role model for him. For the majority of Hunter’s life his father could be found in the service industry. Growing up Hunter remembers many of the bring your child to work days his father would him and his brother would attend. Little did he know this would feed is love for cooking and creating later in life.
Hunter’s childhood was full of love and care from his father’s family and friends who help raise him and his brother into their teen years. Hunter attended Crowley High School. He enjoyed going to class and making friend, some of which he still in touch with. In his graduating year Crowley High School developed a early career training center where we would rediscover his love for cooking and creating meal for his friends and family. He quickly became the top of his Culinary Arts course lead by Chef Philpot, where he would study every little thing he could. He eventually he was handed the reigns of the schools Bistro where he learned to prepare and delegate simple hot sandwiches, serve beverages and run the cash register. To this day Hunter uses the skills he learned to prepare food for his friends and family as often as he can.
Having his culinary arts background it made it easy for Hunter to join the job force in food service. He began working as a line cook and a local wing bar in Burleson, Texas call Cocky’s Wing Bar. After awhile he discovered that growth at Cocky’s was limited at that point he decided to leave. A friend convinced him to join him as a delivery driver and later shift leader for the popular pizza delivery establishment Papa John’s. There he developed face to face customer service skill with people from all walks of life. This skill would later be essential to helping him with clients, and anyone who happened to walk into The Brandy Austin Law Firm office feel welcomed and warm.
After 3 years of working for Papa Johns it became clear to Hunter that the pace of growth had slowed down. He discovered a new opportunity as customer service representative (CSR) for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, he developed an understanding for the importance of client security. As CSR he helped keep client information secure and safe by screening each request and following the strict security guidelines set by the Federal Reserve Bank. After a year the travel from Fort Worth to Dallas proved too much to continue.
At the age of 22 he went from a party of one to a party of four overnight. After meeting at a mutual friends get together he and his now fiance quickly began to fall in love. After sometime and trust had been built his now fiance would introduce him to the next chapter in his life fatherhood. It would begin by meeting his fiance’s pre-started family, her daughter and her son, and just as quickly as he fell in love with her, he fall in love with them. He began to feel the puzzle coming together and at the age of 25 he and his fiance would open the next chapter of life their with their third child. Now Hunter lives in Fort Worth, Texas with his fiance and children, continuing to be a home supported by love.
Outside of work, Hunter enjoys spending time with his family, streaming movies, episodes of his favorite television shows, youtube internetainment, playing board games and video games. Among their watchlist is The The Game of Thrones, Star Wars movies, The Flash, This is Us, Modern Family, any of the Marvel movies, and Good Mythical Morning just to name a few. They try to go out and spend time together as much as they can.
While he doesn’t consider himself a diehard gamer (anymore) he does like to spend his free time playing games on his home computer Minecraft, Skyrim, Boarderlands series, and more often than not League of Legends (LOL) are among his favorite and most played games. He has been play computer games for a little over a decade but has in recent years found that tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons or Mutants and Masterminds and board games like Ticket to Ride or Pandemic can be just as immersive and fun to play. Best of all these types of games are easy to travel with and can be taken to family events or friendly get togethers.
It is his mission in life to improve the quality of the lives around him at work or at home. To make everyone feel welcomed, loved or appreciated. Eventually, Hunter plans to go to school to further his education and improve upon his skills to more effectively take on the obstacle in the world around him. Later he would like the opportunity to open his own business to have something to pass down to his children. As a constant he will continue to strive for excellence and continue to work to improve the client/customer experience wherever he finds himself.
