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Look! It’s Family! It’s Career! It’s Community! It’s … SUPERMOM!

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by goodlifefamilyadmin

Melanie OKON
Melanie Okon has spent her professional career for the past two decades proving her skills as an attorney.  That’s why she has been recognized among “The Best Lawyers in America©”, by D Magazine on their list of “The Best Lawyers in Dallas,” a six-time choice by Thomson Reuters to the list of Texas Super Lawyers, and has been selected by ALM and Martindale-Hubbell as a Women Leader in the Law, Texas’s Top-Rated Lawyers and a Top-Rated Litigator.  Just as important to her is that she’s also been raising three children and working in her community to empower other young women.  Now as a member of the team at Munck Wilson Mandala, Melanie has always been committed to working with and for others who support women who are doing it all.

This Oklahoma native came to Texas to attend law school at Baylor University, and she’s never left.  Her first year out of law school she clerked for the Texas Supreme Court before moving to work for a law firm.  When she began considering starting a family, she started looking for an in-house position that would allow her to keep less-demanding hours.  She managed to work out a situation that would allow her to work just three days a week. After having three children in four years, being able to be home with them while they were young was priceless.  What Melanie points out, however, is that, “I worked three days, but I kept the same workload.  I just had to get more efficient.”  Trying to balance the demands of motherhood and work was difficult, and she had to keep a full-time nanny just to be able to juggle it all when her cases went to trial.

After a huge leverage buyout at TXU, Melanie saw that it was best for her to begin looking for another position.  Recognizing her strengths as a litigator, her boss told her they would still send cases her way if she moved to a firm.  She looked for another position part-time, but ended up full-time again anyway.  Those doubts and parental guilt began to creep in, but Melanie shares that she then had a realization, “If I don’t get to be what I want to be, then how do I tell my daughter she can be who she wants to be?”

It wasn’t long after that she was invited by a friend and colleague to attend a presentation put on by Girls Inc. with Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter.  Girls Inc. is a non-profit committed to “inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”  The message was exactly what Melanie believed in.  “I believe in championing women,” Melanie says.  She started as a tutor in lower-income neighborhoods, but it didn’t take long for her to apply to the Board of Girls Inc. where she eventually became the Chair.  

part-time, but ended up full-time again anyway.  Those doubts and parental guilt began to creep in, but Melanie shares that she then had a realization, “If I don’t get to be what I want to be, then how do I tell my daughter she can be who she wants to be?”

It wasn’t long after that she was invited by a friend and colleague to attend a presentation put on by Girls Inc. with Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter.  Girls Inc. is a non-profit committed to “inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”  The message was exactly what Melanie believed in.  “I believe in championing women,” Melanie says.  She started as a tutor in lower-income neighborhoods, but it didn’t take long for her to apply to the Board of Girls Inc. where she eventually became the Chair.  

“One thing I hope my kids know is none of us gets here alone,” Melanie says. Now that they’re all in middle school, Hannah, Toni, and Brian can appreciate even more the hard work their mom has put into her career and also the amazing role model she is.  It isn’t easy.  “There are still days when I go home at 5:30 and hang out with my kids and then start work again at 9:00 pm,” Melanie shares, but she’s grateful that she’s been able to make it work.  She’s proof to all the girls at Girls Inc. that you can be strong, smart, and bold.

For the full extended article version, click here: https://goodlifefamilymag.com/2019/09/03/look-its-family-its-career-its-community-its-supermom/