Emily Franco believes in the power of support and asking for help.

By Cy White, Photo courtesy of McGinnis Lochridge

McGinnis Lochridge estate planning and probate attorney Emily Franco always had a love for law, but after graduating from Rice University with a B.A. in psychology, she decided to take a different path altogether. “After college, I actually did Teach for America, and I taught middle school for three years in the Rio Grande Valley,” she reveals. “Then I went back to law school and became a lawyer.” Since graduating with her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2013, she’s followed her original passion and has been practicing law for nine years.


A younger lawyer at 38 years old, Franco has already made a name for herself as one of the top litigators in the state. In April of this year, she was one of six McGinnis Lochridge attorneys selected as part of the Super Lawyers 2022-2023 class of Rising Stars. In 2022, she was recognized by Austin Monthly as one of their Top Attorneys of the year. This was a particularly personal distinction, as it was a list of peer nominations from Austin-area lawyers, and the top lawyer in each practice area made the final cut. Again, she was one of five McGinnis Lochridge attorneys (four of whom were women) to be honored. Unsurprisingly, she’s a prolific speaker and presenter in her area of law, and she has co-authored various articles for the Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal.

Between getting her J.D., publishing articles and being recognized for her stellar work, Franco also became a mother. “It has been a learning experience to figure out how to balance being a mother and a lawyer, and doing as well as I can at both of them at the same time,” she says. “Law is a field where we write down all of our time. So when you leave the office for a kid’s doctor appointment or a school performance, there’s a tangible impact on what you’re getting done at work. Sometimes we work weekends and work at night after kids’ bedtimes to make sure it happens.”

Perhaps her dedication as a mother has informed or further driven her instinct to mentor and build up those who are following in her footsteps. “I’ve had a lot of great mentors and colleagues who have supported me along the way,” she says. “I would encourage more women to go into law. There are incredible opportunities across every field you could imagine, so there’s a way for everyone to find a type of law that is interesting and fulfilling.”

This, of course, leans into her looking back on her journey from middle school teacher to one of Austin’s top litigators. “I would tell my younger self it is okay to not always have the answers,” she says. “And asking questions is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help is important and necessary to get everything done and make sure that you have the knowledge and support that you need.”

Find out more about Emily Franco and more of the women at McGinnis Lochridge at their website.



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