JW Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter – December 2023

December 4, 2023 | Newsletters

View all Diversity & Inclusion Newsletters »


Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, Josué Galván joined Jackson Walker’s Fast Takes podcast to share his family’s story and how his experiences have shaped his legal practice at JW. Josué is a product of the Rio Grande Valley. He was born in McAllen, raised in Palmview, went to grade school in Mission and undergrad in Edinburg, and taught middle school science in La Jolla. When he left the RGV to attend law school at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Josué experienced culture shock. Listen to the episode »

Día de los Muertos

Jackson Walker’s Hispanic Lawyer Resource Group sponsored a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration in our Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio offices.

Día de los Muertos acknowledges the symbiotic relationship between life and death and is meant to remember loved ones who have passed away. While this is usually celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, many Hispanic families living in the United States also celebrate it on Halloween.


Mansfield Rule 2022-2023 Certification

Jackson Walker proudly announces our achievement of Mansfield Rule Certification status. Our firm is one of more than 240 law firms that successfully completed Diversity Lab’s Certification Program. Mansfield measures the structural changes and steps our firm has taken over the past year to ensure our paths to leadership are open and transparent to all qualified lawyers. Read more »

Honoring Our Veterans

Jackson Walker gratefully honors all our military veterans. We greatly appreciate all who shared their stories with us in our tribute, honoring our JW friends and family members who served in the military.

Take a listen to this special JW Fast Takes podcast episode featuring Roderick Faulk and Brian Pettis discussing their military service and the profound impact the U.S. Air Force has had on shaping their legal careers, as well as how they are using their experience to help fellow veteran business owners succeed. Thank you to our veterans and their family members for their service!

JW Introduces New South Korea Practice

Jackson Walker is thrilled to introduce our new South Korea Practice page! Led by Sang Shin, our team of dedicated and experienced attorneys know the Texas market and are well-equipped to assist Korean clients in their growth and expansion efforts. Visit page »

Announcing Our Diverse NFA Class

Jackson Walker is strengthened by hiring and training attorneys who have excellent academic records, demonstrated leadership ability, strong work ethic, and diverse backgrounds that reflect our clients and the communities we serve.

This year, we welcomed 19 new associates to expand our Bankruptcy, Restructuring, & Recovery, Corporate & Securities, Finance & Banking, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, Trial & Appellate Litigation, and Trusts & Estates practices.

West Bakke
San Antonio, Litigation
Connor Kidd
Austin, Litigation
Nina Manansala
Dallas, Litigation
Maha Ghyas
Houston, Bankruptcy
Luke Bohmfalk
Austin, Corporate
Sami Landon
Dallas, Corporate
Kelly McConnell
Fort Worth, Corporate
Bailey Tulloch
San Antonio, Litigation
Caitlin Ferrell
San Antonio Corporate
Kendahl Lee
Houston, Real Estate
Emily Norman
Dallas, Labor & Employment
Morgan Ward
Austin, Litigation
Larry Gibson
Houston, Corporate
Taylor Leger
Houston, Litigation
Trevor Paul
Fort Worth, Litigation
Paige Welch
Austin, Intellectual Property
Emma Hackney
Dallas, Finance
Emily Little
Austin, Trust & Estates
Chris Rogers
Dallas, Corporate


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 August 2023 through October 2023:

Ali Andrews
Senior Counsel, Austin
Shams Merchant
Associate, Fort Worth
Fred Sultan
Senior Counsel, Austin


Recognizing Achievements

During the third through fourth quarter of 2023, the Firm received the following recognitions:

  • Jackson Walker earned 159 rankings in the 2024 edition of Best Law Firms by Best Lawyers. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker achieved Mansfield Certification status. Our firm is one of more than 240 law firms that successfully completed Diversity Lab’s Certification Program. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker has been named a 2023 Top Performer by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). The Top Performer award recognizes those organizations in the top 20 percent for participation in LCLD programs and activities. Read more »
  • BTI Consulting Group named Jackson Walker among its selective list of 22 law firms that stand out as BTI Intimidating Opponents in its report on the litigation outlook for 2024. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker ranked in the top 40 out of our class (251-600 attorneys) for the 2023 Pro Bono Ranking. Read more »
  • The American Lawyer cited new research which named Jackson Walker’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring, & Recovery group as the top local debtor’s counsel in the nation so far this year. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker participated in the 2023 Regional Assessment by Greater Houston Partnership’s One Houston Together. The regional assessment is an important tool for business planning and advancing progress on DEI.

