JW Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter – August 2022

August 1, 2022 | Newsletters

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Connecting With Summer Associates

As part of our Summer Associate Program, each city hosts social events to provide summer associates with the opportunity to get to know as many of our attorneys as possible so that they can get a feel for our culture and find out if our firm is a great fit for them. These events also provide our attorneys with the opportunity to get to know them. Learn more about our summer program »


Moving the Needle

The Mom Project and Jackson Walker have joined forces to advance mothers in the legal industry. This exciting partnership will move the needle on diversity and successful business outcomes at our firm. Additionally, as a family-friendly employer, we provide opportunity and growth for all in the workplace. Learn more and view available positions »

Devanshi Somaya and her two children were featured in JW’s recruiting campaign with The Mom Project.

Welcoming New Diverse Talent

As we continue to intensify our efforts to recruit diverse talent, we are proud to have welcomed the following women and diverse attorneys from May 2022 through July 2022:

Christina Vitale
Partner, Houston
Lorin Williams Combs
Senior Counsel, Dallas
Dana Murphy
Senior Counsel, Dallas
Brittani Rollen
Senior Counsel, Fort Worth
Gabriela Barake
Associate, Houston
Georgina Buckley-Graham
Associate, San Antonio
Anne Derrig
Associate, Austin
Tim Dominguez
Associate, Houston
Brandon Flowers
Associate, Dallas
Lauren Hunsaker
Associate, Houston
Victoria Morris
Associate, Dallas
Kaitlin Prior
Associate, Dallas

Channeling Struggles to Create Opportunity

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, The Texas Lawbook spotlighted Sang Shin as he described his experience as an Asian American growing up in North Carolina.

“My upbringing – as an immigrant who grew up in a place where there wasn’t much cultural diversity or support – inspires me each day to work with the AABA of Houston to create opportunities for Asian Americans whose paths to success may resemble my own – unconventional and shaped more like a winding road.”

Read more »

Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Shari Mao and Sang Shin joined the Fast Takes podcast to share how their upbringings shaped their careers. Listen to the episode »

Reflections of a Former Federal Law Clerk

In the March/April 2022 edition of The Houston LawyerChevazz Brown shared a reflective vignette about his personal and professional lessons learned as a law clerk to the Honorable Kenneth M. Hoyt

“Greater diversity among law clerks creates a more diverse judicial pipeline. For this reason, initiatives across the nation—including in Houston—work to educate and encourage diverse lawyers and law students to consider a career on the bench and to pursue a clerkship to help achieve that goal.”

Read more »

Achieving Results for Clients

Attorneys across various practices and backgrounds come together to serve the needs of our clients. From the pitch to the end result, our teams include women and diverse attorneys who are involved at every stage of the representation. The following matters from April to July 2022 were handled by teams that were led by or included women and diverse attorneys:

  • Jennifer Caughey co-led the representation of Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure Inc. in securing a Texas Supreme Court ruling that greenlit its proposed high-speed rail project. The team included Danica Milios. Read more »
  • Amanda Crouch co-led the representation of Scurry County Judge Dan Hicks in a lawsuit involving property, a sports shooting range, and a guardianship. Read more »
  • Dawn Holiday co-led the representation of a German manufacturer of mobile electrification products as the respondent with a counterclaim in an employment arbitration tribunal by the American Arbitration Association. On May 20, 2022, the arbitrator awarded the client, who was the respondent in the counterclaim, the full amount presented in the damages model, including pre- and post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees. Read more »
  • Shannon Zmud Teicher assisted the Dallas Zoo in an agreement with Silver Creek Materials that allowed for the creation of Zoo Poo, a compost product made with manure from the Zoo’s elephants, giraffes, and other herbivores. In addition to diverting over 1 million pounds of solid waste from the landfill in 2021 alone, the Dallas Zoo will donate a portion of the proceeds to support its global conservation efforts. Read more »
  • The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in a case involving qualified immunity for the the Coleman County sheriff, jailer, and jail administrator. Amanda Crouch co-led the representation of Coleman County, and Danica Milios served on the team. Read more »
  • The U.S. Supreme Court held in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (No. 20-1530) that EPA may not rely upon Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to “force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal.” Jennifer Caughey and Danica Milios served on the Jackson Walker team that filed amicus briefs in support of the petitioners. Read more »

Recognizing Achievements

From April through July 2022, the firm received the following recognitions:

