Kate Bihm | When Family Law and Criminal Law Intersect

Today we are excited to welcome attorney Kate Bihm to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast. Kate has been practicing law since 2007. Her firm, The Bihm Firm, PLLC, focuses their efforts on family law and criminal defense. Known for her ready smile, salty language, and love of bright colors, Kate loves providing her services to her clients involved in high conflict cases.

We’re sitting down with her today to discuss the intersection between family law and criminal law.

Listen as Kate walks us through:

  • The most important thing for family law attorneys to know about assault family violence charges
  • Top tips for representing the accuser 
  • The risks and rewards of having your accused client testify in court
  • Controlling the narrative when CPS and law enforcement become involved
  • The preferred type of protective order
  • And more

Mentioned in this episode:


Kate Bihm: It’s always my client’s choice whether to testify. I’m there to explain to them the risks, the potential rewards, the pitfalls to prepare them for that testimony. But I don’t think that I get to choose whether my client testifies either in a criminal trial or a family court case.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast, your source for the latest news and trends in family law in the state of Texas. Now, here’s your host, Attorney Holly Draper.

Holly Draper: Today we’re excited to welcome Kate Bihm to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast. Kate has been practicing in Montgomery County, Texas and the surrounding counties since 2007. Her firm, The Bihm Firm, PLLC focuses its efforts in the field of family law and criminal defense. Known for her love of bright colors, ready smile and salty language, Kate loves providing clients with practical solutions to emotional and difficult problems. She’s often referred high conflict litigation cases by other attorneys. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Kate: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Holly: So why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about your background.

Kate: So I started as a prosecutor here in Montgomery County in 2004. Before that, I did a six month stint at a litigation boutique in Amarillo, Texas, which was as terrible as you could probably expect it to be. And lasted all of six months and was like, oh, no, I need to find another opportunity. So and that was really just because the work wasn’t for me. So I moved here to become a prosecutor and worked at the DA’s office from 2004 until 2007. And while I was at the DA’s office, I had a reputation for being extremely difficult to deal with, which I recognize that now. And when I left, I went on an apology tour. And so I then hung out my own shingle doing primarily criminal defense and just kind of dabbled in family law, which I know that family lawyers feel about dabblers the same way that criminal defense lawyers feel about dabblers.

But you know, I was young and sort of dumb, and it seemed like a way to pay the bills. But as my practice grew, and my experience grew, I started getting referrals from family lawyers who wanted to bring me in as co-counsel, when there was an adjacent criminal case, where in which there were potential allegations of criminal conduct that they wanted to make sure that their client was either adequately protected from or almost prosecuted with, in the family law space. And I figured out very, very quickly that I loved family law, and that I really liked practicing in this field. And so my practice just sort of grew from there. And at this point, our firm handles about 80% family cases, and about 20% of our caseload is felony criminal cases.

Holly: So it’s interesting that you started out doing all criminal, and gradually the shift happened to get you out of the criminal space.

Kate: Yes.

Holly: Well, you’re not out of it. But you know.

Kate: Right. Yes, yes. It just my interest went that direction. And it’s one of those things that, of course, looking back over the, like the narrative arc of my life, it’s not surprising that I find myself in this space. A significant portion of my childhood was marked by a protracted custody battle. And I remember very, very well what it’s like to be a child in that environment, even though I think my mom and dad did a really good job of protecting us from it the best that they could. But I I really know what families are going through and what children are going through. And I think that that insight is helpful to me and helpful to my clients.

Holly: So you mentioned you had a background as a prosecutor, how do you think that has shaped you as a lawyer to be where you are today?

Kate: First and foremost, it made me not afraid of trial work. When I started at the DA’s office, I started in the JP section where it was not unusual for me to try 30 or 40 jury trials, like in a six month period. Like that, that was just no big deal. Sometimes two or three a day, you know. And you get to a point I think when you are a an attorney, where the idea of standing up in front of a jury becomes very, it’s very frightening, and it still makes me it still makes me nervous. But it’s given me more of a comfort level. And I think one of the most important things about it is because most of my career has been spent in this one locale and in the surrounding counties.

