Shailey* and her family moved to Missouri City, Texas in Fort Bend county in 1994. Shailey grew up in Missouri City, Texas, and attended Texas A&M University. While at Texas A&M, Shailey decided to go to law school and become a lawyer while pursuing her bachelor of arts in Political Science. Upon graduation, Shailey moved to Houston to attend South Texas College of Law Houston full time. During that time, she balanced multiple jobs while attending law school full time. During her time in law school, Shailey had the opportunity to participate in the Family Law Clinic, where she got her third-year bar card and provided supervised representation in contested family law matters.
During her third year of law school, Shailey jointly applied with Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse for a fellowship with the Ford Foundation. Shailey and AVDA were awarded a 3-year fellowship for Shailey to work with Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and Ike survivors who were victims of domestic violence in Houston and Galveston and also work on policy initiatives. Shailey jumped right into providing pro bono representation for domestic violence survivors. Within a few months of her licensure, Shailey was handling contested hearings and trials on her own. During her time at AVDA, Shailey really discovered that she loved being in the courtroom. Oftentimes, if things were slow at the office, Shailey would sneak off to the Family Courts to see if she could watch any contested hearings or trials. Shailey also learned the ins and outs of the Family Courts during this time. She filed the majority of her own cases and case filings during this time—gaining valuable knowledge as to how the Courts work and building relationships with court staff. Shailey also worked on policy initiatives. During the 2019 legislative session, Shailey testified on a number of bills related to domestic violence survivors. Jackie Pontello (AVDA’s Executive Director) and Shailey worked closely with Representative Beverly Wooley and State Senator Rodney Ellis to create the first domestic violence court in Harris County, the 280th Judicial District Court.
After her time at AVDA, Shailey joined the Harris County Domestic Relations Office as an Enforcement Attorney. Shailey mastered the ins and outs of enforcements, honed her skills in the courtroom, and efficiently and effectively managed as a child support enforcement docket. Shailey drafted pleadings and orders and even obtained findings of contempt and commits to jail. Shailey also worked on enforcement of possession and access orders, conducted a number of Child Support Review Conferences (pursuant to Texas Family Code Chapter 233), and worked out agreements and tried cases on child support enforcement cases. Shailey also was authorized to sit for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for Family Law in 2014, and Shailey became Board Certified in Family Law in 2014. Shailey recognized that she had the capacity to be a successful family law lawyer and she missed the opportunity to try more complex matters.
In 2016, Shailey went into private practice at a small family law firm that was growing. It was a surprisingly good fit. She valued meeting with clients, providing a plan and solution for their legal issues, and executing that plan with confidence and competence. Shailey continued to handle cases in Harris County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Galveston County. Shailey also worked closely with other attorneys as the first chair and second chair hearings and trials. Shailey spent many hours each week in the courtroom, in mediation, and meeting with clients directly. It was exhilarating and exciting.
At the end of 2018, Shailey accepted an appointment as the Associate Judge for the 309th Judicial District Court to begin January 1, 2019. Shailey enjoyed her time on the bench. She greatly enjoyed hearing cases, working with the members of the family bar, and serving Harris County families to administer justice. Shailey left the bench in 2019 due to a death in her family, but then returned to private practice at a small boutique family law firm late in 2019. Shailey continued to try cases at the trial court level and started on taking appellate cases as well.
In April 2021, Shailey decided that she wanted to open her own family law firm to provide smart, efficient, and effective representation to those experiencing a tough time in their lives. Currently based in Montrose, Shailey’s new SGB Law office is open and expected to grow in the years to come.
When she’s not at work, Shailey enjoys spending time with her partner who is a Nurse Practitioner. Along with going to see local theatre, rooting for the Astros, spending time with her dog, and reading books from the local library, Shailey loves enjoying all of the things Houston has to offer.
*Shailey uses the pronouns she and her.
South Texas College of Law
J.D. – 2007
College Station, Texas
B.A. – 2004
Major: Political Science and Government
- Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists
- Family Law Section of the Houston Bar Association
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Family Law
- Child Custody
- GLBT Issues