Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Putting the family in family law

As a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army captain, John Haugen of Flower Mound built his law firm over the years, while he and his wife raised eight children … the first of whom, Courtney, seemed destined to become a lawyer.

“Ever since I was a kid, I always had a tendency to argue and debate … and I knew when I started college, I wanted to go straight into law school and one day work with my dad,” she said. “When I was little, I was told all the time that I would be a lawyer.”

This spring, Courtney became the newest attorney at her father’s law practice.

Courtney started at the firm as a law clerk, then passed the state bar exam and enjoyed her first official day as an attorney May 1.

“There’s no question from the time she could speak, she would attempt to persuade you to see her point of view,” John added. “That was something always present … she is going to have an opinion.”

A Marcus High School and Baylor graduate who earned her law degree at Texas Tech, Courtney embarked on a grueling schedule to prepare for the bar exam which averaged 8 a.m. to midnight for two and half months. That monumental effort resulted in a childhood dream becoming reality. 

“As a senior in high school, I saw my father have cases where he helped people tremendously,” Courtney said. “I started to realize the impact you could have on people’s lives, and that’s what drew me to practice law.”

Now the Haugens help their clients side by side. It’s a collective effort that makes John’s career that much more fulfilling.

“I think every father would enjoy working with his children, and I know it’s something I initially hoped for,” John said. “I’ve been proud to watch my daughter grow into the young woman that she is, and the ability to work with her makes it even more worthwhile.”

Now it appears Courtney may have set a precedent (pun intended) for her seven siblings.

“My children are all cut from the same cloth; one is starting law school in August, another is at West Point and some have indicated interest in following in Courtney’s footsteps,” John said. “It’s a wonderful thing to work with your kids and be able to impact lives in a positive way.”

Impacting the lives of their clients is something Courtney said is the most fulfilling part of her role at the firm.

“I wrote my law school admission essay about wanting to help people and work with my dad,” she said. “The dean wrote on it, ‘you’ll do extremely well there’ and I just feel grateful for the opportunity to learn from him.”

The Haugen Law Firm specializes in divorce and family law, as well as handling probate and criminal matters.

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