I know what our jury panels look like. So when I have a client who says well, let’s just have a jury decide I can give them a lot of insight into year over year jury panel over jury panel who’s reasonably likely to show up here, versus in Harris County versus Walker County, and the like. And so I think that that has been really helpful. And I’ve also, being a prosecutor and then moving into criminal defense work, you do a lot of trial work at a different level, I guess. And I don’t say I don’t mean to say that it’s higher, it’s just especially on the prosecution side, you are preparing for your trial, not based upon what evidence you have. But what evidence, you know, is admissible. And as a defense lawyer, because 95% of the cases that we have that go to trial, there is sufficient evidence to convict our clients, we are preparing for trial on the basis of how do I keep all of this out.

And so you really have to do from both perspectives, a deep dive into the rules of evidence and the exceptions to the rules of hearsay and things like that, in order to be confident and comfortable in trying these cases. And that has translated beautifully into my work in family courts. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I get referred a lot of high conflict cases, is because some, some of my colleagues know that I have a high level of comfort in that, in that realm. And so they feel confident referring their clients to me on cases that are almost certain to wind up in a trial, where they may not necessarily feel that same level of confidence moving forward.

Holly: Do you find yourself doing a lot of jury trials in family law?

Kate: No, no, not at all. I, you know, I feel in family law, where we are in our county, we have jurors who are by and large, almost always very well educated, and who reflect a lot of the ideological principles on which our judges ran, right. We’re a very politically homogenous area. And so I find that, you know, the devil, you know, is better than the devil you don’t. And if we have a reasonable prediction of what our judges are going to do, I would rather my client have that comfort. And then also, especially when it comes to child custody litigation, you know, you may get exactly what you asked for, but it might be given to you in such a way that, you know, you might wind up with primary, but the judge may, the judge may make some changes regarding possession, access, and the like that that aren’t what your client expected.

So I’m very grateful where I practice that we have good judges who are consistent, and who, for the most part, were successful, competent, well regarded family lawyers before they were elected. And so we trust their judgment a lot. We just don’t really have a whole whole lot of jury trials in our jurisdiction in the family courts. Definitely not the same way that we would I think they do in Harris County, for instance.

Holly: So today, we’re here to talk about the intersection of family law and criminal law. And anybody who’s done family law for any length of time knows that there will be criminal issues that crop up a lot more than your typical person realizes.

Kate: Yes.

Holly: So one of the first points that’s probably the most common that we see in family law is when there are when there’s allegations of family violence. And, you know, oftentimes we’ll see, there were nobody ever called the police. There’s never been any criminal charges, things of that nature. But, you know, a handful of those times somebody did call the police and there are pending criminal charges. So what are the different levels of assault family violence that you see in family law cases with the criminal piece tie in there?

Kate: So assault family violence Class C is very, very common and it’s functionally an offensive touch, right? It’s, it’s some sort of bodily connection without pain, and that’s a Class C misdemeanor. The Class A misdemeanors we have a few that are that we commonly see. One is just regular garden variety assault, family violence, which is a Class A misdemeanor, and that’s any sort of intentional knowing or even reckless assault that causes pain. There’s indecent assault in Texas, which is relatively new, and I think we probably under utilize it in proving family violence. Indecent assault is also a Class A misdemeanor, but it involves a pain free touch, involving contact with the breast, genital area, anus, and even the unwanted expression of bodily fluids onto the victim.

So I think that’s been around I think since 2019. And I think that that’s probably one that we underutilized in our cases in proving family violence, because it’s there, and it’s in the code now. Then there’s also we jump up to the felonies where we have, you know, aggravated assault. And one of the most important things I think, to realize about assault family violence charges is that once we get into the felony range, anytime there’s the added family violence allegation that basically bumps it up a level. And then you also can’t forget about assault, family violence impeding breath or strangulation. I think a lot of times people think of assault, family violence as being quite literally hands around the neck, you know, crushing the windpipe, strangulation, but it can also simply be a compression of the chest or neck that causes for someone to experience difficulty breathing.

