When Deborah Williamson graduated from the University of Houston Law Center in 1982, the legal field looked very different than it does now.
“When I first started practicing law, women were wearing men’s cut suits, with foppy ties and pantyhose. We were just trying to have a presence in the courtroom,” remembers Williamson.
These days, Williamson has seen changes come in the form of gender roles and the constant quest to find balance. When asked what sorts of challenges she sees women in law face, she replied, “Finding time for family, for work and investing in yourself is a challenge.”
Williamson’s 38 years in the field of bankruptcy law have served as a lesson in finding her authentic voice.
“Once I realized that I didn’t have to have that voice, dress that way…I could just be me, life got easier. It’s harder for women to find their authentic voice and it changes as your life changes over time,” said Williamson.
A natural-born problem solver, Williamson enjoys the challenge of learning and finding solutions for her clients. “The Bankruptcy Code is constantly evolving but I’m still having fun, still learning, and have an outlook that is unique,” she explains.
Williamson, also isn’t afraid to check in with herself to make sure she’s on the right path by asking herself this reflective question: “If I won the lottery would I still practice law? My answer today is yes,” explains Williamson.
“But if your answer is not yes, you’d want to ask yourself ‘Why would I want to do this?'”