Emery Richards Appointed Co-Chair of Houston Bar Association’s Gender Fairness Committee
Blank Rome Associate Emery Gullickson Richards has been appointed by Houston Bar Association (“HBA”) President Benny Agosto, Jr. to serve as a co-chair of the HBA’s Gender Fairness Committee for the 2019–2020 term. In this role, Emery will join her co-chairs, Kristin Kruse Lotz and Marissa Marquez, in leading the Committee’s mission of examining issues related to gender fairness in the legal profession and developing programs that provide a forum for the discussion of issues related to gender fairness, including seminars and networking opportunities.
“I am honored to support the important work of the Gender Fairness Committee and look forward to working with my dedicated colleagues on the Committee to continue to encourage, empower, and educate the Houston bar in its pursuit of gender equality,” said Emery.
Throughout her term, Emery will continue to lead outreach in the legal workplace to increase support for the HBA’s recently updated Gender Fairness Commitment Statement, which asks firms and legal departments to take “concrete action” to “materially increase” their number of women leaders by 2020. Blank Rome was one of the initial signatories to the Statement, with many of the Firm’s attorneys and professional staff supporting the outreach and publicity efforts surrounding its launch in 2018. More than 60 legal institutions have since signed on.
Emery will also support efforts relating to the Committee’s hallmark Speed Mentoring event, pioneered by co-chair Kristin Kruse Lotz, which facilitates one-on-one discussions between women attorneys in the initial stage of their careers and leading attorneys in the field. In addition, Emery is looking forward to the potential for partnership with the HBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and LGBTQ+ Committee, particularly in light of work by co-chair Marissa Marquez, calling attention to intersectionality in her 2018 Houston Lawyer magazine article. As a member of the Committee for the past two years, Emery has been involved in programs highlighting implicit bias, the Mansfield Rule, the impact senior attorneys can have on women’s career trajectories, LGBTQ+ issues, and women pioneers in the legal profession.
Blank Rome’s Houston attorneys have actively participated in and supported the Gender Fairness Committee and its various projects as well as related Houston-area gender equality events and publications. For example, Partner and Houston Office Chair Susan Bickley has served as a member of the Committee; Partner Keith Letourneau has served as a mentor for and Associates Anastasia Dodd and Munira Jesani have participated in the Committee’s Speed Mentoring events; and the Firm’s Houston office recently partnered with the Committee and the Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston to host an insightful conversation with Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
At Blank Rome, Emery focuses her practice on employment law and commercial litigation. She has experience representing businesses in the energy, maritime, manufacturing, chemical, software, real estate, healthcare, professional sports, staffing, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries, as well as governmental entities and officials. In addition to her involvement in the HBA, Emery is active in the Houston Young Lawyers’ Association. As part of her commitment to pro bono service, she provides employment counsel to Houston’s largest direct services provider to the homeless community.