So I think when we have a client who comes in and talks to us about there being an altercation, or a fight, where things got physical, it’s up to us to be knowledgeable about all of the elements of the various assault family violences and see if what they describe fits into any of those offenses, whether their testimony is credible and sufficient to prove up each one of those elements. And then also to consider terroristic threat, which is although not technically assault family violence. It’s going to be a Class A misdemeanor, but it involves a specific threat. You know, we live in Texas. So I always what I was used to say when I was an intake prosecutor was, you know, threatening to kick somebody’s ass is sort of a way of life around here. It’s not a terroristic threat. But when somebody makes a specific unconditional threat related to that appears to be imminent, that may also be justified in a claim of family violence.

Holly: So if we have a client or potential client in a family law case, who is relating facts that we think would rise to the level of a criminal offense, when should we be recommending they go to the police with that? Because it could have been a while ago.

Kate: Right. I think that’s one of the real challenges, right? Because from my perspective, what we want is we want justice for our clients, whether it happens in the family court, and also potentially in a criminal court. But if I’m the criminal defense lawyer, and a spouse walks into the police department and test in files, a police report for assault family violence strangulation, or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and then the next day files for divorce, and there’s no, the filings are contemporaneous, but not the events, if that makes sense. Then as a defense lawyer, and even as a potentially the husband’s attorney on the divorce, I mean, that’s just fodder for cross examination, right. And that that does have a potential effect on credibility.

At the same time, we’ve all represented spouses who have been the subject of extraordinary and extreme assault, or even sexual assaults in which we are confronted with someone who has been victimized to the extent that even speaking to a lawyer, much less law enforcement causes them to fear for their lives, for their children’s lives and safety and welfare. And so the idea of very flippantly saying, well, you need to go file charges, causes them an enormous amount of fear. I can remember one case that I had within the last three or four years in which the live in longtime boyfriend was charged with assaulting my client horribly, and the police were called, and he was arrested, he was out on bond the charges pended for quite some time. And even then my client could not bring herself to file for a protective order, because she just was not yet mentally and emotionally in a space to confront him in a courtroom, whether it be a family court, or even in a criminal court.

And so I think we have to remember, have kind of holistic conversations with our clients about what making these allegations look like. The benefits to making them, the downside to making them, and try to help our clients understand what the trial process would look like, the family court piece would look like. Because they may be able to achieve their ends in family court with either a protective order or just a family violence finding after a sapcr or divorce with sole managing conservatorship that may not involve them starting a criminal prosecution, that may never come to fruition because of how the charges were reported.

Holly: So what tips would you give to attorneys who are representing the accuser in a family violence situation in family court.

Kate: If you are ever going to represent an accuser, you simply must attend at least one, not every year, but at least once, attend a criminal defense CLE on family violence. The mindset of defending someone of those charges, is very different than what we typically experience in our CLEs on the family, on the family bar side. And I think that you also have to be ready to tell your clients look, you, you have to take the risk that you may be, you know, if you don’t take the witness stand if you don’t take the stand, because you’re going to plead the fifth, the court can hold that against you. Right.

Holly: You’re talking about if you’re representing the accused.

Kate: If I’m representing the accused, I’m sorry. And so we have to consider that. If we’re representing the accuser, I think what we have to do is prepare our clients for the cross examination. And what what that looks like. It’s not unusual for a family lawyer, competent, outstanding family attorney, who knows that I frequently practice in family courts to bring me in on a protective order hearing, as counsel for the accused, because I’m going to cross examine that person as though my client is on trial for the offense itself.