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

  • The Best Lawyers in America recognized 287 Jackson Walker attorneys in its 2024 edition, including 12 Lawyers of the Year and 80 Ones to Watch. Notably, Emilio Nicolas was named among the “Lawyers of the Year” for Copyright Law. Read more »
  • 72 Jackson Walker attorneys were selected to Thomson Reuters’ 2023 “Texas Super Lawyers” list. Each nominee is evaluated on his or her professional accomplishments, peer recognition, and community involvement. Congratulations to Sue Ayers, Amy Baird, Kathleen Tanner Beduze, Jamila Brinson, Chevazz Brown, Marilyn Brown, Jennifer Caughey, Stephanie Chandler, Greta Cowart, Jennifer Freel, Alex Frutos, Luke Gilman, Meghan Griffiths, Dawn Holiday, Julia Mann, Retta Miller, Christopher Mugica, Cindy Brotman Nelson, Sarah Patel Pacheco, Leisa Talbert Peschel, Wasif Qureshi, Joshua Romero, Kathy Silver, and Robert Soza on their recognition! Read more »
  • Julia Mann and Sarah Patel Pacheco were selected to the “Top 50: Women Super Lawyers” and “Top 100: Texas Super Lawyers” lists for 2023. Additionally, Julia was selected to the “Top 50: Central/West Texas Super Lawyers” lists and Sarah to the “Top 100: Houston Super Lawyers” list. Read more »
  • Amanda Crouch and Julia Mann have been recognized among the Top 10 General Commercial Litigation Lawyers Commanding Influence in San Antonio 2023 by Business Today. Read more »
  • Amy Baird, Marilyn Brown, Jennifer Caughey, Laura Cordova, Jennifer Freel, Erica Benites Giese, Julia Mann, Jonathan Neerman, Emilio Nicolas, Leisa Talbert Peschel, Wasif Qureshi, Amy Osberg Roberts, Joshua Romero, Robert Soza, Nate St. Clair, Shannon Zmud Teicher, and Christina Vitale were recognized among Lawdragon‘s inaugural list of the 500 leading litigators in America. Read more »
  • Jamila Brinson, Greta Cowart, Richard Garza, Dawn Holiday, Sarah Mitchell Montgomery, and David Schlottman were recognized among Lawdragon‘s lists of the 500 leading practitioners in corporate employment law. Read more »
  • 44 Jackson Walker attorneys in the San Antonio office who were included in Scene in S.A.’s 2023 “Best S.A. Lawyers” list. Georgina Buckley-Graham, Art Cavazos, Stephanie Chandler, Lauren Ciminello, Amanda Crouch, Roderick Faulk, Josué Galván, Rick Garza, Erica Benites Giese, Gigi Girling, Ann Leafstedt, Jesse Lotay, Dyana Mardon, Daniel Maldonado, Julia Mann, Shari Mao, Carolyn Mulvey, Kati Orso, Brian Pettis, Cassie Ross, Leah Smith Sanchez, and Robert Soza were recognized. 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 August to October 2023 were handled by teams that were led by or included women and diverse attorneys:

  • Jennifer Caughey secured a Fifth Circuit win in Loeb v. Mako, L.L.C. d/b/a Padua Realty Company, which sets critical precedent as to licensing, contracts, and copyright law. This victory for Jackson Walker clients not only addressed important legal principles, but it also ended a long journey defending against claims seeking billions of dollars in a relatively new area of copyright litigation. The team included Maggie Burreson. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker served as legal counsel to Henry Energy LP and Henry Resources LLC in the sale of Henry’s Midland and Delaware basin assets to Vital Energy. The all-equity transaction was a part of agreements totaling approximately $1.16 billion which will increase Vital Energy’s scale in the Permian Basin. The team included Ann Leafstedt, Courtney Wade, Heather Waters, and Graeme Hawkins. Read more »
  • Jackson Walker represented Foundation for Affordable Rental Housing Holdings Inc. (d/b/a Harmony Housing) as lead counsel in the sale of a national portfolio of 121 affordable housing projects to The Michaels Organization and related affiliates for approximately $1.36 billion – the largest transaction in Harmony Housing’s history. The team included Taylor Lamb, Elizabeth Cone, Mahira Khan, Maggie Lu, Abigail Hogan, Tim Dominguez, and Caroline Capili. Read more »


