Sally Pretorius was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. A cum laude and Honors Program graduate of St. Mary’s University, with a degree in political science, she went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree in May of 2009 from the SMU Dedman School of Law, in Dallas.
Sally is certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (both memberships attained in her first year of eligibility) and has made the Texas Rising Stars and Texas Super Lawyer lists on a consistent basis.
Attorneys many years her senior would be delighted to have her resume. “I’ve been lucky to have opportunities to work on a number of complex cases, divorces involving high-net-worth individuals and challenging custody matters,” she says.
Sally has a remarkably seasoned and reasonable approach to how she manages her cases. “Clear communication and managing expectations are critical in any family law matter. I really enjoy my time in the courtroom and advocating for my clients, but I know that mediation and settlements out of court may be the better solution depending on the circumstances. I always want to do what’s best for my clients. I tell clients, we have two options: We can be amicable, or we can be litigious. I explain the merits of each and, together, we decide the proper course,” she says.
Sally has polished her impressive communication skills and developed valuable relationships as an active member of many professional organizations. She practices law in Tarrant, Collin, Dallas, Travis and Denton counties.
Sally met her husband Adam, an investment strategist, while living in Austin after law school and they have three-year old daughter- Hannah and two rescued German Short Hair Pointers- Molly and Scout. Sally is an adjunct professor at SMU Dedman School of Law during the Spring semesters. Away from work, Sally enjoys exercise, which, according to her, includes long runs and extreme shoe shopping; and enjoys playing mahjong and also is taking classes to be a DJ.
Education & Admissions
- Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, J.D., 2009
- St. Mary’s University, B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, 2006
- Licensed in Texas
- Board Certified, Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America®, Family Law, 2018-2023
- Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 20014-2022
- Top 50 Women in Texas, Thomson Reuters, 2018-2022
- Top 100 DFW Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2003-2022
- Texas Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters, 2014
- Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, 2021-2023
- Best Lawyers Under 40, D Magazine, 2017-2023
- Elite Lawyer, 2018
- 20 Under 40, People Newspaper, 2020
Publications & Presentations
- Speaker, “Power Act- Pro Bono Representation of Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault- Basics of Family Law for Pro Bono Attorneys”, 2020
- Speaker, “A 360-degree View of Virtual Arbitration”, Virtual Arbitration Institute: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2020
- Speaker, “Boomer to Zoomer: A Basic Zoom Guide for Lawyers.”, Collin County Bar Association and Houston Bar Association, April 22, 2020
- Speaker, “Navigating COVID-19 Issues in Family Law”, Dallas Bar Association, April 13, 2020.
- Speaker, “Pro Bono”, Presentation at the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program CLE, April 23, 2019.
- Author, “Between Two Homes: Tips for Co-Parenting and Exchanges During a Pandemic” Texas Lawyer, June 8, 2020.
- Author, “INSIGHT: Tips for Honing ‘Tele-Advocacy’ Online Skills” Bloomberg Law, April 3, 2020.
- Author, “INSIGHT: Attorneys Need ‘Tele-Advocacy’ Tools as Courts Adapt to Coronavirus” Bloomberg Law, April 2, 2020.
- Author, ““Zoom”ing into a new era,” Texas Bar,March 19, 2020.
- Author, “Navigating Silver Foxes and Vixen Through Divorce” Bloomberg Law, October 2, 2019.
- Author, “Amazon’s Bezos Divorce To Be Exposed in SEC Filings” Bloomberg Law, January 29, 2019.
- Author, “In Splitting Assets, the Bezos Divorce Reveals Biases Against Stay-at-Home Partners” Texas Lawyer, January 30, 2019.
- Author, “Family Law Lessons in Reality TV”, Austin Young Lawyers Association March 2013
- Author, “Temporary Orders”, Volunteer Legal Services, December 2012 and December 2013
- Co-Author, “Family Law Toolkit”, Texas Young Lawyers Association, April 2013
- Author, “Case Phase Two: 45 Days from Filing to 30 Days Before Trial: Discovery, Motions, Mediations and Trial Preparations”, Advanced Family Law, 2014
- Presenter, “Kids Say the Darndest Things: An Academic and Demonstrative Look at the In Chambers Conference”, Advanced Family Law, 2015
- Author, “The Elusive Family Law Jury Trial”, Advanced Family Law, 2016
- Author, “Can I Un-See That? How to Manage Offensive Evidence”, Family Justice Conference, 2017
Professional & Community Involvement
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Fellow
- Dallas County Advocacy Center
- Board of Directors, 2019-Present
- Chair of the Board, 2022-2024
- The Family Place
- Partners Card Co-Chair, 2020
- Auxiliary President
- Southern Methodist Dedman School of Law- Emerging Leader Board, 2018-2023
- Texas Minority Counsel Program, Steering Committee, 2019-2022
- Commission for Lawyer Discipline, 2020-2023
- State Bar of Texas Board of Directors
- Director, 2016-2019
- Executive Committee, 2016-2019
- Computer and Technology Section- Circuits Editor, 2022-2023
- Texas Young Lawyers Association
- President, 2017-2018
- Vice-President, 2016-2017
- Secretary, 2015-2016
- Big City Minority Director, 2014-2016
- Austin Director, 2012-2014
- Director of the Year Award, 2014
- New Director of the Year Award, 2013
- Junior League of Dallas
- Luncheon Chair- 2024
- Board of Directors, VP of Training, 2019-2020
- Leadership Council, Provisional Chair, 2017-2018
- Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, 2009-2010, 2014-2019
- Leadership Class, 2014
- Austin Bar/Austin Young Lawyers – Leadership Academy
- Member, 2012
- Co-Chair, 2013-2014
- Austin Young Lawyers Association
- Director of the Year, 2012
- Board of Directors, 2011-2013
- Women’s Resource Fair, 2011-2014
- Coordinator of social services
- Austin Bar Gala- AYLA Auction Chair, 2010-2014
- Leadership Austin – Emerge Program, 2012
- University of Texas Law School Advocacy Program
- Litigation Institute Instructor, 2012 and 2013
- Mock Trial Coach, 2012 and 2013
- Dallas Museum of Art, Junior Associates
- Steering Committee, 2015-2017
- Genesis Young Leaders