And I find that very often, the petitioner’s attorney may not have prepared them for that level of cross examination. Prepared them for how to respond to certain types of questions. And so I think even if you’re going to represent the accuser, it would be helpful to attend these defense seminars on family violence to kind of give it get an idea of what the strategies are that you can expect. How these cases are typically defended, and where there are issues that they need to be prepared to throw up a shield and their client needs to be prepared.

Holly: So back to talking about representing the accused. In that situation, when do you let your client testify? And when do you not?

Kate: Oh, gosh, well, it depends. Every single time. You know, we’ve all had a client and a circumstance where we’ve had a client who was intelligent and articulate, and able to tell a narrative and do a good job explaining themselves. And then they get up on the witness stand. And they are like the worst witness ever. And you walk out of that temporary orders hearing, and you’re just like, what just happened? How did that just happen? What did I, what did I do? What did I do wrong? But then we’ve also I’ve had clients, especially on the criminal defense side, where I’ve begged my client don’t get on the witness stand, and then got up there and just put on a show the likes of which I couldn’t have possibly anticipated.

So I think it it really does vary from case to case to case. And part of who it what it varies about is your court. You know, I think that we all have a judge in our jurisdictions, those of us that have more than you know, that have several, who reliably will grant a TRO. But when it comes to protective orders, their thought process is well, now that these two are separated, is a protective order really what’s fair and just? Or can we put some provisions in place in a temporary order or in a final decree that will offer sufficient protection. So when I’m defending a protective order for me, I tend to sort of assume that the applicant is going to testify credibly about family violence occurring in the past. Right.

So I tend to focus my preparation on whether family violence is reasonably likely to occur in the future. Right. And so because that’s often the piece that I think goes unlooked, unlooked at and overlooked in the preparation side. And I think the same thing goes for preparing for temporary orders, hearings and final trial. You know, how much risk does my client really face getting up on the witness stand, and either denying the allegations outright, or potentially just providing an alternate view of what happens so that the court can make a decision about whether this is family violence of the wife beater variety, or if it’s family violence of the two volatile people who push each other around variety.

You know, obviously, when you have a client that’s charged with an offense, that’s different, because they’re at that time facing criminal consequences. And I find that oftentimes, depending on what the client is charged with, courts almost understand their desire not to testify in, for instance, a temporary orders hearing that takes place two weeks after the offense, rather than a trial that takes place after a year. You know, even if the charges are still pending. So I think you have to consider all of those factors and what the client’s goals are in whether your client should testify. And, you know, I, the criminal defense lawyer, in me, too, says it’s always my client’s choice whether to testify. I’m there to explain to them the risks, the potential rewards, the pitfalls to prepare them for that testimony. But I don’t think that I get to choose whether my client testifies either in a criminal trial or a family court case.

Holly: So as someone who does no criminal law, when we whenever we have a client who has been charged already with an offense, we 100% defer, say until your criminal lawyer signs off, we are not allowing you to testify.

Kate: Right. Right.

Holly: Is that what you would recommend for family lawyers who aren’t criminal lawyers?

Kate: Absolutely. I think that the, the criminal defense lawyer and the family lawyer have got to work together every single step of the way, until that criminal case is resolved. And under Article 39.14, of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, there is the discovery process on the criminal case. And so I’m often sort of shocked that family lawyers and criminal defense lawyers don’t intentionally associate on both cases so that they can share that information. Right, because under that, under the the Michael Morton Act, which is the Texas Criminal Discovery Statute, the defense lawyer is not permitted to provide the discovery to the defendant. But they’re certainly permitted to do so with associate counsel.

And so I’m always kind of entertained when I’m representing the accused in, or the accuser, in a case in which there’s a criminal element. And they wanted to depose for instance, one of the children who was either present at the time, or who was a victim of one of those crimes, who’s a child in the divorce or the sapcr, because I’m just like, why haven’t you if you want to know what they have to say, talk to their criminal lawyer. Their criminal lawyer can watch the CAC video. They’re literally the only person under the statute that has access to it. And my experience with motions to quash and for protection in those circumstances is that judges usually say, yeah. I mean, they have access to the entirety of the state’s file, except for their work product. Don’t you want that information? Like just pick up the phone and call them and say, what is the offense report say, right? Because the criminal lawyer may have talked to the client and say, I think there’s no, there’s no exposure here, or the exposure is minimal, do what you need to do.

