It’s never too late to go after your dreams. Attorney Daylene Collette, 37, is a prime example of that.
As a young mother of three children, Collette found herself embroiled in her own fight for child custody. Without the funds for an attorney, she studied Texas family law on her own in order to represent herself in court.
“My kids were definitely worth fighting for,” said Collette. “I went to the Palestine Public Library and got every book I could find on how to represent myself in court, child custody matters and I read Texas Code of Civil Procedure until I fell asleep every night.”
Representing yourself is no easy feat.
“It’s more than just the facts of the case that are important, it’s presenting them in a way that actually gets them into the record,” she said.
After winning the case, Judge Duran, and several other local attorneys, encouraged Collette to go to law school on several occasions.
“I found that had that case not been so personal, I would have found it all very thrilling,” said Collette. “But as a mother of small children, I thought the idea of me going to law school was too far-fetched.
Collette grew up in Palestine. She is a graduate of Westwood High School and Trinity Valley Community College.
After college, Collette worked in the insurance industry and was served as the document control manager for the General Contractor that built the ExxonMobil campus in Spring, Texas, which, at the time it was being built, was one of the top three largest construction sites in the United States.
While she worked for the general contractor building ExxonMobil, Collette got married to Samuel Collette, and received a Bachelors in Business Administration, cum laude, at Sam Houston State University.
As that job came to a close, Collette decided she would apply for law school and the was accepted.
“My job came to an end in January and I started law school the next day,” she said. “It was pretty impeccable timing. I considered it a bit of divine intervention.”
She started in Spring of 2016, attending South Texas College of Law.
“I did as much as I could, as fast as I could,” said Collette. “Because I had to stop working to do it. There is a part-time program, but if I had worked full time, and went to school part time, I would have been a stranger to my children.”
She noted that she could not have done this without the support of her husband and credits him with providing for their family during this time.
It all paid off when Collette graduated in two-and-a-half-years with Honors with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. Collette was eight months pregnant when she passed the State of Texas Bar Exam.
After passing the Bar Exam she joined a firm in Conroe, where she focused her experience on the practice of family law.
With Palestine in desperate need of attorneys, especially strong female attorneys, Collette decided to open her own practice in her hometown. She has opened an office in Palestine at 600 North John Street, across the street from the Palestine Police Department.
According to Collette, it was through trying her own case that she became intimately acquainted with the immense stress and heartache that is so prevalent in family law matters. Because she has been there, Collette said you can trust her to advocate for you, or your loved one, during a troubling time.
“Choosing an attorney is the most important decision you can make to protect yourself,” said Collette. “I want to be an advocate for my clients best interest.”
While her practice includes family law, criminal law and civil litigation, she’s open to whatever case you have. “I plan to practice anything that comes through the door,” she said.
For more information, contact Attorney Daylene Collette at 903-729-0131.