20 Under 40: Katrina Eash
Winston & Strawn
Education: SMU Dedman School of Law
Katrina Eash originally wanted to be an investigative reporter; that is until she realized her journalism skills made her an even better lawyer. At Winston & Strawn, Katrina consistently goes above and beyond the amount of pro bono hours her firm requires and considers that work to be one of her greatest professional accomplishments. Advocating for her clients’ lives and showing their humanity makes the hard work she has put into her career worth it.
Outside of her legal life, Katrina is also a mom to two daughters, Reagan and Logan, whom she enjoys taking out with her husband, Dustin. Having grown up in Dallas, she is no stranger to the many wonderful places that make the Park Cities home to thousands of families, but she also has her personal favorites, too. Carlo’s Bakery is one of her go-to spots. “I have a massive sweet tooth,” she said. Though Katrina would love if the sidewalks in the area could get more attention, the community in Park Cities and smiles of her many friends and neighbors make her call the area home.
Q: If we looked at your social media accounts, what would we learn and why?
A: I am absolutely in love with my children and husband, and I think they are all really cute. Yes, I am one of those moms!
Q: Where do you see your career 10 years from now?
A: Some of the best advice I received early in my career was that I should consistently be evaluating whether I am truly happy on my current path. If not, I should re-calibrate and find the path that is going to best fulfill me.
That said, at present, in 10 years, I see myself in the courtroom battling in out for my clients when the company knows that the stakes are high and only the best will do. And I see myself doing that at Winston & Strawn with my partners’ in the trenches with me.
Did You Know?
Growing up, I was a competitive gymnast.
Q: What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
A: I was a highly-competitive gymnast growing up, so when I stopped competing it made sense for me to begin coaching. I loved coaching gymnastics about 12 hours a week in high school, and the experience taught me two key values: (1) patience; and (2) time management.
I was generally teaching young ladies between the ages of 5 – 10, and they taught me how valuable a bit of patience and persistence could be to achieving your goals.
Looking back on it now, there is no doubt that learning to work hard and manage my time appropriately at such a young age helped lead me to where I am today.
Q: What was your “lightbulb moment” that lead you to your career?
A: I was working at Channel 8 News in Dallas during undergrad because I thought I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. While there, I found myself attracted to investigative journalism, so I asked one of the producers I was working with what it took to be the best investigative journalist in town. She told me that she thought the best investigative journalists had law degrees and knew how to dig into the stories using their law degree. That did it for me. I was studying for the LSAT within the week.
Once I got into law school, I discovered that I was exceptionally good at litigating cases and that it was something I enjoyed even more than reporting. That is when I decided to pursue the courtroom instead of investigative journalism. Interestingly, I started law school to become a better journalist, but I find that my legal career has benefited greatly from my journalism studies, where I learned how to identify and explore key, often overlooked, facts, and how to present information in a compelling manner to a general audience.
Q: Which leadership skills were the most challenging for you to develop and why?
A: Delegating. Early in my career, I was prone to the philosophy that I can probably do the work better and quicker than some of my more junior attorneys. But I’ve learned over time that thinking this way is not sustainable and does not help the younger generation of attorneys that I am mentoring master the skills they need. So, though it took a while, I’ve become a much better delegator in recent years.
Q: What do you love about the Park Cities or Preston Hollow community and why?
A: The community support. Neighbors and friends in the Park Cities are always willing to jump in and help out when needed. They ask how you are and smile and wave when they see you down the street. It actually feels like a community, and I appreciate that greatly. It is the spirit of a small community with the benefits of living in a major metropolitan area.
Q: What is your favorite local store?
A: Carlo’s Bakery
Q: Where is the best place in the Park Cities or Preston Hollow for a power lunch – what do you order?
A: Nekter Juice Bar; any of the juices
Q: If there was ONE thing that you could change or improve in the community, what would it be?
A: The sidewalks in University Park. My husband and I take our girls running three or four times a week in the Park Cities, and we have to push the girls in our running strollers. So we pay attention to any blemishes in the sidewalks. Many of them need to be cleaned up.
Q: If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be and why?
A: Ken Follett’s “Century Trilogy”; one of the best written series of books from a historical perspective ever.
Q: If you could, what advice would you have for your teenage self and why?
A: Be confident in your abilities. You can, and will, conquer every obstacle put in your path. You will have failures along the way, but never let your confidence waiver and know that you will achieve what you set your mind to.
Q: What, to date, has been your most impressive or rewarding accomplishment in both your professional and personal life?
A: In my personal life, there can be no matching the feeling of accomplishment I feel daily when I look at the two beautiful young ladies that I brought into this world and am now guiding towards their future. They are kind, they are caring, and they are intelligent. I could not be more proud or feel more accomplished, then when I look at them.
In my professional life, it is my pro-bono work that stirs the biggest feeling of accomplishment in me. For example, in January 2018, after numerous rounds of briefing, I advocated for my client’s life in front of a Detroit immigration judge and won, preventing my client from being deported to Iraq, which would have led to him being tortured and/or killed. My team put on a full-day mini-trial, and ultimately, my client won his freedom. Winston & Strawn allowed me to be instrumental in that victory with its dedication to pro-bono work. This experience was the most rewarding experience I have ever had practicing law. I hope there are many more to come.