I usually start each introduction about myself with the following opening: My name is Andy Cates and I am a combination of the two most hated professions in the world -
Lawyer & Lobbyist.
I don't see it as a bad thing, though. I wear both as a badge of honor and I try to use that opening line to break down some stilted barriers between myself and my audience that lawyers and lobbyists are humorless, greedy, and lacking in self-awareness. But it does take a great deal of ambition and hard work to make it all work.
In my primary day job, I serve as General Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for the Texas Nurses Association. The Texas Nurses Association is the largest and oldest association of professional nurses in Texas, and the only nursing association which represents all nurses in all practices around the state. There I direct all legal affairs, policy development and political engagement for the association, as well as all lobby and PAC activity at the Texas Capitol. Prior to joining TNA, I served as legislative attorney for the Texas Association of REALTORS® as well as lead attorney for the Texas Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee, the largest PAC in Texas.
In the years leading up to this practice, I spent three years at the Texas Capitol working for various state representatives and clerking the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, lobbied for solar energy and healthcare clients, and worked in various areas of the law including mergers & acquisitions, healthcare, criminal prosecution, and criminal defense.
I am also the Managing Partner of Cates Legal Group PLLC and the author of Texas Ethics Laws Annotated, the first and only complete legal annotation of campaign finance and lobby laws in Texas (4th edition now available at www.texasethicslaws.com). I am a contributing author for the Texas Legislative Law Handbook (2nd edition available at www.txlegelaw.com) and I am also Managing Partner and Founder of Lobby Days, a new software service that makes the set-up and administration of lobby days at the capitol easier for organizations (www.lobbydays.com).
Additionally, I try to be involved in my profession as well as my community as much as my time will allow. I'm lucky to be a Founding Member and now Immediate Past Chair for the State Bar of Texas Legislative & Campaign Law Section, where I continue to spearhead a petition to create the nation’s first legal specialization in Legislative & Campaign Law.
I received my B.A. in International Politics from Trinity University and a J.D. from Texas Tech School of Law in 2007.
I grew up in North Dallas, but I now live in South Austin with my wife Nicole and son Dylan.