In this week’s edition of P.S., Texas Access for Justice resumes in-person legal clinics for veterans with multiple June clinic dates, Winston & Strawn’s Tom Melsheimer starts a civil and human rights-related fellowship at Notre Dame, Texas Appleseed launches an effort to make debt collection lawsuits easier for consumer defendants to understand (and participate in their own proceedings), and Kirkland & Ellis scores a pro bono win for a death row inmate in Houston. Natalie Posgate details the latest in the world of public service.
A Word With New HVL Executive Director Jessica Howton Stool
Jessica Howton Stool is nearly six weeks into her new job as executive director of Houston Volunteer Lawyers — the pro bono arm of the Houston Bar Association. Between tasks of her onboarding process, which have included acquainting herself with HVL’s staff, budget, and grant system, Howton Stool talked with The Lawbook’s Natalie Posgate about her passion for pro bono law, what attracted her to HVL, which area of law HVL needs the most lawyer volunteers for currently and what law firms can do to improve their pro bono capabilities.
Weil, Innocence Project & Dallas DA Obtain Exoneration for Innocent Man
Last Wednesday, a team of lawyers from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the Innocence Project and the conviction integrity division of Dallas’ District Attorney Office obtained the exoneration and actual innocence finding of a man after he served 26 years in prison and, upon his parole, was required to register as a sex offender. Natalie Posgate provides the background of the case and a Q&A with lead Weil partner Paul Genender.
P.S. — Foster Child Advocacy, Jury Duty, Mark Melton’s New COO
In this edition of P.S., Natalie Posgate highlights a grant received by St. Mary’s School of Law, an upcoming fundraising birthday party of a Houston nonprofit focused on supporting foster children, a big lateral move in the Dallas-area nonprofit world, June legal clinic dates in Dallas and also reflects on her two days serving on a jury this week. The verdict? It’s both entertaining and fulfilling if you actually show up.
Meaningful Change Requires Personal Investment
As female attorneys who have worked in-house and in various firm environments, we have seen firsthand the challenges that women and marginalized communities face in the legal profession.
While there has been progress in recent years, there are still far too few female partners and other underrepresented leaders in the field, such that we can’t rely on structural and institutional change alone. More progress cannot occur without lawyers across the spectrum investing in the next generation of lawyers from underrepresented communities.
P.S. — World Refugee Day, Hispanic Law Student Scholarships, Fundraising Successes (Updated)
In this edition of P.S., Natalie Posgate highlights the details of the DHLF’s Amanecer luncheon, the Genesis Women’s Shelter annual luncheon featuring Nicole Kidman, an upcoming nonprofit event featuring books and booze, and a grant recently provided to the Texas Legal Services Center.
P.S. — Boards, Banks & Babies on Doorsteps
In this week’s edition of P.S., Baker Botts receives an award from a longstanding pro bono client, Gray Reed announces a first-of-its-kind firmwide volunteer day, Texas A&M’s board of regents elects a notable chairman and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation announces a new partnership with a bank that will help provide funding for civil legal services to Texans in need. Natalie Posgate has the details.
P.S. — HBA’s Annual Dinner, Central TX Nonprofit’s Grant, Lawbook Foundation Donation Shoutouts
In this edition of P.S., Natalie Posgate highlights several lawyers in the Houston legal community receiving awards by the Houston Bar Association, a grant awarded to a Central Texas nonprofit supporting low-income domestic violence survivors and a special thanks to a recent string of contributors to the Texas Lawbook Foundation.
Baker Hughes’ Amy Blumrosen Fights For ‘Equity, Equality and Inclusion for All’
Amy Blumrosen is a jack of all trades, both in her litigation work in Baker Hughes’ legal department and in her work to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal industry. She chairs the legal and compliance department’s DEI council at the company and outside of work has advocated for the LGBTQ community through her work with Lambda Legal, the Texas Minority Council Forum and more. She also fights inequities through volunteer work at the Houston Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and more. All her efforts have landed her recognition by the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Houston Chapter and The Texas Lawbook as a finalist for the 2023 Houston Corporate Counsel Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion award.
“When she can’t get in through the door, she’s coming in through the window,” said Travis Torrence, a previous ACC winner and friend of Blumrosen. “If the window is closed, she’s going to break through the ceiling. Amy gets things done and achieves meaningful change.”
Blumrosen’s steadfast commitment to fight inequities comes from deep personal experience. This is her story.
Q&A: Amy Blumrosen, GLC of Baker Hughes
The Association of Corporate Counsel’s Houston chapter and The Texas Lawbook recently named Baker Hughes global litigation counsel Amy Blumrosen a finalist for the 2023 Houston Corporate Counsel Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion award.
In this Q&A, Blumrosen discusses with The Lawbook’s pro bono, public service and diversity writer Natalie Posgate how she approaches female attorney mentorship, why community and pro bono work is important in addition to DEI work and her views on where DEI is headed in the Texas corporate world.