Last week, The Sachse News highlighted a woman making an impact in city government. This week, the focus shifts to Garland ISD, which has a number of important women in senior leadership positions, including its general counsel.
Lisa Ray, general counsel for Garland ISD and 20-year lawyer, said she enjoys the path she has taken from a private sector lawyer to one using her talents to assist a local school district. The daughter of first-generation Indian immigrants, Ray is also the first lawyer in her family.
Growing up in an Indian household, Ray said there was some pressure for her to pursue a career in medicine or engineering. She said that after taking physics and advanced science courses while attending a magnet school specializing in preparing students for a medical progression, her passions lie elsewhere.
“I always liked arguing and words,” Ray said. “I watched a show when I was 8 years old with a trial lawyer and was fascinated. I am the first lawyer in a family of doctors and engineers.”
Because she came from a family without legal professionals, it was hard to find professionals to help guide her in pursuit of becoming a lawyer.
“I took the path I took, and I feel that I am living my best life,” Ray said.
Ray enrolled in the University of Houston where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science. She added that the same year her mother graduated with her bachelor’s degree was when she obtained her high school diploma. Ray also obtained her law degree from the South Texas College of Law in Houston.
Additionally, her mother demonstrated strength and courage to Ray as a single, first generation Indian immigrant in Canada. Ray said her mother was eventually part of an arranged marriage in India.
In the workplace, Ray said she has been fortunate to have good mentors who have been both men and women. Starting off in the private sector focusing on insurance defense and employment law, she said her male mentors helped her navigate a healthy work-life balance.
For the full story, see the March 23 issue of The Sachse News.