And at the same time, the criminal defense lawyer should be associating with the family lawyer of the accuser, because in that temporary orders hearing, the criminal defense lawyer should probably be the one who’s cross examining the accuser, because they need that transcript in that criminal defense. When I represent the accuser, I almost always call the prosecutor and ensure that they know, look, we have these hearings, this is when they’re set. These are the issues that are going to be decided, is there anything that you want for me to ask if he gets on the witness stand? Is there anything that you want for me to avoid, you know, to make sure that I’m not potentially damaging a child’s ability to have justice in the criminal justice side piece of it, when those allegations have been made by a child.

I think these issues also become really important when it comes to people who are charged with possession of a controlled substance and DWI. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a family courtroom and seen a family of attorney very blindly call someone who’s on bond for DWI to the witness stand. And they just talk all about what happened. And I would assume that the, you know that the other side calls the prosecutor in immediately and says, hey, you might want to get this transcript you just submitted to the offense. Right. And so I think that if you represent the accused, it’s almost in my mind malpractice, not to associate with the criminal defense lawyer in some way to make sure that you don’t step on their toes and hurt your client’s position even further.

Holly: So what about the situation where there have not been criminal charges filed? But there are, you know, there’s a protective order file that or TRO, there’s temporary orders something in the context of family law case, where allegations that would be criminal in nature are being made? To what extent do we, hey there’s no criminal charges? We let our guy testify or our gal? Versus when do we need to say, you know, this, you gotta protect yourself here.

Kate: It’s a tough one, I think it depends upon the distance and time between when the allegations were made, and when the protective order or TRO hearing is happening. And, and and also, when that person became aware of those allegations, right. And then it depends once again, upon the client and the likelihood of exposure. And that may be another reason why you want to have a great relationship with a really competent, outstanding local criminal defense lawyer, so that you can just call them on the phone and say, hey, look, these are the allegations that have been made in this affidavit, you think there’s any chance the local PD is going to pick this up?

Because if you’ve done it in the same place for long enough, you can kind of gauge yeah, at this stage, I don’t think they would do anything or yeah, you’re you could be in big trouble here. I think you need, we need to have a consultation with your client to discuss the ins and outs of how these things work. But and of course, you oftentimes in protective orders, especially you’re like let’s do all of this in five days, but but I think it’s important to have those conversations and to prepare the client. And I think it’s also important when you see that someone is charged with either family violence, or some type of sexual violence, or child abuse, that you know, the elements of those offenses, going into that hearing. So that you can potentially cross examine the other side about each one of those elements, because they may not be able to get there on every element, even though the accusation is being made.

Holly: So you mentioned CPS or you mentioned child abuse. So one of our family law cases there is a CPS component. CPS has been called and they want to talk to the client, and they want to talk to the child and everybody. And that often happens when there aren’t any criminal charges pending. So how do you advise clients where they are the one being investigated by CPS, and there has not been any criminal charge filed yet. But potentially, if these allegations are true, that’s where it could lead.

Kate: So I advise the client, you know, my first call is always to the CPS investigator to say what are what are the allegations right. Within within the rules that they have to work with? What are the allegations that have been made? And then after that conversation, then sit down with my client and have a very frank conversation about these are the allegations that have been made, irrespective of who is the source of the allegations, what evidence might be used to prove that particular criminal behavior? And have you ever had any experiences with your spouse, with the children that might lead to that investigation?

And once again, it comes down to knowing what these offenses are, so that you can advise your client as to this is what you are facing if we step in the middle of it, and this evidence exists. And, you know, part of doing criminal defense work is that it’s a lot like being an oncologist. You just sit around all day, every day and tell people bad news. And then maybe you know, every 10th patient, you get to give them good news that day. And so you get used to having these difficult conversations with people where you’re like, look, I’m not the one that’s that’s going to be facing 20 years in prison if they are able to prove these allegations. You are. And so I need for you to be honest with me about what these allegations are and you’ll be surprised the number of people that will be willing to admit to specific things that they have done and then you can advise them further.

