Jamila M. Brinson
Jamila Marie Brinson is a zealous advocate for her clients. She understands that one size does not fit all and that each client’s legal needs and goals are unique. She listens to and partners with each client to craft and implement legal strategies to obtain the best possible result in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of distraction to her clients’ business. Jamila is fluent in Spanish and utilizes her language skills to the benefit of her clients.
Jamila is devoted to pro bono service and served as Co-Pro Bono Coordinator for the Houston office of Jackson Walker for several years. Currently, she coordinates the Firm’s participation in the Houston Bar Association AIDS Outreach Committee Annual Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program. She is also certified by the State Bar of Texas as a Guardian Ad Litem and volunteers as a pro bono attorney with various organizations including Houston Volunteer Lawyers and the University of Houston Law Center’s Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project.
Jamila is committed to upholding the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. She chairs Jackson Walker’s Diversity & Inclusion Counseling practice and actively participates in academic, community and law firm efforts to recruit, develop, retain and celebrate a more diverse and inclusive workforce. In support of those efforts, Jamila coordinates Jackson Walker Women (JW2) in the Firm’s Houston office. JW2 is a committee dedicated to creating opportunities for women attorneys to develop their professional skills, supporting their efforts to balance work and family, and providing a platform to generate business and pursue leadership positions. She also coordinates the Houston office’s participation in the University of Houston Law Center’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program, mentoring students, facilitating “Dress for Success” workshops and coordinating internships at the Firm for program participants to gain exposure to law firm practice.
Jamila brings a practical perspective to her work. Before going to law school, she was a United States Peace Corps Volunteer and worked in the area of HIV/AIDS education, advocacy, support, and care. While in law school, she interned in the office of Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur, Southern District of Texas, and was a Law Clerk in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. She was also a Legal Extern in the Office of General Counsel at Baylor College of Medicine, and with BP America, Inc. Jamila was selected as a University of Houston Law Center Health Law Fellow during the 81st Texas Legislature and worked as a Health Policy Analyst for former Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte.
B.A., cum laude, University of Pennsylvania
- Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar
- Dean’s List
J.D., University of Houston Law Center
- Dean’s Scholar
- Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Diversity Scholar
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas
Labor and Employment Law
Employment Advice and Litigation
Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Defend management and employers in employment litigation, conduct workplace internal investigations including into sexual harassment and sexual misconduct under Title IX, draft workplace policies, provide individualized training to both employees and management on discrimination, harassment and retaliation, conduct employment due diligence reviews for the sale or merger of a company.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Counseling sub-practice. Provide advice and counsel on D&I related employment issues, perform workplace culture assessments, design and facilitate customized DEI trainings and presentations, develop company policies and procedures that integrate DEI best practices and ensure legal compliance with employment workplace laws.
Financial Institutions, Business and Creditors’ Rights Litigation
Represent national, regional, and local banks and credit unions in employment disputes and litigation, lender liability, defensive actions, credit card litigation, contract disputes, and in the prosecution of collection matters. Handle business disputes in media, healthcare, alcohol beverage, oil and gas. Litigate issues involving confidentiality agreements, contract disputes and business torts.
Media, Trademark and Copyright Litigation
Defend media in defamation, copyright infringement, trademark violation, and unfair competition in the nature of false advertising disputes.
Labor and Employment (Advice and Counsel, Investigations and Litigation)
Jamila understands that employees are her clients’ most valuable resource and she partners with clients to proactively shape their workplaces. Whether she is providing advice and counsel on urgent employment issues or day-to-day workplace concerns, guidance on the implementation of new laws or regulations in the work environment or their rights and potential claims under applicable employment laws, Jamila ensures she first understands the needs of her clients and works cooperatively with them to satisfy those needs timely.
She represents employers and management in several industries, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, oil and gas, and non-profit, on complex issues that arise during the employment lifecycle from hiring to termination. This includes drafting and revising employment agreements and employee handbooks and policies, advising on employee leave and wage and hour concerns, particularly FLSA compliance, defending discrimination, retaliation and harassment (ADA, ADAAA, ADEA, PDA, OWBPA, Title VII, TCHRA, Equal Pay Act) claims; employee privacy, employment-related torts, obtaining injunctive relief to enforce or defend against covenants not to compete and/or trade secret claims, and COVID-19 related issues. Jamila also conducts efficient and effective employment due diligence reviews for the sale or merger of a company. Further, she provides diversity and inclusion counseling to help companies and management conduct culture assessments and devise and implement individualized diversity and inclusion strategies, programming and/or training.
