Diversity and Inclusion
Porter Hedges strives to attract, retain, and promote outstanding lawyers and other professionals who reflect the marketplace, communities, and clients that we serve.
At Porter Hedges, we believe that diversity of viewpoints, experience, and backgrounds enhances the quality of our work and enables us to better understand our clients' needs in order to exceed their expectations.
Our goal is to attract, retain, support, and promote outstanding lawyers and professionals who reflect the marketplace, communities, and clients that we serve. We are committed to achieving greater diversity, not just for our firm, but also for our profession.
Through the development of programs and policies, the Porter Hedges Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Committee leads the effort to ingrain diversity into the fabric of the firm. The Committee works to assess the firm’s diversity strengths and shortcomings, engages in strategic initiatives that promote diversity within the firm and community, and cultivates an inclusive work environment with a heightened appreciation for each of our unique backgrounds.
1L Diversity Fellowship Program
The Porter Hedges 1L Diversity Fellowship is awarded annually to a first-year law student with a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. The fellowship program provides the selected candidate the opportunity to receive up to $25,000 in stipends during their participation in the program. Additional details can be found here.
Diversity Scholarship at Texas Southern University
The Porter Hedges Diversity Scholarship at Texas Southern University (TSU) is awarded annually to an undergraduate student at TSU who is interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession upon graduation. The scholarship provides the selected student with scholarship money up to $10,000 and the opportunity to participate in a 9-month mentorship program. Additional details can be found here.
Diversity Billable Hours Credit Policy
Porter Hedges offers billable hour credit to recognize the efforts and contributions by individual lawyers to promote and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the legal profession. The DEIB Billable Hour Credit Policy allows all non-partner attorneys the opportunity to earn billable hour credit for approved DEIB activities throughout the year. Additional details can be found here.
Porter Hedges has made Juneteenth an annual firm holiday starting in 2022. The firm recognizes the importance of this holiday and how it has shaped our community and country.
Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification Program
Porter Hedges is actively pursuing the Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification in a cohort of more than 70 midsize law firms. The Mansfield Rule Program, Diversity Lab’s 18-month long program geared towards firms ranging from 25-150 lawyers, aims to boost the representation of women and diverse lawyers in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for such opportunities. More information on the Midsize Mansfield Rule can be found here.
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
The firm has been an active member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) since 2020. Our attorneys participate in multiple LCLD activities annually, including: the Fellows Program, the Pathfinder Program, the 1L Scholars Program, Alumni meetings, and law school mentoring. More information on LCLD can be found here.
Past program participants:
Gabriel Loperena, Fellow – 2020
Megan Luh, Pathfinder – 2021
Jamie Houston, Pathfinder – 2022
Emily Pendleton, Pathfinder – 2023
Daisy Puente, Pathfinder – 2023
Diversity Committee in Action
The firm supports diversity initiatives throughout the community in which it serves, including:
- Firm membership and participation in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.
- Joyce Kao Soliman, Chair of the Diversity Committee, is the former President of the Asian American Bar Association of Houston.
- Ephraim del Pozo, is the former President of the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston and is a former Director of the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston.
- Joe Cohen was selected as the 2019 recipient of the DRI Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award.
- Ray Torgerson is the Co-Chair of the Native American Law Section of the State Bar of Texas for a one-year term running from 2019-2020. Ray previously served as the Chair from 2007-2009, 2012-2013, and 2018-2019.
- Support diverse associations, including:
- Asian American Bar Association of Houston
- Corporate Counsel Women of Color
- Hispanic Bar Association of Houston
- Houston Bar Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
- Houston Lawyers Association
- Mexican American Bar Association of Houston
- Texas Minority Counsel Program
- National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys
- Support minority students law school associations, including:
- South Texas College of Law - Hispanic, Black, Asian Pacific American, South Asian, and Persian Law Students Associations
- Thurgood Marshall School of Law - Hispanic Law Student Association
- University of Houston Law Center - Hispanic, Black, and Asian Law Students Associations, Association of Women in Law, OUTLaw
- University of Texas School of Law - Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, Women’s Law Caucus, OUTLaw, Chicano/Hispanic, and Asian Law Students Association
Internal Diversity Programming
- Celebrating Diversity
- American Indian Law Program presented by Porter Hedges Partner Ray Torgerson
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Program - Q&A with Stanley Mark of the Asian American Legal Defense Education Fund
- Black History Month BINGO to Support Black Businesses
- Black History Month Trivia
- Conversation on Anti-Asian Hate presented by Porter Hedges attorneys Joyce Soliman, Janine Lundin, and Megan Luh
- Hispanic Heritage Month Program – Q&A with former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman
- PRIDE Month Program - CURED: Film Screening and Discussion with co-director Bennett Singer and LGBTQ activist Reverend Magora Kennedy
- The History of Juneteenth with Sam Collins, President of the Juneteenth Legacy Project
- Cognitive, Implicit Biases, and Decision Making for Legal Professionals presented by social psychologist and legal scholar Dr. Destiny Peery
- Conversation on Race and (in)Equality
- How to be an Active Ally
- On the Same Page, Porter Hedges’ diversity book club, has discussed the following books:
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
- Between the World and Me
- The Vanishing Half
- Things We Lost to the Water
- I Came as a Shadow
- Born a Crime
|Joyce Kao Soliman
Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
|Ashley H. Black
Diversity & Inclusion Manager
- Firm News, 03.22.2023
- Firm News, 03.20.2023
- Firm News, 11.14.2022
- Firm News, 10.16.2022
- Ephraim del Pozo Receives the Distinguished Member Award from the Mexican American Bar Association of HoustonRecognition, 10.10.2022
- Firm News, 04.12.2022
- Firm News, 04.06.2022
- Firm News, 04.01.2022
- Firm News, 03.16.2022
- Firm News, 02.10.2022
- Firm News, 09.01.2021
- Firm News, 08.04.2021
- Firm News, 04.08.2021
- Firm News, 04.06.2021
- Firm News, 03.15.2021
- Firm News, 03.09.2021
- Firm News, 03.01.2021
- Firm News, 01.27.2021
- Firm News, 01.11.2021
- Firm News, 10.29.2020
- Firm News, 09.30.2020
- Firm News, 09.22.2020
- Firm News, 07.14.2020
- Firm News, 06.02.2020
- Recognition, 03.09.2020
- Firm News, 02.24.2020
- Firm News, 01.06.2020
- Firm News, 06.21.2019
- Recognition, 06.20.2019
- Firm News, 06.13.2019
- Porter Hedges Reaffirms Support for the Houston Bar Association’s Gender Fairness Committee StatementFirm News, 01.29.2019
- Firm News, 10.05.2018
- “Joe Cohen: Friend, Colleague, and Leader,” DRI Fall 2021 Women in the Law ChampionMedia Mention, 10.13.2021
- Media Mention, 12.21.2020
- Publication, 10.27.2020
- Mansfield RulePorter Hedges Joins the Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification Program
- Billable Credit for Diversity ActivitiesPorter Hedges Introduces Billable Hour Credit Policy for Diversity Related Activities
- Diversity ScholarshipPorter Hedges Announces Recipients of 2022-23 Scholarship at Texas Southern University