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HOW I BECAME A LAWYER — DESPITE THINKING I NEVER WOULD A WINDING PATH TO LAW
I grew up in an extended family full of attorneys. In an attempt to carve out my own path and avoid the “family business,” I resisted going into law for years and studied accounting for my undergraduate degree. But like so many other college kids, as I advanced through my classes, I began to wonder whether the field I’d chosen was really the career I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. It just didn’t seem dynamic enough, with the procedures pretty much set in stone from the beginning.
with the company’s financials entwined with whatever boom or bust the oil and gas industry was experiencing at the time. What’s more, while there are certainly perks of being an in-house attorney, it doesn’t give you the same variety as working for more then one client. When I joined The Gibson Law Group back in 2015, it was a breath of fresh air. From the beginning, it’s been a consistently collaborative experience, every member of our talented team working together to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. During my three years at the firm, I’ve learned and continue to learn an incredible amount about a variety of industries and businesses. When you’re working with small and midsize businesses, you need to know not just about the law, but how the law intersects with the everyday lives of employees, business owners, and the day-to-day operations of companies. It’s a shifting landscape that never gets boring. Outside of work, I enjoy a different kind of challenge: testing the limits of my physical abilities. Since running my first marathon in Minneapolis in 2011, I’ve run two more, though looking at the calendar, I feel like I’ve been slacking off lately. I’m still regularly running, and still participating in half marathons and other races, but it’s been almost two years since my last 26-mile slog. Hopefully I can find the time to start training and get myself back out there soon. I’ve always been a deeply driven, curious person, eager to take on new challenges and opportunities. By now, I understand that it’s traits like these that made me such a good fit for The Gibson Law Group. Everyone here is a lifelong learner, genuinely interested in understanding each client’s unique business so we can better address their particular needs. Though I may not have wanted to be a lawyer as a kid, I’m thrilled that this is the path I’ve chosen. It’s a privilege to serve my clients as part of such a cohesive, experienced, and dedicated team. –Reagan R. Herod 1 GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM
After I got my bachelor’s degree and decided to move on to law school, it only took me a class or two to realize that this was the field for me. The foundations of the law were complex and constantly changing. Law required a mind that could absorb all kinds of disparate information and contextualize it within a larger strategy. I threw myself into this brand-new world of legal briefs and obscure statutes and never looked back. After graduating from law school, I joined the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals of Texas as a briefing attorney. While there, I gained invaluable experience in appellate law and the inner workings of the court system. Following my time in the Court of Appeals, I secured a position as an associate general counsel for FTS International, a large- scale oil-well completion and services business, where I stayed for five years. Though it was engaging work, it was a volatile environment,
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E X P A N D I N G BEYOND YOUR LOGO
When you think of visual brands, an iconic logo might pop into your mind. But logos are only the beginning of visual branding. While a strong logo is a terrific start, there are many other aspects that you should dedicate your time and money to. Here are a couple of tips you can follow to ensure successful visual branding. THE LOGO Start with your logo. You want your customers to notice you, and one way to do that is with a simple yet eye-catching logo. It’s usually the first interaction someone has with your company, so make it memorable. However, it’s important not to let your logo carry everything else. Saul Bass, logo designer for AT&T and the Girl Scouts of the USA, states, “Logos are a great extension of the internal realities of a company.” A logo is representative and gives your customers something easy to remember, but it doesn’t encapsulate your whole business. AMNA PARYANI A t The Gibson Law Group, we are privileged to represent so many incredible business leaders across a wide array of industries. We know that our firm simply couldn’t exist without the support of each and every one of you driving success and growth in Texas and beyond. This month, The Gibson Law Group is excited to introduce you to Amna Paryani. Amna is a savvy entrepreneur with a client-first philosophy that guides her approach to business. She is a certified public accountant by training with a successful accounting practice whose clients include domestic and international companies. Amna specializes in international tax planning, management, and treaties. With 18 years of experience, she is sought after for her expertise in the areas of accounting, finance, compliance audits, and tax preparation. In addition to running her successful accounting firm, Amna CPA, she is busy building a real estate development company. Amna’s current project is a mixed-use property in Richardson that will blend commercial and residential purposes. of Amna CPA
THEMES When you make promotional materials or certain merchandise, such as business cards or gift cards, the design should relate to your company. This doesn’t mean you should slap the logo on every item. The theme or design that you chose to represent in your logo should be present in your merchandise and promotional media. Keep the same color schemes and style for everything, but vary the imagery and design. This helps associate the product with your company without printing the same thing over and over. When your visual brands match, it creates a bridge to your company. CONSISTENCY When your theme is inconsistent, you create mistrust between you and your customers. A changing logo or style will create a sense of uneasiness or suspicion that your company might
If you are interested in seeking out Amna’s services, you can reach her at (972) 690-6464 or through her website, amnacpa.com/contact-us.
