2021-2022 TYLA President-elect Candidates
The Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors approved the nominations of Michael J. Ritter, of San Antonio, and Reginald D. Wilson Jr., of Houston, as 2021-2022 president-elect candidates. This year, nominees for president-elect are from metropolitan counties. Biographies of the candidates are featured here. Interviews with the two candidates will be included in the April issue. Votes for TYLA president-elect and district directors can be cast via paper ballot or by voting online from April 1-30. On April 1, attorneys eligible to vote will be mailed an election packet, including a paper ballot and campaign brochures. Attorneys may either submit their paper ballot via mail or vote online using the information provided. The deadline to cast ballots is 5 p.m. CDT on April 30.
Michael J. Ritter
Michael Ritter lives in San Antonio
with his husband, Dilshan, and their two rescue puppies, Lolo and
Poncherello. Overcoming a speech disorder known as “cluttering,” Ritter
became interested in the law through high school debate. In 2010, he
became the first in his family to complete a post-college education and
become a lawyer.
Ritter is a staff attorney at the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio. He is certified in civil appeals and criminal appeals by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been recognized among San Antonio’s top appellate attorneys by San Antonio Magazine. Ritter also works a part-time job in the education industry.
He is TYLA’s vice president and has served as its secretary and on several committees. Ritter has received personal and project awards from TYLA, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and Texas Bar College and is a Texas Bar Foundation sustaining life fellow.
He has also served as president of the Texas Association of Appellate Court Attorneys and the San Antonio LGBT Bar Association and as a member of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors.
In his spare time, Ritter volunteers to benefit at-risk youth, especially those identifying as LGTBQ+. Learn more about him at mjritter.com.
Reginald D. Wilson Jr.
Reginald D. Wilson Jr. is a
first-generation college graduate raised in Houston. He is the youngest
of eight siblings. Since 2017, Wilson has been the TYLA District 6,
Place 5 director, where he serves as co-chair of the Law Focused
Education Committee and member of the Public Service in the Community
and Attorney Wellness committees. For his service in TYLA, he received
the distinguished Keith L. Krueger Leadership Award in 2020.
Wilson is a senior associate of Norton Rose Fulbright US in the public law practice group. He serves on firm committees focused on the recruitment, retention, and promotion of new attorneys. Wilson volunteers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and awards scholarships to students sitting for the bar examination through his nonprofit organization. He mentors high school students, college students, law school students, and new attorneys.
Wilson lives in Houston with his wife, Gabrielle, and dog, Capone. He played football for the Fighting Tigers of Texas Southern University, where he was a two-time captain, and received his J.D. from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2015. In his spare time, Wilson loves barbecuing, watching the Food Network, traveling, and hosting game nights with Gabrielle.
2021-2022 TYLA Executive Committee Election
At the January meeting of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors, the following members were approved to run for the specified offices. A ballot was provided to all TYLA directors, and the winner of each race is listed first in each position.
Judge Lauren Renee Sepúlveda is the presiding judge for the McAllen Municipal Court. Sepúlveda joined the Texas Young Lawyers Association board in 2017 as the District 13 director and currently serves as secretary. She has contributed to several TYLA projects, including The Paper Chase Legal Writing Competition, the National Trial Competition, the Lawyers Passport for Basic Immigration Law, Proud to Be An American, and Vote America: Court the Vote, and serves as project co-lead on this year’s racial justice project. Sepúlveda was a member of the LeadershipSBOT Class of 2016-2017, received the State Bar of Texas Government Law Section Rising Advocate Award in 2017, and is currently serving as a council member for the State Bar’s Criminal Justice Section.
Ashley Hymel practices in Houston, serving small businesses. She serves the Texas Young Lawyers Association as its treasurer and as the director for District 6, Place 4. Hymel also oversees Services to the Profession Committee projects, including the Evidence Guide, the Predicate Guide, a Business Development Podcast, and more. Before TYLA, she served the National Trial Competition for five years and, since joining, has contributed to projects, including The Musician’s Guide to Knowing Your Rights, The Suicide Prevention Guide, The Choice, Proud to be An American, TYLA’s state and national competitions, and Your Voice, Now! Hymel has also received the following TYLA awards: President’s Award of Merit (2018), the award for Outstanding First Year Director (2019), and the Advocacy Award (2020).
