Business

A Day With Willie Hornberger

The attorney stays prepared to keep working on the go.

Attorney Willie Hornberger has a laundry list of responsibilities. Instead of getting weighed down by his workload, though, he seems to be reenergized by each meeting, lunch, and conference call. At the Jackson Walker law firm, he leads companies through tax-heavy mergers and acquisitions. The Laredo native also is chair of the board of Avance-Dallas, an early childhood education nonprofit, and routinely serves as general counsel for civic projects like Klyde Warren Park. To stay on top, he keeps a Wi-Fi hotspot and mobile phone charger ready and fuels up with plenty of coffee.

4:30 a.m.

day_hornberger_runEach day begins early so he can get everything done and still make it home for dinner. “My wife impressed upon me the value of eating together as a family, and it’s been great for us.”

5 a.m.

Heads to the gym. He’s training for a half marathon and says working out sets the tone for his day. “When you hit that lull around noon, working out in the morning helps you push through.”

day_hornberger_smoothie

6:15 a.m.

Grabs a protein smoothie from Smoothie King, and then he’s off to his first meeting.

7:30 a.m.

Meets at Kuby’s Sausage House with Dresser Industries’ and Dallas CPA Society’s Paul Willey. Since he’s up early, Hornberger often uses breakfast meetings as an opportunity to meet with mentors. He orders two eggs, crispy bacon, and a bagel, burned.

8:15 a.m.

After breakfast and a couple cups of coffee, he heads back to Jackson Walker’s Arts District office for a conference call with clients.

10 a.m.

Planning meeting at Avance-Dallas, which provides classes on parenting and early childhood development for Latino families in West Dallas. Hornberger sets a vision for the nonprofit’s annual Latino Street Fest fundraiser. Last year, 12,000 people came to dance, eat, and hang out on Flora Street. Next year, he’s aiming for 24,000.

10:45 a.m.

Heads back to the office to make some calls. “The phone is the lawyer’s life blood.”

11:15 a.m.

Time for his first lunch with a confidential client. Scheduling two lunch meetings in the same day is a classic Hornberger tactic. He attends one at 11 a.m. and one at 1 p.m., and orders a small salad at each. Calls and meetings are great, he says, but sharing a meal together lets you go deeper.

day_hornberger_la_duni

12:30 p.m.

Meets for a second lunch at La Duni in NorthPark Center. He sticks to iced tea while taking the temperature of some CF & Co. employees as they prepare for a merger with fellow accounting firm Moss Adams.

1:15 p.m.

En route to a meeting at Executive Airport in South Dallas. No flashy luxury car for Hornberger. He drives a grey mid-2000s Toyota Sequoia, and it’s clearly the car he uses to take his kids to school. 

1:45 p.m.

At the airport, he meets with Commemorative Air Force staffer RozeLyn Beck about the museum’s $55 million building project, which he hopes will reinvigorate the surrounding area.

2:45 p.m.

En route to the Jackson Walker office.

day_hornberger_marlin

3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Retreats to his office for conference calls beneath a replica of a 309-pound marlin he and his family caught off the coast of Port Aransas.

6:30 p.m.

Home in time for family dinner.

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