by Cali Franks
The law is reason, free from passion. – Aristotle
Despite Aristotle’s quote, Hailey Hughes has found her passion in the law and exemplifies it through her involvement with DAYL. She has showcased her passion through her love for all things law, animal, and fitness- all with a little bit of pixie dust!
Hailey knew early on she wanted to be a lawyer. She graduated magna cum laude from Missouri State University with her bachelor’s degree, during which time she studied international business and communications in five countries across Europe, and graduated cum laude with her Master of Business Administration – all while taking on leadership roles in Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and numerous other pro bono and justice organizations. She graduated magna cum laude from SMU Dedman School of Law, where she balanced multiple externship opportunities, law review, a fellowship, and received various accolades for her brief writing and moot court skills.
One of Hailey’s most treasured times during her education was her experience as a character performer at Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. She spent countless hours at the Happiest Place on Earth bringing smiles to millions of people. This is where Hailey developed her “pixie dust” mentality, an immediate happiness and joy she brings to each and every task. This has served her well throughout her legal career.
Licensed in Texas, Hailey is a fierce advocate as Corporate Counsel for State National Companies- ensuring the company’s legal needs and risks are covered. Prior to going in-house, Hailey worked for an internationally recognized firm, Jones Day, representing clients in various complex commercial real estate transactions. During law school she worked as a student attorney for the Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women.
Her involvement in DAYL started in law school where she served as SMU liaison to the DAYL board. She updated DAYL as to the ongoings of SMU Law School and served as a valuable connection to ensure DAYL and SMU were working in tandem to provide to the needs of the students.
After graduating, Hailey coupled her love of fitness with her passion for engaging in the community, and now currently serves as Event Chair for the 2021 Freedom Run. Recognizing the huge milestone of twenty years since September 11, 2021, Hailey is dedicated to ensuring the 20th Anniversary of DAYL’s Freedom Run is successful. She has introduced new partnerships as well as exhibited extreme flexibility in a time of uncertainty. She has adapted to current COVID-related restrictions and continues to build the 2021 Freedom Run.
Hailey continues to be a star in DAYL through her participation in DAYL’s Animal Welfare Committee, where she is helping to give a voice to animals. You can almost always find her out running and playing with her trusted sidekick, her dog Nala, by her side.
Outside her legal work and community engagements, you will likely find Hailey at Disney World, running, or vacationing with her husband, Ross Hughes.
Hailey has and will continue to do great things for DAYL, using her ever-present smile and signature “pixie dust.” It is clear that Hailey’s passion is the driving force behind her success and we are excited to watch her passion for DAYL continue. We cannot wait to see what Hailey does next!