A QUEST ION OF OVERT IME Knowing When to Pay Your Employees Outside of Normal Hours
If an hourly employee continues to work after hours and outside of the workplace, do I still have to pay them?
not be authentic or reputable. Any visual element that you design to represent your company should remain the same. If it’s unavoidable, change it as minimally as possible. Consistency in visual branding builds trust and helps customers recognize you. Incorporating visual branding beyond your logo will bring more positive recognition to your company. Follow these tips to create great visual branding. SUDOKU
In most cases, yes. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employees be paid the minimum wage for all hours worked during each workweek. Employees not exempt from overtime requirements must be paid overtime (time and a half) for all
hours worked in excess of 40 hours during each workweek.
A large percentage of lawsuits currently served against employers under the FLSA stem from the fact that despite the employer’s set hours and specified workplace, employees continue to work after hours from their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, or they bring home physical documents to review.
This usually does not occur because an employee is attempting to do anything inappropriate. Rather, they may want to impress a boss and achieve certain project goals, better serve clients located in different time zones, or increase their pay (if productivity is linked to their pay). Even though the employer may not pay overtime as a rule, the employer is still required to pay overtime to a nonexempt employee who works over 40 hours in a workweek by choice. The FLSA does not allow employees to choose to work more than 40 hours in a week and not receive overtime pay for it. Instead, the question under the law is this: Did an employer “suffer or permit” an employee to work more than 40 hours in any given workweek? In other words, did the employer have any reason to know that an employee was working outside of normal working hours, off premises, and possibly over 40 hours per week, and did the employer take effective steps to stop that extra work or pay the required overtime? If the employer knew — or should have known — the employee was working after hours or on weekends and accumulating over 40 hours a week, the employer is then usually considered liable for unpaid overtime wages. The employer can also be held liable for liquidated damages and attorney’s fees for any employees involved plus attorney’s fees incurred for the employer who now must seek representation.
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IN SIDE Attorney Reagan Herod’s Unlikely Path to Law
Your Logo Shouldn’t Run Your Business
Spotlight on Amna Paryani
A Question of Overtime
Take a Break!
3 Places to View Natural Wonders
Lagoon in Jamaica, where dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms in the water, lend their glow to the lagoon. These tiny organisms thrive in areas where salt water and fresh water meet, making the lagoon in springtime an ideal place to see them. Eco tip: To ensure this magical sight will remain for years to come, always go with a “pack it in, pack it out” mentality. Take all of your belongings with you when you leave and be respectful of the beautiful environment that is yours to enjoy. NORTHERN LIGHTS IN SCANDINAVIA One of the most elusive natural wonders, the aurora borealis, can only be seen on dark nights in the most northern parts of the world. That makes Sweden and its Scandinavian neighbors a great place to see the phenomenon. From December through April, you’ll have your best chance of seeing the northern lights. Sightings are dependent on solar activity, so it’s impossible to predict the exact timing and location, but they’re easier to see during the longer, darker nights of winter and early spring. NATURESCAPES One-of-a-Kind
If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you might see rare magical sights — baby turtles scuttling toward water, glowing lagoons, or a shimmering sky. But when and where do you need to be to catch these natural wonders? SEA TURTLES HATCHING IN HAWAII On Oahu’s North Shore, head to Turtle Beach, which gets its name from the many turtles that nest along its shores. During late spring and summer, the waves subside, allowing turtles to crawl onto the beach to lay their eggs. Baby turtles hatch at night and make their way to the water by the light of the moon. If you do head to the beach at night to see this spectacle, don’t use white light, as it can disrupt the turtles’ progress (that means no flash photography). Eco tip: Look, but don’t touch! It’s illegal to touch a sea turtle in Hawaii. BIOLUMINESCENT PLANKTON IN JAMAICA Imagine looking out at the water as the sky gets dark and seeing it turn a bright, glowing blue. That’s the sight you might be treated to at Luminous
Eco tip: Book your trip through a responsible travel company, such as those that practice a fair-trade policy.
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