Slav Talavera


I was born in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico to a Russian Mother and a Mexican Father. My parents met in Moscow where my father went to study his undergraduate degree. When my mother was pregnant my parents moved to Mexico to be closer to my father’s family and they began work as educators. After only a few years in Mexico my parents decided that they wanted to continue their education in America and began applying for visas so that we could immigrate to this country as a family. The University of Texas accepted my parents into their PhD program and allowed for me to come into the United States with my parents. I have been a longhorn fan ever since.

After my parents received their PhDs from UT they both accepted jobs as professors in Joplin, Missouri and I began middle school in Missouri. I graduated high school in Missouri and to stay close to my family I decided to attend Washington University in St. Louis on a scholarship. I graduated with dual degrees from Arts & Sciences and the Business school and decided to work after college. I found the corporate life to be monotonous and without passion and made a decision to attend law school after only a year of work in the business sector. I had excelled in debate both in high school and college and decided that public speaking and oration were better suited for me than the corporate life.

I attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas for law school in my desperate attempt to get back to Texas after having to deal with Midwest winters for such a long time. I graduated in 2010 and began litigating immediately with Legal Aid. I wanted to help people who were suffering, and I began doing Veteran’s and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) work immediately to help those who needed it most. I found the courtroom and litigation to be the most rewarding work I had ever done in my life. I have continued to work in Family Law since the beginning of my career and I have devoted my entire career exclusively to family issues.

My wife, Elizabeth Shehan, and I have a toddler named Dmitri that has helped me to understand the difficulties of being a parent more than any case or legal argument ever could. In our spare time my wife and I enjoy competing against each other in fantasy football and various board games. My wife and I both worked in restaurants through college and you can find us around Austin being hypercritical of restaurants and in search of the best Austin tacos. I speak Spanish, Russian and English and am always excited to get to speak to other native speakers around Austin.


  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization
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  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2018
  • Avvo Client's Choice Award 2017
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  • Brain Walters and Jake Gilbreath both worked on my divorce case which resulted in a very favorable outcome. I recommend Brian and Jake since they are both very experienced and knowledgeable. Questions asked were almost always answered the same day. I highly recommend this law firm.

    - Michael V.

  • Brian and Jake listened carefully to my situation. They prepared all appropriate court documents and filed them the next day. Their staff was pleasant to deal with and very organized. Although I was under a great deal of stress from my spouse's emotional abuse, their prompt and appropriate legal ...

    - Cindy

  • Great law firm. Very professional. They fought for me and my son. I am pleased with my case. I will highly recommend this law firm. Thank you.

    - Ogechi

  • Mr. Walters has been a lifesaver for me. My ex-wife kidnapped my children and the police would not help me recover them using my custody order. I contacted Brian and we were in front of a judge the next day and my children were returned within hours after that. The proceeding family court case that ...

    - William I.

  • Jim is an exceptional attorney with his client's upmost interest at heart. From the beginning, through the time he brought my case to closure, Jim displayed such care and attention to detail. He will shephard you through a very difficult and emotional process with nothing but grace, compassion and ...

    - Shannon

  • Jake Gilbreath has been extremely helpful and impactful in my recent divorce proceedings. Initially my divorce was amicable, but degraded quickly with legal wrangling on the part of my wife's counsel. Immediately after Jake was engaged, things snapped back to a realistic agenda and a prompt ...

    - David P.

How We Treat Our Clients

When it comes to our clients, we have a unique approach—an approach our lawyers have cultivated after representing thousands of clients over the years. When you trust your family law case to our competent team of Texas divorce attorneys, we offer:

  • Direct Contact With Our Attorneys

    You deserve direct and frequent communication with your attorney, not staff. As attorney practices grow, the usual reaction is to hire more staff. We’ve been guilty of the same thing in the past, but we learned and improved. The problem with this approach is attorneys get isolated from clients and spend most of their time managing the staff (at the client’s expense). We’ve now structured our offices so that you will be dealing with an attorney on all matters, not an employee of the attorneys.

  • Fearless Use of the Court System

    Many attorneys fail to use the court system to their clients’ advantage. In fact, many will shy away from trial and try to convince their clients to settle when a better outcome can likely be achieved in court. The reason for this is that a court hearing is stressful for the attorney, difficult to predict, and may expose the attorney’s limitations. We will not pressure you into a bad settlement; in fact, we’ve found that our clients get a better outcome when we present their case to a judge or jury.

  • The Truth, Even When It Hurts

    Attorneys, like everyone, tend to tell people what they want to hear. This is especially true at the beginning of representation (to get you signed up). We don’t think this is helpful to clients, and in fact, it harms a client’s case. We are not shy about telling our clients what we think they need to do. As a client of our firm, you will get the truth—good or bad—from us at all times.

  • Strong Legal Guidance

    The most difficult time you will ever have making the right decisions is in the middle of a family law dispute. Many clients either want to rush things and get them over with, or they want to avoid conflict with the other side. We don't shy away from telling the client what we think is the best course of action. Of course, what to do is ultimately up to our clients, but they never lack for strong, helpful guidance.

Turn to Walters Gilbreath, PLLC

Our attorneys are here to listen and help you navigate the process.
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