I can only remember one case in recent memory in which my client had a meeting with CPS without me present. And it was one of those cases where there had been so many false calls to CPS that the CPS caseworker was like, hey, do you mind if I stop and see John on the way home today? We got, we had another call come in. And I was like, no, tell him I said, hi, you know. Um, but that’s pretty. That’s a rarity for me. And it also involves a highly educated client who is very, very competent and sort of legally literate, if that makes it a lot of literacy in the area that I felt comfortable with him even answering those questions without me present, present, even if I knew that there they there was nothing behind them.

So and CPS caseworkers I think, you know, depending on where you are, obviously, if you’re in Dallas, and there’s 1000s of CPS caseworkers, or if you’re in Harris County, Fort Worth, you know, in my county, there’s a lot of them, but kind of word gets around that when you get a call from certain lawyers. It’s like, nope, this person’s completely reasonable. They’re gonna let you sit down and talk to their client. They just want to be present for it. And then I prepare my client for that interview, the same way that I would prepare them for an interview with law enforcement. Although I cannot remember a time that I had my client sit down with law enforcement when they were accused with a serious crime.

Holly: So if the CPS allegations are serious, why would you let a client meet with CPS but not law enforcement?

Kate: Because the CPS conversation is not the same type of interrogation that they’re going to get with law enforcement. And I’m better able to control the narrative in a CPS conversation. Most of the meetings that my client has with CPS is me doing most of the talking. And I see that interview with CPS as an opportunity for me to conduct some free discovery on my own that they would not otherwise give to me. And when they learn that I am, you know, reasonable and not a harridan, who is just out to vent on CPS at all times. They tend to be very forthcoming throughout throughout the arc of the case. Now, I will say that I don’t do CPS work, right.

I mean, if I when I walk into our local CPS court when we had a cluster court now it’s been dispersed, but everybody would be like, hey, are you looking for somebody? Because that’s just, and I’m like, no, I’m here on a case. And they would be like, oh. Whoo, somebody must be in Yale, and that’s why I’m here. But um, so the vast majority of CPS interviews that I do currently are the alternative response variety. Right. And so now that that alternative response program has started, those interviews are very, very different than what we commonly think of as like a CPS interview. So and I’m finding that even on cases in which there’s been allegations of assault family violence, unless there’s allegations of child molestation, most of our cases are getting shunted off to alternative response in our area.

Holly: So I want to circle back and talk a little bit more about protective orders. We’ve touched on them. But most family lawyers are very familiar with the protective order under the family code, but there are also protective orders that can come from the criminal side. Can you talk a little bit about the different types of protective orders and when clients may prefer one or the other?

Kate: Sure. So the Criminal Code protective orders are designed for victims of much more serious crimes. So we’re talking stalking, indecency with the child, sexual assaults and the like, and they can be lifetime protective orders. The standards are functionally the same, that there has to be credible evidence that the event has occurred. I think the difference is that there doesn’t have to be the evidence that family violence may occur in the future. And also, it doesn’t have to be a familial relationship. And to me, that’s something that’s very important, right. Is that somebody comes in whose child may have been the victim of molestation or abuse at the hands of someone to whom the child is not related or has never shared a household. You can still get one of these protective orders and they can be brought in a district court in the county where the child lives in the county where the offender lives or in the county in which any element of the offense occurred.

So, from that perspective, I think that they’re probably under utilized by families who are facing these types of these types of allegations as victims. And they can also be for a lifetime. And while no child should ever be expected to recover from their victimization, and no person should ever be expected to recover from their victimization by a piece of paper signed by a judge, you know, for a lot of our clients who’ve experienced family violence, we’ve we’ve seen how just having that protective order makes them feel like they have a forcefield. Or at a bare minimum, if there is even a non violent event that occurs, they have the protection of being able to call law enforcement and say, he’s here, she’s here, I’m afraid, would you please come make them leave? Because there’s a protective order on file, they’ll do it. Right.

