In his role as the Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA), David Canales (HOU, Corp.) organizes events with lawyers of color, women lawyers, lawyers with disabilities and lawyers with non-traditional sexual orientations and gender identifications in order to focus on issues and challenges affecting these legal practitioners. HYLA is an organization of about 2,000+ lawyers and law students in the Houston area (www.hyla.org / http://www.hyla.org/hyla-committees/diversity-committee).
The Diversity Committee’s first event consisted of a Diversity Panel and Networking Reception, featuring a panel of diverse practitioners (including our very own Laura Maechtlen) who shared their experiences of working at an AMLAW 100 Law Firm or Fortune 500 company. The event was attended by approximately 100 people (80 or so of whom were diverse), including in-house counsel, outside counsel and law students. The event was sponsored by 11 law firms/individuals, including Seyfarth, who as an underwriter sponsor and host obtained a significant level of visibility. The goal for HYLA’s Diversity Committee is to utilize additional funds obtained via sponsorship to help secure funding for a law student scholarship.
The next event for HYLA’s Diversity Committee, for which the Firm is also a sponsor, is a Diversity Speed Mentoring and Networking Event currently scheduled for April 20, 2017. Diverse law students and newly licensed attorneys will attend as mentees, and senior attorneys and partners will attend as mentors. Mentors and mentees will sit down in 8-minute segments (speed mentoring) where mentors will be able to give advice to the mentee. Mentees will rotate through the room to engage with several of the mentors present.