ALFA International, a renowned, global network of independent law firms, featured Director Byrona J. Maule for the May 7 edition of its #FridayFeature attorney profile. Memberships to ALFA International are exclusive, and Phillips Murrah is the active member representing the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
The weekly profile series shares personal stories from spotlighted attorneys and asks questions about their backgrounds:
Today’s #FridayFeature is Byrona Maule, a director and litigation attorney with ALFA International (ALFAI) member firm Phillips Murrah in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Byrona is chair of her firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group and a steering committee member of ALFAI’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. Byrona also was a featured speaker during ALFAI’s International Client Seminar this past March and was a panelist during a recent webinar on the same topic. We hope you enjoy Byrona’s feature!
Please tell us about a favorite family vacation spot or an incredible trip you went on recently.
My husband, Marvin, and I love the outdoors, and we are animal lovers. We have two Vizsla dogs, Will and Tera, and a cat named Simon. While Simon is not a traveler, Will and Tera love to travel with us. Our favorite place to vacation is Ruidoso, New Mexico. The Lincoln National Forest surrounds the Village of Ruidoso, at the base of Sierra Blanca. We spend our days hiking the forests and mountain ranges. In the evenings, we relax in the solitude and quiet of the forests – and watch H&I TV (Heroes & Icons) – which airs old reruns of Star Trek – every iteration from the original to Enterprise! When we feel more adventuresome, we go to Ski Apache, where you can ski during the winter or, during the summer, experience one of the longest zip lines in North America. Ziplining down Sierra Blanca was one of the most thrilling things I have ever done! The zip line is 8,890 feet long, and you release from an elevation of 11,489 feet. I highly recommend it if you like great views and an adrenaline rush. My only advice is if you wear glasses make sure you have them firmly anchored to your face!Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
When I was three or four years old, my grandmother told me I should be an attorney when I grew up because I thought and argued like my grandfather, who had been an attorney. From that point on, I wanted to be an attorney. I went to college as a pre-law/political science major, and I never changed my major. My four sisters would tell you that my grandmother was very accurate in her assessment of me. As one of my sister’s explained to a bygone boyfriend after a long debate (which I won), “It is not that Byrona was trained to argue like a lawyer – it is that Byrona was very well suited to be a lawyer – she always thought and argued in that way.” As I have matured, my grandmother’s influence has shown me the importance of our words – especially words of encouragement. At the ripe old age of three, I did not even know what an attorney did. In 1964, there were very few female attorneys as role models. But she told me stories of my grandfather’s life and practice, and because of her simple words of encouragement at an early age, I never doubted that I could become a lawyer. I am eternally thankful for that encouragement – especially from my current vantage point. At the time, I did not see the challenges, the impossibility, or as many would say, the “folly” of a little girl going to college and becoming an attorney during a time of societal upheaval and a struggle for women’s rights. I was only focused on the fact that my grandmother saw in me the traits that had made my grandfather a successful attorney. It is one of the main reasons I am involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma. The words we speak to children can ignite their potential and open a vast and unknown world to them. Every child should have someone speaking words of encouragement to them.
Why do you choose to participate as an active ALFA International attorney?When Phillips Murrah joined ALFAI, I did not know what to expect. ALFAI representatives came to the firm and explained ALFAI to us. But you really cannot appreciate ALFAI until you have participated in an ALFAI event. After participating in that first ALFAI event, I knew that ALFAI was great because it offers the opportunity to meet, engage and collaborate with other attorneys worldwide, which was refreshing and something that my “soul” needed. I also regularly provide educational training to clients on employment law. ALFAI takes this to an entirely new level, allowing me to work with other attorneys in the field of employment law from other states and nations. But it is not just collaboration; it is the quality of those with whom you collaborate that makes ALFAI so unique. The attorneys and client representatives that participate in ALFAI are diverse, well-educated individuals with a myriad of experiences and backgrounds. Being able to develop relationships with attorneys and clients throughout the world is invaluable and unique to ALFAI.
Founded in 1980, ALFA International was the first and continues to be one of the largest and strongest legal networks with 150 member firms throughout the world. Its 80 U.S. firms maintain offices in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and its 70 international firms are located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Mexico and South America.
ALFA International’s memberships are exclusive. Only one law firm represents our network in each metropolitan area, state, or country. Moreover, in the United States, member firms may not join any other national legal network.
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