Holly: So we’re just about out of time. But one of the questions I like to ask all the guests on my podcast is, if you could give one piece of advice to young family lawyers, what would it be?

Kate: Honestly, probably go be a prosecutor for a little while. I know that that sounds like reductive, but it’s trial by fire and standing up in front of courts and juries. And it you don’t learn any of the civil procedure piece of it, which is, in my mind, some of the the easiest part of it to learn. But what you do learn is what works and doesn’t work when you put on evidence. And I think you learn how to very quickly run through your predicates. When you stand up in front of juries all the time putting on a predicate is like, it’s just, it’s a waste of time. The jury doesn’t understand why you do it, they want you to get to the good stuff immediately.

And so when you’re not prepared, walking into any hearing, saying, okay, I’ve got these 17 exhibits, what’s the predicate to lay each exhibit. And when you can rip right through those predicates, and get that evidence in. First of all, if you’re in a temporary orders hearing, and you’ve only got 45 minutes, hello, like, you need that time. It also gives your client what I like to call the illusion of confidence, which it’s actual confidence. But when your client feels like you know exactly what you’re doing, and how to do it, even if the outcome is not what they had hoped, they don’t leave thinking that the result could have been different. In fact, they leave the room thinking, well, we did what we could, this is the judge’s decision. They can rage about it, they can rant about it, but it’s certainly not your fault.

And I think one of the quickest ways to develop that confidence in those trial skills is to go be a prosecutor for a year, two years, and, and really learn how to do that. And you can also, you know, you might consider if you can possibly afford it, even an unpaid internship with the district attorney’s office as a licensed attorney in order to gain some of those skills. And I think, you know, attending those types of CLEs that are not necessarily law focused, but are trial focused, is something that is really, really important. Because, you know, Holly, I think you probably know this better than anybody, once people figure out that you’re going to go to trial, and not just go, but do a great job, you get better results for your clients in mediation.

Holly: Right.

Kate: Right? And so that’s, I think that’s one of the best things that young family lawyers can recognize. Is that it’s not about who’s the meanest, who’s the baddest, some of it’s just about quiet confidence that people recognize and say, I’m not going to risk it because I know that this person is going to be able to achieve their objective, even if they don’t get everything their client wants.

Holly: So where can our listeners go, if they want to learn more about you?

Kate: If they want to learn more about me, they can go to our website, which is www.bihmfirm.com. I’m actually pretty active in those pesky Texas lawyers Facebook groups, and I typically respond to messages on social media. And I I’ve, throughout my career, I love to mentor. So if there’s somebody who’s listening to this podcast, who’s in a semi rural environment and kind of wants to talk about what it’s like to have the business of a firm in a semi rural environment or how to navigate those things, shoot me an email at [email protected] and let’s set up a zoom with coffee or something like that so that we can talk about that.

I’m also our, for one more year, I hate to hate hate to leave but I’m the district director for district three, which is basically from Conroe, Walker County all the way down to Beaumont, and those Eastern Counties. Kind of like the southeastern counties for the State Bar of Texas. And so just plug for the State Bar, I want to be a resource for your listeners who are interested in the State Bar and how the State Bar can help you moving forward. So if you have any questions, comments or concerns about that, and you’re in my district, I’d love to hear from you also.

Holly: Well, great. That’s all excellent advice and excellent information. So thank you so much for joining us today. And for our listeners, if you enjoyed this podcast, take a second to leave us a review and subscribe so you can enjoy future episodes.

Voiceover: That Texas Family Law Insiders podcast is sponsored by the Draper Law firm. We help people navigate divorce and child custody cases and handle family law appellate matters. For more information, visit our website at www.Draperfirm.com

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