Attorney

Attorney

First she heard approximately it at a state bar assembly in 2010. Then she heard about it at a lunch presentation. Then she read about it inside the novel offered, which her daughter brought home as a 10th-grade analyzing project. The book is set a nepalese woman trafficked as a prostitute, however andrea johnson knew such slavery become occurring in houston as properly. She knew she needed to step up. “god changed into telling me something,” johnson says, eyes filling with tears. “i’m getting all emotional about it because, truly, it’s a connection among who i am at home and who i'm as a attorney.” while johnson talks, she sits up straight and appears human beings in the eye. Her face is framed through brief blond hair, and he or she has the air of someone with no need for disingenuous banter. A careful listener, her speech is measured but regularly cracks with humor. Aj, as many call her, has practiced regulation for approximately 3 a long time. She makes a speciality of hard work and employment law as a companion at burleson llp, at the 11th ground of pennzoil place in downtown houston. Her customers is cut up between the oil and gasoline enterprise and other agencies. However she recently added any other project: assisting and organizing fundraising events for the tahirih justice center. This country wide organisation provides advocacy and seasoned bono prison offerings—which include asylum and family regulation help—for immigrants in search of justice for gender-based totally violence, starting from trafficking to genital mutilation to forced marriages. Tahirih facilitates trafficked women and women sue their traffickers and gain visas to live in the u. S. Donations of time and money from human beings like johnson preserve the agency going for walks. Johnson grew up in l. A. Together with her mother and father and brother. She stayed in california thru university at ucla and loyola regulation faculty, la; then moved to galveston to clerk for judge hugh gibson jr. At the u. S. District court docket for the southern district of texas for two years. “it appeared like an journey and some thing a laugh, and had a number of promise for the destiny,” johnson says. Throughout her clerkship, she met and married her husband, david, who become born and raised in houston. “he brings stability, for certain, and a extraordinary help,” she says. Johnson cautioned they circulate returned to her home nation after her clerkship, however he wasn’t budging. She recollects him pronouncing some thing like, “it’ll take a mule group to pull me out of this kingdom.” as an alternative, she and david moved to houston, where she discovered her first task with a boutique litigation company, dealing with an expansion of instances. At this company, her boss called out, “aj!” at some point, and the nickname took hold. “texans love nicknames,” she notes. Johnson became a companion at that firm after four years, then left 13 years later and opened her very own exercise. In 2008, she joined burleson, in which she has built up her employment regulation practice. She and david had their daughter, corina, in 1994 while she became running at the boutique company. When her daughter was in preschool, her teacher stated she wished greater help. While corina turned into in first grade, teachers informed johnson that her daughter hadn’t discovered the fundamentals of studying. As a result, she turned into enrolled in a non-public faculty with special applications. “she is best in many ways, but she does have mastering variations. And gaining knowledge of approximately what that’s like has been a watch-opener and has enriched my life in lots of approaches,” johnson says. Four years in the past, her daughter graduated from middle college, and on the ceremony, awards were introduced. “‘exceptional pupil in spanish’—not my youngster,” johnson remembers. “‘great scholar in english’—not my youngster. ‘in technological know-how’—now not my youngster. ‘in math’—no longer my youngster.” then came the final award of the night: the principal’s award. “this award is for ethics, difficult work, determination, usually being there, volunteering, being concerned for others,” johnson says. The recipient was corina johnson. “that’s my child,” johnson says. “that’s the entire individual.” in her process representing businesses in employment matters, johnson considers herself a peacekeeper. She does her high-quality to keep away from litigation, who prefer to foster lengthy-term relationships with clients and urging them to name her with issues before things amplify. “a touch bit of prevention, although it may cost you some money, far outweighs the amount of angst and money and trouble which you face if you go through litigation,” she says. She prefers to keep the variables to a minimum and hold her client’s control of a scenario. It’s a nip-it-in-the-bud approach. Employers frequently send her memos to study. “i’ve developed a talent to write down termination memos or disciplinary memos,” she says. “there is a way to do those matters where you’re preserving the esteem, as much as you can, on both aspects of the table. … it’s difficult, very difficult for a person to hear horrific news about a task. It’s annoying. Accept as true with it or now not, it’s tough for managers to deliver terrible information.” now not every patron cellphone name can be proactive, of path. A few are greater like 911 calls. One such emergency got here last year from an electricity business enterprise, concerning the category of employees and numerous different associated matters. The agency become sued over problems related to time beyond regulation. Had the consumer consulted with her inside the beginning, she may want to have talked about the trouble. She helped them solve the situation and settle various proceedings for the lowest amount she could negotiate—minimal harm became the aim. The enterprise remains in enterprise, and its technique has modified. “i get greater questions earlier,” she says. “they’re a brilliant customer.” as the first girl accomplice at burleson’s houston workplace, johnson started a girls’s discussion board inside the company. She is also a member and beyond president of texas ladies attorneys; an officer of the girls and the law section of the texas bar; and a 2012 recipient of the garland r. Walker american lodge of court docket professionalism award. Richard burleson, founding partner of the company, says johnson arrives earlier and remains later than maximum. “i will’t think of any greater we ought to ask of her apart from what she’s doing,” he says. “as a chum and a colleague, i simply suppose she’s one of the exceptional.” these days, tons of johnson’s electricity has been dedicated to the tahirih justice middle. She’s garnered support for the group thru texas women attorneys, which held a fundraiser, and she or he served as co-chair of tahirih’s 2012 texas bighearted lawyers campaign, which raised extra than $28,000. While tahirih’s houston office opened in 2009, director anne chandler became told that she had to meet johnson. “her recognition in the community is type of [as] a mover and a shaker of community involvement,” chandler says. “i think i’ve had six people want to introduce me to her.” now she can tell them johnson is already on her group. Johnson plans to represent some of the victims in court docket in the future, however for now could be focused on different key roles: organizing and fundraising. “you send an e-mail and aj’s always going to respond. She’s reliable,” says lauren waddell, a houston-based totally circle of relatives legal professional and president of texas women attorneys. Whilst she first met johnson at a meeting, she recollects returning home and telling her husband that she had simply met the maximum exquisite individual. “there’s just something approximately her—very real, but dynamic. Just sturdy.”