20 Under 40 – Katie Samler


Goranson Bain Ausley
Education: St. Mary’s University School of Law

(Vanessa Gavalya Photography)

While a student at Baylor University, Katie Samler mentored a child in the foster care system, an experience that inspired her to practice family law.

“I saw firsthand how the legal system helped her, and I knew I wanted to do some type of child advocacy work in the future,” said Samler, who’s now a partner at the Goranson Bain Ausley law firm.

She’s been practicing family law for about 12 years.

Samler also is heavily involved in the community, serving on the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association and the Weekday School at University Park United Methodist Church Parents’ Association board. She was co-chair for the 2019 – 2020 ABPA Homes for the Holidays tour, which raised $90,000 for the elementary schools. Samler will be the ABPA kindergarten co-chair for Bradfield Elementary and president of the board of the Weekday School Parents’ Association for the 2020 – 2021 school year.

“I love the people, the small-town feel of the Park Cities, and sense of community here,” she said.

Samler hopes to continue her community involvement and her work advocating for families in the future.

Q: What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

A: I worked at a kitchenwares store and cooking school at Preston Royal that is no longer in business called You Tou-Can Cook.  I learned the value of a dollar, how to identify obscure kitchen gadgets, how to identify a coffee bean by smell, and even picked up some cooking skills that I still use today (although not as much as I would like to).

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

A: I hope that I continue to be involved in our community and advocating for families.

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

A: Marrying my husband Matt (we met in law school) and having our two boys (Charlie and James) have been the most rewarding personal accomplishments.

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

A: The ability to delegate tasks was the leadership skill that was most challenging for me to develop because I have the natural inclination to want to take everything on myself.

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

A: The Defined Dish cookbook – an amazing book by a wonderful local author, blogger, and Instagrammer. My neighbors are both amazing cooks based on meals we’ve shared together, treats they’ve brought us, and recipes we’ve exchanged, so I know they would appreciate this beautiful book with delicious and new recipes.

Q: What is your favorite local store?

A: Interabang Books. I also love Layette, Hip Hip Hooray, A to Z Monogramming, and Toys Unique.

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

A: I love the Mediterranean Tuna Salad from R+D Kitchen, and the Chicken Paillard from Le Bilboquet.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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