handed out water bottles during the
Spindletop Spin race and serves on the
board of the Lamar University Foundation.
In 2014, she received the county Bar
association’s community service award.
A Baylor Law School grad whose
interest in the field was sparked by the
TV show L.A. Law, Smith is involved with
the Symphony of Southeast Texas and
the Shorkey Center, which offers physical
rehabilitation services for kids.
Barron, meanwhile, in addition to
chairing local nonprofit boards, is incoming
president of the Symphony League, which
supports the local symphony. She also
led efforts to raise $1 million to build
the 15-year-old Southeast Texas Family
Resource Center, serving needy kids.
As lawyers, they bring leadership and
focus to their volunteer roles and a legal
sensibility that nonprofit boards sometimes
lack. Barron has helped numerous
organizations construct bylaws and sort
out governance issues.
“You can sort of see the big picture of
where they want to go and help them get
from here to there,” she says. “Just sitting on
the board, we see issues that other people
don’t necessarily see. When you’re looking at
a budget, a lawyer’s going to be interested
in, say, general liability coverage. We raise
different questions than other people do.”
All four women have served on
Mehaffy Weber’s five-person management
committee; at one point, three of them
served at the same time, putting their
stamp on an already cooperative company
culture that they’ve found especially
supportive for women.
“When somebody’s ox is in a ditch,
everybody will come pull it out,” Barron says.
“I know that these women in this room—I can
count on them if I’m at my wit’s end.”
And that’s true of everyone at the firm,
“I’ve heard people say that, when you go
We spend as
up against one of us, you go up against the
firm,” Barron says. When Barron’s parents
went through lengthy illnesses, she served
as their primary caregiver, while raising
two kids. “You can’t do it all,” she says. “It’s
nice to know you have an atmosphere here
where people don’t look at you like, ‘Oh, you
can’t get that done.’ Everybody jumps in and
She adds, “There’s a lot of satisfaction in
helping where we live be a better place.”
as we do on our