- Obtained dismissal on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss of 8 out of 11 claims alleged by a former executive against its employer, and/or the employer’s board members and employees, including claims for alleged violations of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), ADEA and retaliation under the ADEA, and state law claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, defamation, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, ultra vires acts in violation of corporate by-laws, which resulted in successful settlement of the remaining claims;
- Successfully settled claims made by current employee against bank alleging race discrimination and national origin discrimination;
- Successfully settled claims made by current employee against bank alleging gender discrimination.
- Obtained summary judgment of racial discrimination, religious discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims against rehabilitation and healthcare center.
- Crafted retention and transition agreements for employer acquiring 50,000 new employees through buyout of another company and provided advice and counsel on the implementation of those agreements.
- Engaged as part of a two-person neutral investigation team to conduct witness interviews, analyze employment policies, and draft report for employer’s use in determining best approach to address allegations of improper behavior by law school faculty against other faculty.
- Successfully defended employer against claims made by potential beneficiaries to a deceased employee’s ERISA-governed accrued benefits, including obtaining an order from the Fifth Circuit affirming the lower court’s judgment.
- Successfully settled lawsuit on behalf of a skilled nursing facility involving claims of Title VII race discrimination.
Beyond the labor and employment area, Jamila has significant experience representing clients in a variety of litigation matters including the following:
Media, Trademark and Copyright Litigation
Jamila also enjoys defending media clients in varying litigation matters including defamation, copyright infringement, trademark violation, and unfair competition in the nature of false advertising. Her employment and commercial litigation background often proves useful to her media clients and she stands ready to provide an additional perspective on these issues when called upon to do so.
- Successfully defended television network against alleged copyright infringement claims.
- Successfully defended television network against alleged defamation claims resulting from online news story.
- Successfully defended international skincare company in an alleged trademark infringement and trade dress violation case resulting in settlement of all claims.
- Successfully defended two television production companies and an internationally known television host against unfair competition and false advertising claims brought under the Lanham Act and state law resulting in settlement of the lawsuit.
Financial Institutions, Business and Creditors’ Rights Litigation
Litigation is one of the most expensive, time consuming and stressful experiences that a business can face. Jamila is experienced in litigation, arbitration and mediation of a variety of civil business and commercial disputes, including, but not limited to breach of contract, fraud, partnership disputes, bank/lender liability, trade secrets, non-competes, oil and gas, and real estate.
Jamila also represents creditors of any size to aggressively seek what is owed. She has an uncanny knack for getting debtors to cooperate in the debt collection process and crafting creative settlements of the debt to resolve small to mid-sized disputes rather than engage in protracted litigation. However, when called for, Jamila passionately advocates for her clients before judicial and arbitral bodies to ensure their rights are well-represented.
- Successfully recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate debts owed to national insurance company.
- Extensive experience representing banks in suit on note actions as well as foreclosure litigation.
- Successfully obtained final judgment of over $3 million for large commercial entity against guarantor of a loan.
- Successfully negotiated a $100,000 settlement with debtor during early stages of AAA arbitration resulting in recovery of 90% of the debt with nominal attorneys’ fees incurred.
- Successfully defended international bank in various alleged breach of contract actions.
- Represented corporation seeking just compensation from involuntary land acquisition by the Texas Department of Transportation.
