2022-2023 TYLA President-elect Candidates
The Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors approved the nominations of Laura Pratt, of Lubbock, and Courtney M. White, of Amarillo, as 2022-2023 president-elect candidates. This year, nominees for president-elect are from nonmetropolitan 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 to May 2. 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 May 2.
Born and raised in Longview, Laura Pratt
is a first-generation scientist-turned-attorney at Brady & Hamilton,
practicing commercial litigation with a focus on eminent domain,
administrative law, and agricultural law. She lives in Lubbock with her
husband, Josh; their three children, Zachary, Alexander, and Victoria;
and their Double Doodle, Shadow.
After attending Texas Tech University School of Law, Pratt began her diverse legal career at the city of Lubbock, practicing municipal law and specializing in environmental compliance and natural resources law. She was also a municipal prosecutor. After completing a two-year relocation overseas, Pratt returned to Lubbock and held the position of executive director for OneVoiceHome, a local nonprofit she co-founded in 2015 that supports survivors of sex trafficking.
She is TYLA’s vice president, and she previously served for four years as the TYLA District 3 director. Pratt has served on 15 committees and contributed to numerous TYLA projects. She frequently speaks to community organizations and schools and has received several awards for her commitment to service. Pratt is a Texas Bar College member and a Texas Bar Foundation fellow.
She practices self-care by adventuring with her family and practicing piano and Irish fiddle.
Courtney M. White
Courtney M. White serves as an
assistant city attorney for Amarillo, where she handles everything from
“Airport” to “Zoo.” Born and raised in Amarillo, she graduated from Wake
Forest University and the SMU Dedman School of Law. White’s parents,
Mark D. White and Terry Ann White, are Amarillo attorneys who are both
role models of bar and community service.
Following in her parents’ footsteps, White is passionate about giving back to the community by volunteering for local art nonprofits and museums. She served as president of the Amarillo Area Young Lawyers Association, where she led community service projects, fundraisers, and CLE events. Since joining the TYLA Board of Directors in 2021, White organized virtual TYLA Roadshows in response to the pandemic. She also led the planning of TYLA’s inaugural Attorney Wellness Retreat. White volunteers monthly for Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas and has been recognized with special service awards for four years running.
In her spare time, she likes needlepointing with her rescue dog William in her lap, spending time with family, cooking and entertaining, boxing, and weightlifting.
2022-2023 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 below in the left-hand column.
Ashley Hymel practices in Houston, serving small businesses. She serves TYLA as the director for District 6, Place 4. Hymel is also the chair of the National Trial Competition, the State Moot Court Competition, and this year’s Texas Bar Foundation grant project: Civility for All. Before TYLA, she served the National Trial Competition for five years and, since joining, has contributed to projects including 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 Outstanding First Year Director Award (2019), and the Advocacy Award (2020, 2021).
Reginald D. Wilson Jr.
Reginald D. Wilson Jr. is a first-generation college graduate. Since 2017, he has been the TYLA District 6, Place 5 director. For his service in TYLA, Wilson received the distinguished Keith L. Krueger Leadership Award. He is a senior associate of Norton Rose Fulbright US. Wilson serves on firm committees focused on recruitment, retention, and promotion of attorneys. Wilson co-created a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to students sitting for the bar. He mentors new attorneys and high school, college, and law school students. Wilson lives in Houston with his wife, Gabrielle, and dog, Capone. He played football for the Fighting Tigers of Texas Southern University and received his J.D. from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2015.
Hisham A. Masri
As employment counsel to Flowserve Corporation, Hisham A. Masri is a reliable business partner and trusted adviser on all issues involving his company and its employees. A past recipient of the Outstanding First Year Director Award in 2019 and the Outstanding Director Award in 2020, his dedication to TYLA, its members, and its mission is undeniable. Masri continues to serve TYLA as its secretary. Additionally, he serves his community through involvement in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Plano Teen Court, and the National Employment Law Council. He and his wife, Victoria, live in Plano with their daughter, Celine.
Aamir Siddik is a trial lawyer at Walston Bowlin Callender, where he helps injured businesses and individuals recover their damages. In addition to serving as a director on the State Bar Administration of the Rules of Evidence Committee and serving as a board member for the Muslim Bar Association of Houston since 2019, Siddik serves as the large city at-large director for TYLA, where he’s made contributions to the Competitions and Civility committees. Siddik lives in Houston with his wife, Falah, and their two adoring cats. You can follow Siddik on Twitter and Instagram: @aamirsiddik.
Rebecca Patterson Linehan
Rebecca Patterson Linehan practices in the litigation department at Stubbeman, McRae, Sealy, Laughlin & Browder in Midland. She serves as treasurer for TYLA and is co-executive committee adviser for the Civility 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. She is president of the Midland County Bar Association. Linehan and her husband, Russell, have one son, Flynn.
Kirk Cooper is the chief staff attorney for the 8th Court of Appeals in El Paso. He is in his second term as the TYLA director for District 14. He serves as co-chair and problem author for the State Moot Court Competition and was the project lead for TYLA’s Small Affiliate Leadership Toolkit. Cooper is a past president of the El Paso Young Lawyers Association and serves on the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors and the State Bar Appellate Section’s Diversity Committee.
Cali M. Franks
Cali M. Franks is a program attorney with Lawline and serves as the TYLA director for District 5, Place 1. A native Texan, she received her B.A. in government from the University of Texas in Austin in 2015. After graduating from St. Mary’s University School of Law and getting her Texas law license in 2018, Franks practiced civil litigation and insurance defense in Dallas. She is active in both her community and bar service, serving on numerous boards and holding various elected positions. When not working, Franks likes to travel with her fiance and play with her two small dogs, Bailee and Murphy.
Chelsea Mikulencak is a research attorney for Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office and serves as the TYLA director for District 18, Place 2. She assists her firm with a variety of legal research, with practice areas including corporate, energy, government, healthcare, and more. Mikulencak co-chairs the Online Member Services Committee and the Local Affiliates Committee. In 2020, she became a Texas Bar Foundation fellow. She is also a member of the Texas Bar College. Mikulencak resides in San Antonio with her 4-year-old son, Logan, and their two dogs, Draco and Luna.