Director of Administration
I was born June 21, 1990, in Fort Worth, TX to the best mother that has existed. From what I have been told I would not stop crying and while everyone else in the room hated it my doctor said its music to his ears. Growing up in a single-parent household taught me a lot and helped me learn about life a lot faster than most. I knew very young that education was key to being successful and creating a stable life. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time in school and once I turned 15 or 16 I dropped out of school and started working. I received my G.E.D. at around 17 years old and then got my CNA licenses and started working in a nursing home. After a couple of years working various jobs I decided to move out of the city to my parents in Whitney, TX. While I was in Whitney I worked for a coffee shop and a bank as a teller. A lot of the people I worked with were getting their degrees and talking about what they wanted to do with their future. I was encouraged hearing people’s stories and eventually, my passion for education and a successful future was back. I tried attending an online college but ended up failing my first semester and thought maybe I wasn’t ready or maybe I wasn’t smart enough, so I took a year off.
During my year off I focused on my health and thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. I realized that I had always had a passion for helping others and fighting for a cause so I researched degrees with helping other people as their focus. My research pointed me towards social work so I contacted the local junior college and spoke to an advisor and I signed up for community college. After two semesters I moved to Maryland, Virginia, and back to Arlington, Texas but continued at the community college by taking online classes. During that time I also failed my fourth semester but when I returned to DFW I applied to The University of Texas at Arlington and was accepted into the Social Work program. In my second semester and my third semesters I added a minor in African American Studies, a minor in Political Science, and a diversity certificate to my degree program.
I loved college and I was thriving. I joined a women’s leadership program, a leadership honors program, a global change organization, and the Center For African American Studies Emerging Scholars Program. I did my best to network so that I would have connections once I was out of college. Participating in different organizations and learning about other cultures I noticed that there were somethings that needed to change so I decided that once I completed my undergrad I would attend law school and become an attorney. I contacted the Pre-Law Center at my university and applied for an internship for a law firm. I actually had no clue what firm I was applying to and I had no idea what I would be doing but I knew that if I didn’t take the risk I would never know if I could get the internship. Somehow they liked me and I got the internship at Brandy Austin Law Firm. I interned throughout the summer while also working full time at Starbucks and attending classes. When summer ended Brandy Austin Law Firm asked if I would stay as the marketing director. Again I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I wanted a career in law and I would be stupid to pass up the opportunity to work in a law firm. Eventually, I moved to the attorney liaison position then to my current position as the Director of Administration.
I recently graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with a Masters in Social Work specializing in community administration and practice. My degree has helped me in my current position with Brandy Austin Law Firm and while learning during a pandemic can be discouraging I am proud to say I made it through.
Working at the Brandy Austin Law Firm has given me the opportunity to have a balance between my job and family. Spending time with my family is very important and I am lucky enough to have time to spend with them. I have a 2-year-old rescue pup named Penny Lang whom I spend most of my time with. My stepfather has been one of my biggest supporters through college and I couldn’t be more thankful. My education is a huge milestone for someone in my family and every day I do my best to make those around me proud. My education has afforded me opportunities I would have never had and I have been given the unique gift of breaking generational cycles my family was unable to break. My goal is to be an example for my family and anyone interested in changing the trajectory of their life.
I have been blessed in life to experience many of the things I have experienced and to have the opportunities I have. It is important to me that I wake up every day and make it the best it can be. I try to have gratitude for what I already have and work hard for the things that I want. Working as the Director of Administration for Brandy Austin Law Firm is a learning experience every day but I have fun with it, stay positive, and try to lift spirits in the office any chance that I get. I remain committed every day and do my best every chance I have. It is important that whatever environment I am in I leave only positivity behind. Negativity isn’t helpful, and I have made the decision to try to bring a little light wherever I go including the company I work for, Brandy Austin Law Firm.
I was born in one of the most beautiful states, North Carolina. I know that most people think their state is the one of the greats, but North Carolina really is. The mountains, the foothills, and the beaches. Seven lighthouses that scatter the shoreline and islands that belong to wild horses. One of the first 13 states and home to the lost colony of Roanoke. To ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains in in the fall, is a beautiful sight to see. With the leaves turning beautiful colors, of fire red and yellow with many other colors thrown in. People from all over the country come to see the change. Being settled in the foothills meant my family could drive fairly short distances and be either in the mountains or go the other way and hit the beaches. My favorite times were always when the Highland Games came to Grandfather Mountain in Asheville. Taking these trips and learning about where people came from always intrigued me, still does to this day.
