20 Under 40: Courtney Bristow

Courtney Bristow | 39

Cassin & Cassin
Education: SMU Dedman School of Law

Two things you can tell immediately about Courtney Bristow from her Facebook account are that she loves posting about her children, Davis, 8, and Taylor, 7, and that she’s always decluttering the house. She is also the managing partner of Cassin & Cassin and has been since she was hired to open their Dallas office in 2013. A fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and named a Texas Rising Star from 2014-2016 and in 2019, one would think that her focus is her career, but in fact, her real joy comes from spending time in her community.

Having grown up in the Park Cities area, where she now lives with her husband, James, she considers the community full of wonderful people, some of whom she has known since high school. “It’s a little town in a huge city,” she said. Courtney is part of the University Park PTA and Highland Park United Methodist Church, donating her free time in any way she can. Despite the busy schedule, though, you can often find her at Hillstone, munching on her favorite cheeseburger.

Q: What was your “lightbulb moment” that led you to your career?
A: When I was growing up, both of my parents invested in real estate, and we were always driving around to various properties. While an SMU undergrad, I was in a business law class, and that’s when the lightbulb turned on, and I knew I wanted to go to law school. It wasn’t until I was enrolled in several real estate transaction classes that I realized that real estate finance law was a perfect fit for me.

Q: If there was one thing that you could change or improve in the community, what would it be?
A: More parking spaces. Everywhere I go, I feel like there is not enough parking.

Did You Know?
In high school, I had to get a job to pay for the damage I caused after backing my car into two parked cars at the old Blockbuster across from SMU. At 17, I learned the importance of customer service; even minimum wage earners have to pay taxes and to always make sure I look twice when driving in reverse.

Q: Where do you see yourself and/or your career 10 years from now?

A: My kids will (hopefully) be going off to college in 10 years. So I’ll be looking for some new hobbies. I also hope that my practice and my office have continued to grow by leaps and bounds by then. I envision having a thriving office where people enjoy working and we can provide unparalleled service to our clients.

Q: Which leadership skills were the most challenging for you to develop and why?

A: In the practice of law, you come across some very aggressive personalities. Leading with encouragement and a smile isn’t always easy. I have had to learn how to be tough, but fair with opposing counsel, my team and my clients.

Q: What do you love about the Park Cities or Preston Hollow community and why?

A: My family and friends! I have lived in the Park Cities since I was four (4) years old. The community is full of such wonderful people. My family still lives close. I have good friends from high school on my block. The schools and the teachers are phenomenal, and the parent involvement makes this community so special. It is a little town in a huge city.

Q: What is your favorite local store?

A: St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange

Q: Where is the best place in the Park Cities or Preston Hollow for a power lunch – what do you order?

A: Hillstone; cheeseburger

Q: If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be?

A: “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel Clason

Q: If someone made a movie of your life, what would the title be and who would play you?

A: “Tough Cookies,” Reese Witherspoon

Q: If we looked at your social media accounts, what would we learn about you?

A: Not much. I have a Facebook account, but I pretty much use it only to declutter the house by selling things on Park Cities Yard Sale. I have never used Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or anything like that. So, I guess you would learn that I am not tech-savvy.

Q: If you could, what advice would you have for your teenage self and why?

A: Do not worry about things you can’t control. So much time wasted and toiled away on things that either never happened or that I could not change. Time is so precious.

Q: What, to date, has been your most impressive or rewarding accomplishment in both your professional and personal life?

A: My marriage and my kids. While I do love my job, my greatest happiness comes from being with my family.

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