Courtney Carlson Shares How Her Mother Inspired Her Career as an Attorney

In a heartwarming article for Texas Lawbook to celebrate Mother’s Day, Jackson Walker partner Courtney Carlson wrote about her mother, Elaine Carlson, who has been a professor at South Texas College of Law Houston for over 35 years. The article describes how Elaine shaped Courtney’s path towards becoming an attorney.

Courtney wrote about how she was introduced to the practice of law as a young child, attending her mother’s classes and participating in Law Week, an event her mother often organized. She also described her mother’s approach to teaching and how it shaped her approach to legal matters, writing:

Courtney Carlson with Mom at Moot Court“As opposed to lecturing, she has conversations with her students, which has stuck with me. It would be easier for her to just tell students the rule of law, but it is much more meaningful to work with them and have the students come to their own conclusions. This technique also proves invaluable in litigation and one that I strive to use. If you only focus on the conclusion and skim over how or why you got there, you will miss nuances and creative solutions.”

Courtney went on to share more humorous notes about growing up as the child of an attorney:

“There were other practices in our household that I learned did not necessarily apply to my friends who didn’t have a lawyer in the family. I had to read and sign contracts. The first was around age 14 when I got a cell phone. The contract listed terms such as, ‘Call your parents back within 30 minutes of their call.’”

Finally, Courtney explained how her mother’s success in the legal field inspired her to pursue success of her own:

“Many know my Mom from her tenure on the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee and her treatise, ‘McDonald & Carlson, Texas Civil Practice.’ It would be a lie to say I was never intimidated by my Mom’s successes, but she used her career as an example that I too could thrive in this amazing profession.”

For more information, read “Learning the Law from My Mom” in Texas Lawbook. *Subscription may be required to view article.

About Courtney Carlson

Courtney T. Carlson is a partner in the litigation and environmental sections at Jackson Walker. Courtney represents clients in a variety of business and commercial litigation matters, including companies in the energy and financial industries.

Courtney practices in both state and federal courts but focuses on Texas litigation; she has co-authored and presented numerous CLE articles on Texas procedural updates and related issues. Courtney also practices environmental law.  Her experience includes active participation in several site cleanup and remediation projects and related litigation and non-litigation matters.

Before joining Jackson Walker, Courtney had the honor to serve as a law clerk to Justice David M. Medina of the Supreme Court of Texas, where she gained valuable insight into the appellate process as well as the overall litigation process.