I would love to travel all over the world. Almost anyone can travel to see something nowadays. You don’t have to wait until you get vacation time approved, you can just go for a weekend, or even a day trip. Sometimes, my husband and I like to go down to San Antonio for a weekend, and spend time on the Riverwalk. Traveling is something that is very important to me. The world has a lot to offer, I hope to take advantage of that.
At 24 I left my home state and moved to Texas. There is no other place on Earth quite like Texas. It take more than thirteen hours to drive the length. Bluebonnets in the springtime are a beautiful sight to see. From El Paso to Austin, every city is different and beautiful and vibrant. The food here is better than anywhere else. As someone who was born and raised on the east coast, I never thought about the history of the West. But the more that I am here, the more I love it. I learn new things about the environment every day. There is a saying about the people that transplanted here. “I wasn’t born here, but I got here as fast as I could.”
At 30 years old, I got married and purchased a home, all in the same year. It was absolutely overwhelming and terrifying. I met my husband not long after I moved to Texas. We have been pretty much inseparable ever since. After six years, we finally got married. So far that was a pretty good decision. Purchasing a home was even scarier. So far, that has also been a great decision.
My whole life I have had a passion for animals. I’ve been around them since the day I was born and I would have to sit here and think of a time where there wasn’t a pet around me. Every dog is the best dog. I don’t know what I would do without my dog. She really has saved me. We have also taken in an elder dog that I have known since he was a puppy. He is a wonderful grumpy old man. Both dogs are larger Chihuahuas. Our cat however, has a very large attitude. In fact, she may even be a bit big for her britches. But my husband found her as a lonely survivor of a litter of kittens in the rain. She gets away with a lot.
My family is a wonderful family. They are there through it all, the good days and the bad. A sister who taught me how to be an adult, who taught me how to pretty much everything. Between my own family and my husband’s family, someone is always there for us. It is a great feeling, knowing you have people behind you that you know want to see you succeed and be happy. I am forever grateful for that.
I have a long wonderful history with video games. Starting with a regular Nintendo and Super Mario Brothers. I will always remember hanging out in front of the T.V. laying on the pull out couch. I then graduated to an original Gameboy, that was life changing. Handheld. Sometime you had to play in the bathroom just to have enough light. My next console was the Nintendo 64. Donkey Kong was my absolute favorite. We didn’t have much money so I did not have another console of my own until the Xbox360. I still played on everyone else’s system, so I didn’t miss out on much. I have moved to the P.C. for the most part lately. There is something nice about being able to build a computer that fits your needs exactly.
Living in Texas has opened my eyes to so much great food. In Fort Worth, the choices are limitless. Any type of food you could think of, it’s here. If for some reason it isn’t here, you can go to Austin and find it there. I love being able to try new things and eat something that is new and exciting. If only there were more themed restaurants in the area.
Before becoming a legal assistant I was supervisor to over 40 people on jobs where we would go in after a Wal-Mart was built and install all of the shelving, cash registers, and even build the dressing room. It was a physically demanding job that granted me the opportunity to travel. I got to drive across country multiple times with my husband and our one dog at the time.
Becoming a legal assistant has been very rewarding for me. I have been able to lay down roots in a place and learn something new. I’m so very happy that I have been able to learn a new skill and help people in the process. I have delivered for meals on wheels and was active in the Chamber of Commerce for multiple years. I hope to continue my career and provide assistance to those in need.
Our Happy Clients
Building relationships is about trust. Brandy works to earn her clients trust and builds a relationship with her clients. She is a consummate professional who cares about her clients. She spends time to understand her clients needs and provides thoughtful counsel. It has been a pleasure to use Brandy’s services and I will continue to recommend Brandy Austin Law Firm to my family and colleagues.