By Donna Parker
Ask Lorie Burch, who received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity in 1998, right now and she’ll tell you that life is good. She has her own Dallas law firm focused on estate planning. The American Business Women’s Association recently named Lorie as one of the Top Ten Business Women in America for excellence in career, education and community involvement. Lorie is only 33 and one of the youngest women ever to win the prestigious award, but she approaches the honor with humility.
“I’ve traditionally been very bad about acknowledging accomplishments. I used to feel that I was not the perfect version of what I wanted to be. What I’ve learned since then is that we all achieve moments of success that we need to rejoice in at that time. I don’t come by that naturally,” says Lorie, with a smile.
After graduating from Trinity, Lorie headed to D.C.’s prestigious George Washington University where she earned her law degree. She had her sights set on a career in public interest and civil rights law, but found the sheer driven competitiveness to snag an 80-hour-a-week job at a major firm unappealing, to say the least.
“Law school was geared toward high-paying jobs with long hours – something I never wanted to
She ended up working at the Securities and Exchange Commission, contractually for awhile, but when her dad passed away suddenly; Lorie pulled up stakes and moved back to Dallas.
“I moved back within three weeks of his passing. I had no job, no money and wasn’t licensed to practice in Texas, so I was literally starting from ground zero.”
She founded her firm in 2004, mostly on faith in this time of uncertainty that there was a path for her life’s fulfillment.
“I had some experience with estate planning and created a niche in the gay community enforcing rights for gay couples. I tried very hard to focus on all of life’s possibilities rather than all the things that could go wrong,” says Lorie, who jokes, “For awhile though, I’d tell myself, ‘fake it ’til you make it!’”
Through networking in the DFW metroplex, Lorie met her partner, Jane, with whom she shares a house and five adorable animals – three cats and two dogs.
“Jane is the most amazing person and my soul mate. She has made me confident and comfortable in myself, which has enabled me to grow and be more open about who I am. We love to spend time together with family and friends. I’m a big Elvis fan and let’s just say for me, it’s a lifestyle, as evidenced by the memorabilia in our house,” laughs Lorie.
“I also spend a great deal of time advocating gay rights in my community as the political co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign and proud member of the Board of Directors for the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce and the American Business Women’s Association.”
Lorie says Trinity was a full experience for her and praises professors Moya Ball, who has since retired from the department of speech and drama, and John Hermann, department of political science, as having a profound influence on her life.
“Moya rewarded us for our creativity and that is a wonderful thing. I actually wrote a couple of papers on Elvis; a topic about which I’m passionate. That made me a much better writer and researcher and it was a well-received paper.”
“John Hermann was my counselor and one of my favorites. He taught civil rights courses and arranged my internship with Judge Orlando Garcia.”
“Simply put, accepting myself and opening this firm have enabled me to become an advocate for equality for all people. I’m strong enough to be an example of a strong, moral person and by living my life in such a way, I hope to open hearts and minds.”
You may contact Lorie at email@example.com.