Francesca Blackard – 20 Under 40


McClure Law Group
Education: New York Law School, DePaul University

Francesca Blackard, a managing partner at McClure Law Group, always knew she wanted to be a lawyer, joking she “used to negotiate with the tooth fairy.”

Her father and both of his brothers are attorneys.

“The best advice I ever got was from my boss, Kelly, and my uncle, Judge Phil Robertson,” she said. “They both told me when I passed the bar that young lawyers often make the mistake of trying to be tough in their cases versus approaching each opposing attorney kindly, even when they don’t necessarily deserve it.”

“I tend to always find my work to be a great place to put my head down and work hard to get through tough situations.”

When she’s not working, Blackard serves on the board of the Preston Hollow Early Childhood Association. She also served on the board of the St. Anne’s Society at Christ the King Catholic Church.

Blackard also has co-authored a family violence curriculum textbook, Stopping Abuse & Transforming Your Life, with her father-in-law, Kirk Blackard. It’s under review by the Texas Council on Family Violence and set to hit printers soon.

Her father-in-law also helped create the nonprofit Bridges to Life, which seeks to help heal crime victims, rehabilitate offenders, and reduce recidivism rates. 

“It is really an incredible program that has an 80% rate of keeping their members out of jail once they’re released. It is used worldwide and has been recognized by Pope Francis for its incredible impact on the community,” she added.

Toughest business/personal challenge:

I lost my sister to cancer in 2010 – the summer of my first year in law school (I did not take summers off from school to graduate early). My mom was also in serious cancer treatment at the same time for Stage 4 breast cancer. I really have never suffered so much stress in my life, but somehow law school was a safe place to channel my negative energy. I tend to always find my work to be a great place to put my head down and work hard to get through tough situations.

What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?

I babysat a lot in high school and college. I learned patience from that. I also waited tables in college on top of babysitting full-time for a family and going to school full-time. Being in the service industry is something I think everyone should do at some point in their lives. It has given me a different approach to family law- we provide a service to our clients with the most important thing on the line- their kids.

If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be and why?

A Grief Disguised was a book one my neighbors gave me that I think is something everyone should read. It describes how everyone’s grief is personal to them and we should never compare one’s grief to another. It really spoke to me and is written so well. It is true that every person suffers their own personal griefs in their lives and every single instance has a significant impact on that person’s lives. Those experiences shape us and shape our families.

What’s on your bucket list?

I want to take my kids on a safari. They love animals, and I think they will just love that adventure.

Fun fact that someone wouldn’t know about you?

I have two-year-old twins- Jack and Ava. The other two managing partners at the firm, Robert and Kelly also have sets of twins.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at

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