“The family element of probate is fascinating and very personal because we help clients with their family estate issues and usually that has a deep impact on their individual finances as well as their personal family relationships.”
– Jill Young, Of Counsel, Litigation Group
Growing up in the small northeast Texas town of Henderson, Jill Young did not immediately consider a career as an attorney even though she clerked for a local trial lawyer during her high school days. But while attending the University of Texas to earn her undergraduate degree, she not only cheered for the UT Longhorns as a member of its Pom Squad, she also held a part-time job at the Texas Attorney General’s office.
“After classes, I would go to the AG office and work in several departments including the Child Support Enforcement Division. There were so many cases and it was very exciting,” said Jill. “Everyone was very busy and passionate about the work they were doing to help people. It really sparked my interest. Up until that time, I thought I wanted to be a teacher and drill team director.”
There is no doubt Jill high-stepped a path toward a successful career when she graduated South Texas College of Law with several awards as an outstanding advocate and national moot court champion. She competed on the same moot court team as BoyarMiller Chairman Chris Hanslik and they have remained friends throughout the years.
Jill practiced general commercial litigation and was with a large law firm when she assisted her colleagues on a trust dispute case. That was her introduction to probate and estate litigation.
“The family element of probate is fascinating and very personal because we help clients with their family estate issues and usually that has a deep impact on their individual finances as well as their personal family relationships,” said Jill. “It affects their future and many times the lives of their children. Of course we take it seriously and it is very rewarding work.”
Family is at the center of Jill’s personal life as well. She and her husband Jeff, a business owner in the construction industry, 13-year-old son Will, and second-grader Hank spend most of their time involved in outdoor activities. The family’s new Golden Retriever puppy, “Annie,” gets in on the action too.
“Our boys play baseball and football so we are always going to practice sessions or games,” said Jill. “We love to fish, hunt, snow ski, and drive four-wheelers in the woods – basically anything outdoors.”
Jill has chaired and served on various school committees, is past president of the Texas Exes Houston Chapter, and is a St. Luke’s Sunday School teacher. She joined BoyarMiller this year through the firm’s acquisition of Young, Graves & Burt.
She also has embraced the role as mentor to young female attorneys.
“I had wonderful mentors as a young lawyer, but none of them were women,” said Jill. “It is hard to be a good lawyer and have everything else we want in life. The saying ‘every level has a new devil’ is true in every profession. As you advance your career, there are different challenges to meet. But it’s a better profession with more women practicing law. We bring different perspectives to problem solving and that broadens the scope of what we can achieve for our clients.”