20 Under 40 – Sally Pretorius


KoonsFuller Family Law
Education: SMU Dedman School of Law

Sally Pretorius’ passion for family law took hold while watching her mother go to court without an attorney against her father in an attempt to get more child support for her brother.

“She went up against an attorney who is now one of the most sought after and knowledgeable attorneys,” Pretorius said. “She didn’t prevail, but sitting outside that courtroom inspired me to help others like her. Because of that memory, I am a family law attorney and always try and keep a pro bono case on my docket.”

She’s practiced family law for 10 years and, during her time at KoonsFuller, has worked on complex cases involving challenging child custody matters and high net worth individuals.

Pretorius hopes to continue practicing family law and increasing her community involvement in the future.

Specifically, she hopes to do more work involving women’s and children’s issues.

“Having just welcomed our daughter, on Oct. 3, 2019, an issue area that has been very eye-opening is the importance of access to prenatal care and early childhood development,” Pretorius said.

She also wants to help increase access to public parks.

“I think trails and public parks are part of the heart of any community, and I hope to continue to serve in this area in a larger capacity either through representation or fundraising,” Pretorius said.

Q: Tell us about your involvement in the Park Cities and/or Preston Hollow communities?

A: Within the local community, I serve as the training vice president for the Junior League of Dallas, sit on the Board of Directors for the Dallas County Advocacy Center, will be a co-chair for the Family Place Partners Card for 2020, and sit on the board for the Friends of Northaven Trail also serving as the events chair.

Q: What do you love most about your community?

A: I love that our community is full of so many up and comers right alongside the more established members of our community. It’s always fun to be talking to someone young, old, or middle-aged and learn that they live just across a major street and that they share memories in some of the places that we are creating memories in. I also love that everything is so centralized. We really are the heart of Dallas, as you can access any part of the city within the half-hour (pending traffic).

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

A: My first job was working at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I learned that I never wanted to work at a theme park again, but also learned that you had to stick with something you’ve committed to–mostly because my Mom made me.

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

A: As corny as this sounds, the birth of my daughter while maintaining my law practice.

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

A: Listening. As a natural advocate with an ego, this is an especially hard skill to develop. I have had to work to listen to the other side of the story and take time to learn the other perspective. It is still a work in progress, but I know that every time I stop and listen, I become a better leader and better advocate.

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

A: Anne of Green Gables the movie, but the original Sullivan Entertainment version. I just love this movie so much because it warms your heart and really makes you appreciate and love your community, friends, and family.

Q: What is your favorite local store?

A: Mi Golondrina is one of my personal addictions as well as the retail section of SoulCycle.

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

A: Hands down Hop Doddy- sometimes they are a little packed during lunchtime, but it’s a great place to meet someone for lunch. I order their El Diablo hamburger and then a quick schlep over to SusieCakes for a mini cupcake for that afternoon slump.


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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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