Rath Law Office in Katy, TX. Cathy has been practicing law for over 10 years. She had a very logical approach to get to where she is today and truly knows the value of time.e are excited to introduce our readers to Cathy Rath, founder of
Let’s dive right in! Cathy, who or what inspired you to become an attorney?
Experiencing the legal justice system through the mistakes made by a relative.
What was the process you went through to get to where you are today?
First, I obtained a paralegal degree from a community college so that I could begin earning money to support myself. I then obtained various jobs in law firms and the federal court system while I obtained my undergraduate degree in business management. After 10 years, I applied to and was admitted to law school. I obtained a job as a law clerk for a public school district, representing the school board before administrative law judges and housing court judges with respect to housing, fire code, and building code violations. In addition, I was responsible for monitoring the work of the school district’s property managers. After 1 and ½ years, I obtained a job working as in-house counsel for 2 large employer-employee benefit plans. I opened my own office in 2014 as a sole practitioner. I hope to grow my practice so that I can hire a paralegal and an attorney, mentor and teach them, so that I may one day transition the practice to them when I retire.
How do you structure your days?
I look at the week ahead on Sunday, and try to determine what comes first. Meaning what is most important to prevent being in a “crisis” mode on a daily basis. It also helps me anticipate the needs of my clients, based upon the case load I am already working. I try to leave time during the day for those unexpected emergencies which almost always arise.
What would you say is your best advice for handling criticism?
Try to find the pearl in it, the positive to make you not only a better lawyer, but a better person. No one likes to be criticized. Being shown your mistakes helps you to learn. No one ever became an expert without “failing” multiple times. If you are repeating the same mistakes time and time again, you need to figure out why. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Let’s say you’re walking down the street and a kid walks up to you and asks your advice. You only have a few minutes to give them your best tip. What would it be?
It would depend on the type of advice for which I was asked. In general, do not be afraid to explore opportunities which present themselves, because opportunities are the “luck” most people look for and never find.
Cathy, what surprising lessons have you learned along your journey?
You can, and should, learn from others, both from the mistakes and successes they have experienced. You will save yourself time in the long run and get to your goals faster with less pain.
One of the biggest struggles we see attorneys face is the balancing act of work and family life. Can you share how you do this?
I plan time for each role I have in life – spouse, employer, friend, myself – and then stick to it. Sometimes the plan is rearranged at the last minute, but setting aside quality of time versus quantity works well for me and those in my life.
Now, for my favorite question to ask attorneys! What do you want your legacy to be?
A legacy of service, integrity, and kindness to others.
So what’s next for you, Cathy?
To continue growing and refining my skills as a lawyer and person.
What is the one thing you want our readers to take away from this?
There are no short cuts to achieving your goals. Success is defined by 2 words: Hard and Work. Just as you cannot take an algebra class before you have mastered basic math skills, you must put in the work to be successful in whatever endeavor you undertake. There is dignity in honest work.