I have practiced law for nearly 25 years, primarily representing employers in their relationships with their employees. I am Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I represent local Houston employers of all sizes, as well as national and international companies. Handling any legal matter requires knowing what is important to the client and presenting options that best meet that client’s needs. I team up with the client’s legal or human resource department to help them identify potential risks and then work with them to develop a strategy to accomplish what the client desires. I’m pleased to have been recognized by Texas Monthly Magazine as a “Super Lawyer” in the area of “Employment Litigation: Defense” every year since 2012.
While my work involves advocacy, much of it also calls upon my counseling skills. I work with my clients to meet their needs for training their human resource professionals, in house attorneys and management team on all aspects of employment from hiring through development and discipline to termination. They view the training I provide as an effective risk management tool, which also empowers management and supervisory staff.
In addition to the counseling work I perform for my own clients, I’ve written general articles for use by management on current employment topics. I have also collaborated with colleagues internally and externally to develop full-day legal education seminars and other programs to educate attorneys, human resources professionals, and executives on various employment law issues. In these seminars I present significant current issues in employment law. For example, I recently worked with a team to put together a panel of private and public sector experts and moderated a discussion about how changing demographics, education and technology will continue to shape the future energy industry workforce.
I have a particular interest in providing needed legal services to those who otherwise cannot afford it. Because of my interest and activity in the pro bono area, I was selected to serve as a member of our firm’s Pro Bono Committee, where I have helped to determine the firm’s pro bono strategy and identified different participation opportunities for firm attorneys in the Houston office. I have also liaised with various local non-profit organizations such as Tahirih Justice Center, Kids In Need of Defense, and Catholic Charities to identify pro bono matters for firm attorneys to take on, coordinate onsite training for the attorneys who want to assist in these matters, and provide feedback to the organizations from our firm to improve their pro bono process.
Additionally, I have personally represented a number of individuals pro bono. A colleague and I successfully represented a Texas prisoner who claimed violations of his civil rights. We received the Seyfarth Shaw Pro Bono Team Award and I also received an Honorable Mention for Seyfarth Shaw Pro Bono Associate of the Year for my work in this matter. I represented an undocumented teenage girl from Honduras seeking asylum based on gang-related persecution. I represented her through the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, at the Board of Immigration Appeals, and at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. I also represented an undocumented young woman from Cameroon seeking asylum after she was persecuted based on her sexual orientation. In addition to providing legal representation in these matters, I have also been a volunteer at both the Houston Food Bank and the hotline for the Houston Area Women’s Center.
I have actively participated in the mentoring program at the firm. I have served as a Lawyer Development Committee Advisor for a number of young lawyers, working with them to hone their writing, thinking, communication and legal skills. In that role I also have worked with young lawyers to prepare business and professional development plans, provided evaluation feedback on both an annual and ongoing basis, and counseled young lawyers. As a result of my experience I also assist colleagues in budgeting and managing matters for institutional clients, proactively identifying potential issues and driving efficiencies to keep costs down, improve communication, and continually improve the client relationship.