  • Leah Smith Sanchez has been selected to participate in the Real Estate Council of San Antonio’s (RECSA) Leadership Development Program. Read more »
  • Caroline Capili was accepted into the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) Leadership Academy. Read more »
  • Mario Perez Dolan has been selected as a member of Dallas Regional Chamber’s (DRC) Leadership Dallas Class of 2024. Read more »
  • Graham McCall was accepted into the Leadership Arts Institute Class of 2024 in Dallas County.
  • Jamila Brinson received the DEI Influencer Award during the 2023 DEI National Convention.
  • Josué Galván serves as president-elect of San Antonio Young Lawyer Association.
  • Kristhy Peguero received the 2023 TMA Turnaround/Transaction of the Year Award for Pipeline Health System.
  • Jorge Padilla was voted as a member of the National Board of Directors for AVANCE.

Staff Spotlight

Holly McCleary was featured in the Fort Worth Report, where she shared insights into her leadership roles with the American Advertising Federation—Fort Worth (AAF) and the Legal Marketing Association (LMA). Furthermore, Holly has been selected as one of the “32 under 32” honorees by Ad 2 Dallas. Read the article »


Celebrating LGBTQ+ Leaders

On September 19, Fred Sultan represented Jackson Walker at the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association and Leadership Celebration in Washington, D.C.

The LGBTQ+ Bar’s mission is to promote justice and diversity in and through the legal profession.

HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo

Jamila Brinson severed on the Host Committee for the 10th Annual National HBCU Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo 2023 held on September 22-23. The summit is the nation’s only major national pre-law event created especially for HBCU students and alumni interested in law school and becoming lawyers.

Houston AABA Gala

On September 22, JW Houston attorneys attended the Asian American Bar Association (AABA) of Houston Gala & Silent Auction.

Texas Minority Counsel Program

Nate St. Clair, Dana Nguyen, and a few other JW colleagues attended the Dallas Reception for the Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP), hosted at the Mary Kay offices located in Addison. Nate and Dana proudly served on the Dallas reception committee. Nate is also a long-standing member of the TMCP Statewide Steering Committee.

The Evolution of D&I at FutureCast 2023

Jackson Walker proudly served as a sponsor at the FutureCast 2023 conference. Suzan Kedron and Chad Cole were panelists at the award-winning diversity & inclusion event on October 20. Additionally. Suzan was honored with The Champion Award as an Inaugural Honoree.

The panel focused on the evolution of diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives and the future of D&I, providing valuable insight from legal industry leaders who have been instrumental in shaping D&I efforts.

SMU Dedman Women in Law

On September 19, Mary Emma Karam and Lindsey Marsh Brown joined SMU Dedman School of Law for a speed-dating style discussion, speaking candidly with students and young lawyers about navigating the practice of law as a woman in 2023.

JW2 Houston Cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres

On September 20, our JW2 group in Houston hosted a Cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres event for our clients at FLORA. It was a great evening filled with laughter, great conversations, and delicious drinks.

Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston Gala Cigar Bar

JW Sponsored the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston (IHCH) Gala Cigar Bar on September 23. Guest including Kelly Cobb enjoyed a festive evening to celebrate Hispanic culture and support educational opportunities for Houston youth.

SABA Dallas Gala

Shayan Gaziani and Manonh Soumahoro attended SABA Dallas’ 7th Annual Benefit Gala held on September 9 at the Perot Museum of Nature Science.

San Antonio Artist Gini Garcia

On October 12, our San Antonio JW2 group hosted a networking event that showcased the remarkable talents of local glass artist and designer Gini Garcia. She graciously shared her inspiring journey to success.

Covenant House Guts + Glory Corporate Obstacle Course

Kurt Nondorf, Christian Triantaphyllis, Noah Speck, Victoria Argeroplos, Gabriela Barake, David Parker, Tori Emery, and Austin Yancy participated in the Covenant House Guts + Glory Corporate Obstacle Course Challenge. Teams from local companies competed and raised funds in support of youth experiencing homelessness. Our JW team won the trophy for “Fan Favorite”!

Central Market Cooking Demo

Our Austin Jackson Walker Women crew hosted a live cooking demonstration at Central Market on September 5. Our attorneys and guests got to enjoy watching a cooking demo and then ate what was prepared.

HYLA Leadership Academy

Michael Drab and Caroline Capili attended a donor event for Team Catapult, the non-profit organization supported by HYLA’s Leadership Academy.

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.

© 2023 Jackson Walker