By: Kyle Whitecotton
Janet Hahn decided to throw a pop of red on her outfit one day when she had to go to court. She chose a red belt and red shoes – a bit bold for the courtroom, perhaps, but she went for it anyway.
As the Decker Jones attorney and her client walked up to the bench, Hahn said she noticed the judge give her a strange look. He folded his arms and took off his glasses.
“I thought, ‘Uh oh, I probably shouldn’t have worn these red shoes,’ ” she said, recalling the moment.
Instead, the judge’s reaction came as a pleasant surprise.
“Mrs. Hahn,” he said, “you are looking very stylish today.”
Hahn laughed. After all, a courtroom isn’t exactly a place for compliments or jokes, let alone a lighthearted comment on an attorney’s shoes.
“Everybody in the courtroom was like, ‘What?’ ” Hahn said. “Because it’s usually very solemn. It just made me laugh.”
Hahn says her personal style reflects her work philosophy – love people, be positive and put clients at ease. It’s especially important in a job that can often be stressful and, at times, filled with drama, she said.
“If you’re a positive person, you can funnel all that stress into something productive,” she said. “I turn it around. It’s such a joy doing what I do. Even when it’s stressful, it fuels me. It just makes me more passionate.”
Having a legal career wasn’t a lifelong plan for Hahn. She began working at Decker Jones in the 1980s as a legal secretary, simply enjoying the environment and the work. Hahn, who didn’t quite have her life planned out at the time, decided to pursue law further, taking paralegal courses at Tarrant County College at night while continuing work at Decker Jones. After she earned her associate’s degree, the firm hired her as a paralegal.
Then she decided to take her career a step further. Following the encouragement of a TCC professor, Hahn attended Texas Wesleyan University to earn her undergraduate degree and eventually Baylor Law School to earn her law degree.
Finding a firm to work for after graduating wasn’t difficult. The firm that hired her was none other than, once again, Decker Jones.
“The people that were my bosses are now my partners,” she said.
Hahn specializes in estate and probate, as well as corporate transactions. She says her goal is to exhibit a positive attitude for her clients, hoping to make what’s typically a difficult process just a little easier.
It shows in her style, which she describes as “professional with a flair.” A fan of bright colors, big jewelry, dresses and jackets, Hahn said she gets inspiration from her friends, one of them being Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
“I love fashion, I love clothes, I love shoes, I love purses – anybody who knows me will tell you, that’s me,” Hahn said. “I just weave that into my professional style also. You can look professional but not stodgy.”
Even attorneys don’t have to take themselves too seriously.
“It’s okay to wear red shoes to court,” she said.
By: Kyle Whitecotton
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