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Alumni Spotlight

Cathryn L. “Kate” Blaine ’03

Corporate lawyer and mother of four offers one key word of advice for juggling career and family life – “balance.”

Cathryn L. “Kate” Blaine ’03

May 27, 2015 - University of Houston Law Center alumna Kate Blaine has a word of advice for women juggling a high-powered legal career with the demands of motherhood – “balance.”

“Balance is highly individualized” said the mother of four and ExxonMobil attorney. “Don’t compare yourself to others; a combination of day care and help from relatives might work for one woman, while one might need a nanny. There is no one size fits all.

“I had my first child during winter exams in my third year of law school,” Blaine said. “My former classmates still tease me about timing contractions while in Professor Moll’s business torts class.”

While at the Law Center, the young mother was an active member of the Houston Law Review, Honor Court, Order of the Coif, and Order of the Barons, participated in intramural mock trial, and worked as a research assistant for Moll.

After earning her J.D., Blaine clerked for U.S. District Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas and later worked at Norton Rose Fulbright, where she gained first-chair trial experience. She also became board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor & Employment law.

Today, Blaine is on “expatriate assignment” from ExxonMobil, working in Canada for Imperial Oil Limited where she deals with upstream procurement, data privacy, employee disability, and property tax matters. She and her husband, James Blaine, a drilling manager for ExxonMobil, live in Calgary, Alberta, with their children ages 12, 8, and 4-year-old twin girls.

“I believe what I do for a living exemplifies certain values for my children and makes me a better mom,” said Blaine.

Her parting advice to other women faced with two very demanding jobs?  

“Go easy on yourself” said Blaine. “Some days you are going to feel like a really good lawyer and other days you’re going to feel like a really good mom.”