  • Chambers Associate ranked Jackson Walker as a Top 25 firm for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Associate Satisfaction Surveys for 2022. View the Firm’s profile on Chambers Associate »
  • Jackson Walker ranked #13 among law firms nationwide for racial and ethnic diversity in the 2023 Vault Rankings. View the full list of rankings »
  • Jackson Walker improved its ranking in The American Lawyer‘s Diversity Scorecard to #70, up from #73 in 2021 and #95 in 2020. Among other AmLaw 200 firms headquartered in Texas, JW proudly received the fourth-highest ranking. See the full list »

In addition, the following women and diverse individuals received notable achievements:

The Diversity Movement

The Diversity Movement spoke with Suzan Kedron and Chad Cole about Jackson Walker’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, including the actions our firm has taken since 2020 to create a more equitable environment for all. Read the full story »


  • Art Cavazos serves as an advisor of Justice Technology Association, which supports change makers who use technology to build meaningful and accessible solutions that help people resolve everyday legal issues.
  • Jackie Staple joined the 2022 Board of Directors of Fresh Arts, a Houston nonprofit that provides programs to help advance the careers of local artists and creative entrepreneurs.
  • Meredith Tavallaee graduated from the Leadership Arts Institute as a member of the Dallas Class of 2022. Founded in 1989, the Leadership Arts Institute is a program of the Business Council for the Arts, a nonprofit that builds business and arts partnerships to advance arts and culture in North Texas. Read more »
  • Amanda Van Deusen was elected president of the Houston Association of Professional Landmen (HAPL) for the 2022-2023 term.


Alley Theatre Sponsorship

Jackson Walker is proud to sponsor Alley Theatre, a Houston-based theatre that is dedicated to making sure its Education and Community Engagement programs are available to students and schools at the highest levels of need.

In the 2021-22 school year, Alley served 83 unique schools in 31 school districts, 95% of which were non-majority white, including 46 schools which were majority Hispanic and 28 schools which had no racial majority. 74% of schools were economically disadvantaged, meaning that more than 50% of their students qualify for free or reduced cost lunch. Additionally, Alley recruited 23 Teaching Artists who are 65% BIPOC professional artists with 25% fluent Spanish speakers.

Chip Babcock serves on the Board of Directors, and Joel Glover serves on the Advisory Board.

St. Mary’s Breakfast Study Break

Jackson Walker sponsored St. Mary’s breakfast study break, which was attended by Bobby Biedrzycki and Daniel Maldonado.

Federal Courthouse Dedication Reception

Erica Benites Giese participated in the special federal courthouse dedication ceremony in San Antonio and to facilitate Jackson Walker’s sponsorship. Guests were able to attend a U.S. Naturalization ceremony. Erica also got a special behind-the-scenes tour of the conference room featuring photos donated by the Federal Bar Association San Antonio Chapter and taken by Judge Bert Richardson.

Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award Luncheon

Jackson Walker sponsored the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award Luncheon on May 10, 2022. The luncheon raised over $300,000 to support work in ADL’s Southwest Region.

‘Notorious RBG’ Exhibition

Jackson Walker served as a title sponsor of the Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg exhibit at the Holocaust Museum Houston. Our Houston JW2 group hosted a private viewing of the exhibit on May 11, 2022.

View the event gallery »

LBJ Moral Courage Award Dinner

Jackson Walker sponsored Holocaust Museum Houston’s Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Dinner on May 17, 2022.

United Way Campaign

On June 7, 2022, our Houston office assembled “Book Buddy” Literacy Kits for Houston-area children as part of United Way of Greater Houston’s challenge to create 2,022 kits for the organization’s centennial celebration.

Equality’s Night Out

Jackson Walker sponsored Equality’s Night Out presented by the Houston Leadership Committee of Lambda Legal. The event was held at LIFE HTX on June 16, 2022. Our firm has long supported Lambda Legal’s ongoing fight for equality, and has served as a sponsor of the annual Equality’s Night Out since its inception. We proudly recognize Kathy Silver for co-chairing the event and for serving on the Houston Leadership Committee.

These materials are made available by Jackson Walker for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and are not a substitute for legal advice from qualified counsel. The laws of other states and nations may be entirely different from what is described. Your use of these materials does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Jackson Walker. The facts and results of each case will vary, and no particular result can be guaranteed.

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