Prosecutor Brandy Bailey goes to court to protect children on the Texas border.

Job: Assistant District Attorney 
Salary Range: The national, entry-level median salary is $52,827. Pay varies by jurisdiction. Bailey puts her range at $80,000 to $95,000. 
Worker: Brandy Bailey 
Age: 39
Education: Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering; juris doctor degree 
Company: Child Abuse Unit, Cameron County District Attorney's Office

Some experiences are so powerful that they change your career trajectory. A children's rights law clinic convinced Brandy Bailey to set aside her engineering background and devote her life to pursuing justice for suffering kids. The self-described introvert who once avoided public speaking now works as a lawyer who specializes in prosecuting child sexual abuse cases in the southern tip of Texas.

Getting to do the kind of work that moves her most took some time, though. Bailey, 39, spent years building a track record of success winning tough cases before she and a colleague pitched their boss on the idea of creating a special child-abuse unit.