Houston lawyer recognized for HYLA diversity programs

Recognition May 11, 2017

On April 27, 2017, Houston lawyer Christian Menefee was honored with the Outstanding Committee Chair Award at the Law Day Luncheon hosted by the Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA) and Houston Young Lawyers Foundation (HYLF). The event commemorated national Law Day, recognizing the role of law in the foundation of the United States and its importance in society.

Menefee, an associate in the energy and infrastructure practice area, was recognized for his HYLA committee service with the Young Lawyers in Schools Committee. During the 2016-2017 bar year, Christian served as chair of the committee and spearheaded two major initiatives.

First, Menefee and Alaina Benford, a partner in the energy and infrastructure disputes practice area, led a team of lawyers from HYLA, Shell Oil Company, and Norton Rose Fulbright in reviving the Tomorrow's Attorney Pipeline Program (TAPP). Through TAPP, more than 30 attorneys volunteered to participate in two programs (including career day presentations and a field trip to the Harris County Civil Courthouse) for the purpose of increasing diversity in the legal profession by targeting underserved and underprivileged, diverse high school students, and providing them with motivating opportunities to learn about becoming an attorney. TAPP was a very successful program, and was awarded both 3rd place at the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers' Division "Diversity Challenge," and a grant from the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

Second, Menefee led HYLA's "Know Your Rights" initiative, through which several volunteer attorneys presented to high school students  regarding interactions with police officers, including providing them with a basic understanding of their constitutional rights in regards to encounters with police, and informing them about conduct that will mitigate the chances of an escalated encounter.

Christian Menefee receiving award from Lauren Brogdon