Laura Pratt is an attorney at Brady & Hamilton, practicing commercial litigation with a focus on eminent domain, administrative law, and agricultural law. She has served on the Texas Young Lawyers Association board as the District 3 director from 2013 to 2015 and from 2019 to 2021. Pratt has organized and contributed to numerous TYLA projects over the years, but some of her more recent favorites include Iconic Women in Legal History, Your Voice Now!, Texas Courts for Texas Veterans, Vote America!, and Slavery Out of the Shadows. She has received several awards for her service to the TYLA board. Pratt is a Texas Bar Foundation life fellow and a member of the Texas Bar College. She is married to Joshua and has three children, Zachary, Alexander, and Victoria.
Julia Rubio is the chief prosecutor for the Special Victims Unit at the Webb-Zapata County District Attorney’s Office where she has worked for over five years. A native Laredoan, she attended the University of Texas at Austin where she pursued degrees in finance and Spanish. Rubio later graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2015 and returned to her hometown to begin her legal career. Interestingly, she works alongside her twin sister and first cousin who are both prosecutors in Laredo. Rubio looks forward to traveling when the pandemic comes to an end, enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and is proud to represent her district as a Texas Young Lawyers Association director.
Hisham Masri is responsible for employment law matters as employment counsel to Flowserve in Irving. He joined the TYLA board in 2019 as the American Bar Association representative for North Texas, and he received the Outstanding First Year Director Award for his work on the Diversity Retention Guide. In 2020, Masri transitioned to a TYLA director role. Now he chairs the Local Affiliates and Law Student Outreach committees and leads several projects. Masri serves on the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Board of Directors, co-chairs the DAYL Lawyers Promoting Diversity Committee, serves as the public relations chair of the DFW Muslim Bar Association, and volunteers as a judge for the Plano Teen Court. He and his wife, Victoria, live in Plano with their newborn daughter, Celine.
Josué Galván is an attorney in the Trial and Appellate Litigation Group of Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office. He is a second-year TYLA director representing District 18, Place 1, and he has contributed to initiatives such as the Educator’s Toolkit, Job Interview Guide, and Evidence Guide. Galván received the President’s Award of Merit in 2020 and currently co-chairs TYLA’s Young Lawyer Resources/Service to the Profession Committee. Galván also serves on the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors and the State Bar of Texas Diversity in the Profession Committee and is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Before becoming an attorney, he taught seventh grade science. Galván resides in San Antonio with his wife, Yvette, and their three pets.
Rebecca Patterson Linehan
Rebecca Patterson Linehan is an assistant district attorney and trial team chief for the Midland County District Attorney’s Office. She serves as the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s District 17 director and co-chairs the Public Service in the Community Committee. Linehan has contributed to numerous TYLA projects, including the Criminal Enhancements CLE webinar that was filmed and distributed by the State Bar of Texas. She was a recipient of the President’s Award of Merit in 2018 and 2019 and the President’s Award in 2020. Before her membership on the TYLA board, Linehan served on the board of the Midland County Young Lawyers Association for four years and is currently vice president of the Midland County Bar Association. She and her husband, Russell, have one son, Flynn.
David R. “Dave” Hagan
David R. “Dave” Hagan grew up in northeast Texas exposed to legal arguments over dinner between his father, a criminal defense attorney, and his mother, a former district attorney and a district judge. Hagan received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and graduated with a J.D. from Baylor Law School in 2016. After working as an assistant criminal district attorney for about three years, he opened his own practice. At the end of 2019, Hagan joined the Sloan Firm. He serves on the Longview Teen Court Board of Directors and as the District 1 representative of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. Hagan is a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.