Breaking Barriers: Kathlyn Eileen Hufstetler’s Rise to the Top in Law

Kathlyn Eileen Hufstetler | Partner | Patel Gaines

Patel Gaines’ social media describes the firm in the following way:

“Business partners, Rahul Patel and Grant Gaines established the firm to fulfill the community’s need for innovative solutions to complex legal issues. Rahul’s knowledge of real estate law and property tax litigation, and Grant’s forthright litigation skills strike the perfect balance for clients seeking representation in a variety of commercial real estate, commercial litigation, and property tax appeal cases.

Together, the partners and their team have formed a smart, aggressive, and talented legal group that has gained a reputation for formulating “out of the box” solutions and advocating fearlessly for their clients.

Core practice areas are commercial real estate, commercial litigation, and property tax litigation. We apply our “simplicity is strength”​ principle to all areas of practice — from client management to our litigation strategy. We’ve established a clear, straightforward structure that provides our clients with the most efficient and effective service at the best possible price. Patel | Gaines is unlike most traditional law firms; we are a lean, tough, successful legal practice and we’re ready to use our knowledge and skill to help you achieve your goals.

Call on us for industry-leading technology, significant experience, meticulous preparation, and extensive knowledge — all aimed at achieving the optimal outcome for your case and your business”.

We spoke to Kathlyn Eileen Hufstetler, Partner at Patel Gaines to get information about these path-breaking and outstanding leaders in their industry.

EX: Thank you for doing this with us Kathlyn. Can you please tell us more about yourself, your organization, and the work you do at Patel Gaines?

KEH: Thank you for having me. I completed my law degree at St Mary’s Law School in 2016 and have been with Patel Gaines for 8 years.

When I started working and learning about property tax matters, it was all very new to me. I was a law clerk still finishing law school and had never owned property before. As I began becoming more involved with the property tax department, it really interested me. It’s a niche field that not very many attorneys deal with on a day-to-day basis. I am a very numbers-oriented person and it was a natural fit for me.

EX:  According to you what makes your firm stand out in commercial real estate, commercial litigation, and property tax litigation? 

KEH: I believe that one of the items that set us apart from other firms that handle property tax matters is that it’s not all we do. Our experience in real estate transactions and litigation adds significant value to the clients. We are a modern law firm that represents business owners, franchisees, landlords, entrepreneurs, real estate developers, and investors who are faced with complex business decisions. Our attorneys are motivated by precise solutions that are tailored to even the most complex client needs. We want the best possible outcome for our client’s cases and businesses.

EX: You’ve been with Patel Gaines for the past eight years. Can you please share how has the journey been?

KEH: My years with Patel Gaines have been just that: a journey, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This past month marks eight years with Patel Gaines having started in 2015 as a law clerk.

I was intrigued that it was a relatively new firm that had young leadership and forward-looking goals. Once I graduated in 2016 I joined the firm as an Associate Attorney, where I focused on commercial property tax appeals, exemptions, valuations, and complex litigation matters. In 2019, we expanded the firm by opening an office in Houston, where I was tasked with giving the firm a presence in the largest county in Texas. Since then, I have had the role of Senior Associate Attorney and have recently been made a Partner, but also the Head of the Property Tax division at the firm.

Looking back, these aspects of the firm provided me with tremendous opportunities and ultimately moved me to the position that I have now as a Partner and one of the leaders of our property tax division. Kathlyn has been instrumental in growing Patel Gaines’ representation from $5 billion to $11 billion within a short time frame. She is a fierce advocate for her clients in more than 35 Texas counties and is an irreplaceable asset to Patel Gaines”

I don’t think there was a specific moment in time, but having the mentors that I have here and seeing the possibilities are what have motivated me and pushed me to continue to strive and take on more challenging roles and responsibilities.

-Kathlyn Eileen Hufstetler, Partner at Patel Gaines

EX: ‘The legal field is not a regal field.’ How do balance your personal and professional life?

KEH: Work-life balance is difficult these days, especially with a two-year-old and a 3-month-old. I think one of the things that I have learned is that looking ahead at your work day and work week is one of the keys to being able to accomplish what you have set out for that period. I also try to incorporate something every day that is just for me, it has nothing to do with work, my kids, or my husband. Whether it is reading a book, working out, baking, or watching a mindless tv show. I don’t feel guilty taking that time because, at the end of the day, I know that, that time I am taking for myself, even if it is only 10 minutes, is making me a better, boss, employee, wife, and mother. It’s what I need to recharge for the next day.