How To Fight for Employee Benefits feat. Misty Leon

Misty Leon, an experienced in-house employee benefits attorney at Texas Instruments, shares her journey of how she stumbled into the world of employee benefits law and found her passion for navigating complex federal laws to ensure compliance with benefit plans. In this episode, Misty discusses the intricacies of her role, the importance of staying updated on new laws and regulations, and offers valuable advice for law students and new lawyers on being open to new opportunities and building a strong professional network. Join us as Misty provides insights into the practical and rewarding aspects of employee benefits law.

LISTEN TO LEARN

  • About Misty’s journey into employee benefits law and finding her passion for it
  • Insights into the day-to-day work of an employee benefits attorney, including monitoring new laws, collaborating with HR teams, and managing outside counsel
  • The importance of being open to new opportunities and networking to broaden career prospects

WE ALSO DISCUSS

  • Misty's transition from private practice to in-house employee benefits law at Texas Instruments
  • The unique challenges and rewards of working as a team of one in the employee benefits field
  • Advice for law students and new lawyers on pivoting, broadening practice areas, and building a strong professional network

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How To Fight for Employee Benefits feat. Misty Leon

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How To Fight for Employee Benefits feat. Misty LeonHow To Fight for Employee Benefits feat. Misty Leon

About This Episode

Misty Leon’s Background

Misty Leon's background is a testament to the power of exploring different opportunities and being open to new experiences. She stumbled into the field of employee benefits law inadvertently during her first year of law school when she couldn't find a summer job and ended up working for a plaintiff's attorney. This experience led her to discover the complex world of ERISA and employee benefits law, which ultimately became her passion. Misty's journey involved taking tax classes and clerkships in firms specializing in employee benefits law to confirm her interest in the field. As Misty mentioned, she found joy in the regulatory and compliance-based work, which aligned with her skill set and interests.. 

"I think something I learned was really important, especially during the pandemic, is just the ability to pivot and to always be open to new opportunities," shares Misty Leon on You Are A Lawyer.

Misty's adaptive and open-minded approach to her career showcases her willingness to explore different paths and seize new opportunities. Misty's background exemplifies the value of being proactive, seeking out diverse experiences, and remaining open to unexpected opportunities, ultimately leading her to a fulfilling career in employee benefits law.

Why Law School

Misty chose to attend law school with a practical mindset rather than a specific career goal in mind. Misty mentioned that she selected law as a career path because she believed it would provide her with financial stability. She also highlighted that she stumbled into the field of employee benefits law inadvertently during her first year of law school. Misty's interest in regulatory and compliance-based work, as well as her enjoyment of tax classes, guided her towards a career in employee benefits law. This demonstrates her willingness to explore different areas of law and adapt to new opportunities, showcasing her ability to pivot and remain open to diverse career paths within the legal field.

"I didn't know any lawyers and just kind of picked law as a career because I thought it would put me in a more financially stable position than what I had growing up," reflects Misty Leon on Episode 142 of You Are a Lawyer.

Despite not having a clear direction initially, Misty's willingness to explore different practice areas and engage in diverse experiences during law school ultimately led her to discover her passion for employee benefits law. Her journey serves as a testament to the importance of remaining open to new opportunities and being willing to pivot in one's legal career.

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What Can You Do with a Law Degree

Having a law degree opens up various opportunities, especially in specialized areas like employee benefits law. Misty highlighted the importance of being open to new opportunities and pivoting when necessary, showcasing the versatility of a law degree. She emphasized the value of networking and building connections outside of one's immediate circle to explore different practice areas and potential career paths. Misty's journey from working with a plaintiff's attorney to becoming an employee benefits lawyer exemplifies the diverse paths one can take with a law degree. 

"I have the ability to advise not just on what you have to do, but to have conversations about what is the best of several approaches when our goal is to make people happy and make them want to work at this company," explains Misty Leon, on this episode of You Are a Lawyer.

In the legal field, a law degree can lead to roles that involve advising on complex regulatory matters, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, and collaborating with internal teams to implement practical solutions. Misty's experience as an in-house employee benefits attorney at Texas Instruments showcases how legal expertise can be applied in a corporate setting to navigate intricate legal frameworks and support organizational goals.

Lawyer Side Hustles

Side hustles for lawyers can be a great way to explore different interests and diversify income streams. Misty Leon's journey from private practice to in-house employee benefits attorney at Texas Instruments showcases the importance of being open to new opportunities and pivoting when necessary. As Misty mentioned, having a side business or pursuing other interests outside of traditional legal practice can provide valuable experiences and connections that may lead to unexpected opportunities in the future. Misty's advice to always be open to new opportunities and to broaden one's practice by exploring adjacent areas of law resonates with the idea of pursuing side hustles as a way to expand one's skill set and network.

“Just be looking for opportunities to broaden your practice, to learn new things, to work with new people,” shares Misty Leon in Episode 142 of You Are a Lawyer.

By engaging in side hustles, lawyers can gain new skills, expand their network, and potentially discover new passions that can complement their legal practice. Misty's journey serves as a reminder that exploring different avenues, such as side businesses, can lead to unexpected and fulfilling opportunities in the legal field and beyond.

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Contact Misty Leon

Misty Leon is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas.

Learn more about Misty

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