True to her roots
by Suzi Morales
Julia Mann (J.D. ’94) has held just about every job one could have at a law firm.
She is the managing partner of Jackson Walker LLP’s San Antonio office and led the firm’s move to its new location at the recently opened Jefferson Bank building near The Pearl. Still, her legal career had a decidedly more humble start.
As a high school student, she worked at the law office of her father, George T. Wommack Jr., a litigator with 50 years of experience in Lake Jackson.
“One summer, I was the assistant to the runner, which means I did everything from cleaning the boss’ fish tank to making sure those paper filings that we used to do in the old days got to the courthouse on time and returned with that actual file stamp on them,” she recalled.
Beyond giving her a solid foundation in legal writing and advocacy, these activities taught her time management and how to forge meaningful relationships with peers.
“I enjoy having relationships with my opposing counsel,” Mann said. “I don’t want to fight with them about silly things, but let’s fight about substantive things. Let’s trust each other. It’s better for our clients in the long run.”
Mann has been a litigator her entire career, assisting clients from oil and gas to banking. For many of her clients who are leaders in their respective fields, being a party to a lawsuit and not being able to control the situation is a new experience. Mann takes pride in listening to them and serving as their voices in complex legal situations.
Mann continues to be an active presence at St. Mary’s Law, including as a new member of the law school’s Board of Visitors. She particularly enjoys sharing her experience as a guest lecturer, including during a recent visit to the leadership class of St. Mary’s Law Dean Patricia Roberts, J.D.
“Julia Mann’s exceptional leadership and lawyering skills have enabled her to succeed in positions and practice areas traditionally dominated by men,” Roberts said. “She’s achieved her professional success alongside the joy of raising her family and serving her community.”
In August 2023, Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office moved into the new building at 1900 Broadway. Mann and other firm leaders were deliberate about the work environment they hoped to cultivate. That care can be found in everything from easy access to parking to ample conference space serving as a hub for the firm and the San Antonio community.
“Julia Mann’s exceptional leadership and lawyering skills have enabled her to succeed in positions and practice areas traditionally dominated by men. She’s achieved her professional success alongside the joy of raising her family and serving her community.”
There are few physical similarities between Jackson Walker’s new office and her father’s small-town practice. For one thing, there’s no fish tank for her to clean as she did in her father’s office.
“Our new office reflects a more modern law practice,” she remarked.
According to Mann, her early experience working for her dad “shaped me into a servant leader.”
“I will not ask anyone to do a task that I am not willing to do, and in many cases have actually done, myself,” she said.
The lessons she learned at St. Mary’s Law about building relationships with colleagues and competitors shaped her into the lawyer she is today.
Even though the surroundings have changed since those days, some things remain the same.