Joan graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in finance. She received her law degree from Texas Tech School of Law, where she served on the Board of Barristers. Currently, Joan is an attorney with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency whose mission is to protect federal employees from improper personnel actions including retaliation for whistleblowing. She previously worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and an Assistant District Attorney. Joan is a former Chair of the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.