We had the good fortune of connecting with Kris Balekian Hayes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kris, what do you want people to remember about you?
That I was always honest to a fault, integrity is huge to me. I want to be known for someone that was always honest. I was honest with my peers, my clients, my family and my friends. So often, lawyers have a terrible reputation and family law lawyers specifically. I take pride in being honest with my clients despite how it may affect the bottom line. I want my clients to know that my team is on their side and we will give our honest opinions and advice. We will work with them every step of the way to make sure that they understand the choices they are making and feel empowered to make them confidently. Our team’s in-depth knowledge and insights about family law and how to make effective strategies for each situation have earned us a reputation as the aggressive advocates clients can trust.
What should our readers know about your business?
After completing a Bachelor of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, I earned my law degree at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio. I continued my education by earning a Master of Business Administration at St. Mary’s University School of Business. I am also a Board Certified Lawyer in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS). This can be a huge asset in divorce cases. Because Family Law involves a wide range of family issues including marriage, divorce proceedings, legal custody and adoption, distribution of assets and ownership of property acquired before and during the marriage, and much more, it’s crucial to find a lawyer that has specialized knowledge in Family Law. A board certified family lawyer will have the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate state laws and codes ( e.g., Texas Family Code) and the trials and appeals of Family Law cases. Most attorneys rely on the information from an expert witness about accounting and other business-related matters. However, most of the time, I do not require an expert as I can utilize my education in ascertaining what is the best course in a divorce. I went to law school and business school in a joint program and graduated with honors and still managed to graduate by the age of 23. The difference between our firm and others is honesty and integrity. You can always find a lawyer to tell you what you want to hear- always. My firm takes the position that I will always do what you tell me only after I tell you whether or not I think it’s a good/bad decision. I am one of the few attorneys that will tell you when you are throwing good money after bad. I think that honesty has carried me through my career and has ensured my success today. I think it allows me to trust me and trust my judgment. If you can actually get to a point where you trust your lawyer, that helps to ease the fear.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I am very much a creature of habit and tend to stay near my familiar places. My favorite local restaurant, by far, is Javier’s. In fact, any time I have ever had a friend or client visiting, dinner at Javier’s is a must. You never know which celebrity you will see there, and I have, on occasion, seen a prior first lady. I have been a patron of Javier’s for almost two decades so that likely speaks for itself! I have been in the Dallas area my entire life, and while mainstay institutions like The Sixth Floor Museum and Dallas Zoo are a must-see for first-timers, they don’t make it on my list much anymore. I appreciate and trust the recommendations of my friends who are more socially adventurous. To them, social media has expanded access and awareness of cool pop-up events, tasty foodie demos and unique shopping experiences. So, my recommendation would be to look to social media for off-the-beaten-path ideas and experiences.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It has been a long journey to grow my business to where it is today. Personally, my family grew alongside the firm; I married a fellow attorney and am now a mom of four. I owe my success to my friends and family. Beginning at a young age, my parents allowed me to work in the family business at our beloved local pumpkin patch. This taught me how to run a business in good times and bad. My company has had its ups and downs, and my supportive husband has been wildly encouraging along the way, by shouldering additional family responsibilities, giving me the time I need to get it done. My kids have been patient and flexible (most of the time). Many of my closest friends have been employed by me at some point and have continued to encourage me in my career. It’s been incredible to have such a strong support group in good times and bad.
Balekian Hayes, PLLC