An interview with Jackson Walker associate Valery Piedra was featured in the “Young Lawyer Spotlight” section of The Houston Lawyer: Media & Entertainment Law September/October issue, discussing the importance of her family, community, and her passion for media and entertainment law.
The Houston Lawyer: Tell me a little bit about your background.
Valery Piedra: I am Colombian-American. I was raised in a Spanish-speaking household and was taught the importance of community early on in life. My mom, Yolanda, was a stay-at-home mom and dedicated her entire life to her children and family. My dad, James, is an engineer and at certain points of our lives had multiple jobs so he could provide for us. My family taught me the importance of perseverance and the power of community–lessons that I carry with me every day.
The Houston Lawyer: Where do you work and what is your practice area?
Valery Piedra: I work at Jackson Walker LLP in the Corporate & Securities section, where I work on transactions in a variety of industries, including film/tv, sports, and fashion.
The Houston Lawyer: Where did you go to school and when did you graduate?
Valery Piedra: I went to The University of Texas at Austin for undergrad and graduated with a B.S. in advertising. I worked in advertising/sales during and after my time at UT. I went to law school at South Texas College of Law Houston and graduated in May 2019.
The Houston Lawyer: What offerings did South Texas provide for someone who wants to go into entertainment or media law?
Valery Piedra: South Texas has an entertainment law course and has student organizations dedicated to entertainment & sports law.
The Houston Lawyer: Why entertainment law?
Valery Piedra: Entertainment law is such an important and fascinating area of the law. Your job is to help create stories. Whether it is producing a movie, publishing a book, curating art, or protecting designs. Every artist has a story to tell, and it is our job to help make it happen.
The Houston Lawyer: Why did you choose to join the HBA as a young lawyer?
Valery Piedra: I wanted to learn more about the legal world. I found it fascinating how so many different areas of law interconnect and always thought it was interesting to learn about other practices. Also, the HBA is a great way to get involved in the Houston community and give back to our beautiful and vibrant city.
The Houston Lawyer: What are you involved in within the HBA?
Valery Piedra: I am a member of the Corporate Counsel Section, as well as an officer of the Entertainment and Sports Law Section.
The Houston Lawyer: What keeps you grounded outside of the practice?
Valery Piedra: Yoga and time with my family.
The Houston Lawyer: What’s your best piece of advice for young lawyers?
Valery Piedra: Stay curious and keep discovering.
For more, you can find Valery’s Q&A on page 34 of The Houston Lawyer: Media & Entertainment Law September/October issue.
Valery advises clients in various business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring, private offerings, startup counseling and serving as outside general counsel for companies. Valery works in a broad range of industries including media and entertainment and real estate. While in law school, Valery was active in South Texas College of Law Houston’s advocacy program, participated in the Trademark Clinic, and served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Alfred H. Bennett of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Since Jackson Walker’s founding in 1887, our attorneys have represented some of the most influential companies and business leaders in the world. Today, we remain firmly rooted in Texas while serving clients around the globe. With more than 450 attorneys across seven offices, we are the largest firm in Texas and have been recognized by Law360 as a “Texas Powerhouse” and an “elite law firm” that regularly provides counsel to industry-leading clients on highly complex transactions ranging from millions to billions. To explore the Firm’s experience in mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, and other strategic alliances, visit the Corporate & Securities practice page.