- “Top Women Lawyers” Award, Texas Diversity Counsel, 2021
- “Texas Rising Star,” Employment & Labor Law, Super Lawyers – Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters, 2019-2021
- Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers, 2020
- Named as a 2019 Diversity Champion by the National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law School Fair
- “Top 40 Under 40,” The National Black Lawyers, 2019
- Top 50 Women Lawyers Award, National Diversity Council, 2019
- Houston Bar Association’s President’s Award, 2018
- Co-Author, “Combatting COVID-19 Anti-Asian Violence in the Workplace, Jackson Walker LLP’s Labor & Employment Dispatch E-Newsletter (July 2021)
- Author, “Texas Legislative Update on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion-Related Bills,” Jackson Walker LLP’s Labor & Employment Dispatch E-Newsletter (June 2021)
- Co-Author, “Diversity & Inclusion Programs: Why, How, and When They Work,” Jackson Walker Summary (February 2021)
- Co-Author, “President Biden Says “No” to Discrimination Through Executive Actions,” Jackson Walker LLP’s Labor & Employment Dispatch E-Newsletter, February 2021
- Contributor, Employment Libel and Privacy Law 2021: 50-State Survey, Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) (since 2018)
- Contributor, Lessons from Successful African American Lawyers, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Hope’s Promise Publishing (2020)
- “National Labor Relations Board Establishes New Strategic Plan,” Jackson Walker’s Labor & Employment Dispatch eNewsletter (December 2019)
- Defamation and Business Disparagement Damages, State Bar of Texas 8th Annual Damages in Civil Litigation CLE (February 2016)
- “From ‘Welcome!’ to ‘Good Riddance’: Managing Employees during COVID-19,” Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resource Issues (August 2021)
- “Imposter Syndrome,” University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program Panel (June 2021)
- “Perspectives on Vaccines and Employment Law,” State Bar of Texas Labor & Employment Law Section’s Summer CLE Series (April 2021)
- “Changes in FLSA Collective Actions You Need to Know About,” Texas General Counsel Forum Virtual CLE Program (April 2021)
- Keynote Speaker, University of Houston Law Center 2020 Diversity Pre-Law Symposium and Law School Admissions Fair (October 2020)
- “Defending Non-Compete Clauses,” 5th Annual State Bar of Texas African American Lawyers Section Summit & Awards Luncheon, Houston, Texas 2020
- “Top 10 Mistakes Physician Employers Make & How to Avoid Them,” Presentation to Women Leading Medicine, Houston, Texas 2020
- “Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make & How to Avoid Them,” Jackson Walker LLP’s Annual Labor & Employment Symposium, Houston, Texas 2019
- “Diversity Leadership & Inclusion,” University of Houston Law Center’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program Diversity Speaker Panel & Awards Luncheon, Houston, Texas, 2019
- “Practicing Law: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly,” Prospective Law Student Symposium & Law School Fair, sponsored by the University of Houston Law Center’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program and National Diversity Council in recognition of Legal Diversity Week 2019
- “Whistleblowers and Retaliation: How to Prevent Getting Sued,” Jackson Walker LLP’s Labor & Employment Symposium, Dallas, Texas, 2018
- “Do Unto Others…or Else: Maintaining a Successful and Ethical Collections Practice,” Houston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program, 2016
In the News
- “What to Know about Texas’ New Sexual Harassment Laws,” Law 360 (August 31, 2021)
- “Texas Gov.’s Mask Stance Won’t Shift Employer Safety Plans,” Law 360 (May 19, 2021)
- “All In: When Jamila Brinson Signs Up for a Volunteer Role, She Comes With Sleeves Rolled Up,” 2021 Texas Rising Stars Magazine (March 22, 2021)
- “Houston experts weigh in on company mask policies, employee rights in the unmasked office,” Houston Business Journal (March 6, 2021)
- “Attorneys: Texas businesses can still require patrons, employees to mask up,” Houston Business Journal (March 4, 2021)
- “As Companies Contemplate a Return to the Office, Legal Questions Arise on Safety,” CoStar News (February 17, 2021)
Fast Takes Podcast
- “What Governor Abbott’s Executive Order on Masks and Occupancy Means for Texas Businesses” (March 9, 2021)
- “What’s Behind the Uptick in FLSA Employment Litigation in Texas?” (September 2, 2020)
- “Serving the Houston Bar Association’s AIDS Outreach Committee” (May 19, 2020)
- Vice Chairman, Employment Law Committee, Media Law Resource Center
- Member, HR Houston (affiliate of SHRM)
- Member, The Downtown Group (African-American Women Attorneys practicing in Harris County, Texas)
- Board Member & Marketing Committee Member, Chinquapin Preparatory School
- Volunteer Board Chair, West Orem Family YMCA
- Coordinator, Jackson Walker Women (JW2) Houston
- Houston Bar Association AIDS Outreach Committee
- Former Co-Chair
- Former Member
- Coordinator for Jackson Walker’s annual participation in the Committee’s Holiday Adopt-a-Family Drive benefitting individuals and families infected or affected by HIV/AIDS
- University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program
- Guest Speaker and Presenter
- National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law School Fair, 2007-Present
- Host Committee Member
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Fellows Program, 2020
- Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA), Leadership Academy Graduate, 2013-2014
- United States Peace Corps Volunteer, 2004-2006
- Co-authored HIV/AIDS Behavior Change Communication manual used countrywide in Saint Lucia, Eastern Caribbean