Feb. 17, 2020 — University of Houston Law Center graduate Andrea Barr ’13 was recently named a Texas Top 50 up-and-coming woman attorney of 2019 and as a 2019 Texas Rising Star by Thomson Reuters.
Barr was pleased with the recognition as an attorney and as a member of an underrepresented group in the profession.
“Women are not the majority of persons selected during this process because women attorneys are a minority in Texas as evident by the Texas State Bar’s Department of Research and Analysis published demographic data,” Barr said. “Considering the selection process and how women attorneys are a minority, I was excited at the news that women attorneys are being recognized.”
Barr specializes in estate and trust litigation, and had the unique opportunity to brief and argue an issue before the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in 2018. She recently joined Ford + Bergner LLP, an estate, trust, and guardianship litigation boutique with offices in Houston, Dallas, and Austin.
“Since working at Ford + Bergner, I have enjoyed drafting an appeal, and four petitions for mandamus. Working at an estate, trust and guardianship litigation firm, I am able to fully brief and interpret the Texas Estates Code,” Barr said.
Barr plans on expanding her experience in her specialized field of law and eventually becoming board certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law.
“Using the continuing legal education practice requirements for maintaining the certification, I would like to join the Texas Pattern Jury Committee where I can contribute to expanding the current jury pattern on fiduciary matters including powers of attorneys, trustees, and personal representatives,” Barr said.”
Barr thanks her evidence instructor, Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson, the Newell H. Blakely Chair and Director of the Criminal Justice Institute, for teaching her the law and how to use it in a courtroom setting.
“I was lucky enough to take evidence with Professor Thompson,” Barr said. “She assembled a blue bound book of the Texas Rules of Evidence, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and how to present or object to evidence or an offer of proof. During my first few years of practice, I consulted that blue book a lot.
“As a litigator, you are constantly faced with presenting the court with authenticated and admissible evidence to win a hearing or a case by summary judgment or at trial.”
Having the ability to give laypeople the understanding they need to navigate the complexities of the legal system is what drew Barr to a career in law.
“I’ve been an advocate from a young age,” Barr said. “According to my parents, I’m a tough negotiator. As an adult in undergraduate school at the University of Houston, my motivation to continue law school was that I wanted to interpret laws and present facts in such a way that citizens can believe that our system is reasonable, fair and honest.”