HYLA'S 2022-2023


Kelly is a trial associate at Baker Botts and has been on the HYLA Board since 2018. Prior to joining Baker Botts, Kelly graduated from UT Law and Dartmouth College. During her time on the Board, Kelly has served as co-chair of HYLA’s Membership Committee and as the HYLA Secretary. As President, Kelly will continue to find opportunities for member engagement and will provide HYLA members with increased pro bono and volunteer opportunities. She is looking forward to being able to connect with other young lawyers and serve the HYLA membership and the greater Houston community.


Brittny is a passionate public servant with thirteen years of non-profit board leadership experience. Brittny is a Director on the HYLA Board of Directors and serves as co-chair of the HYLA Know Your Rights committee. While in law school, she served as HYLA Law Student Director and student liaison for the Coalition for Houston Diverse Bar Associations. She also commits her time to the HBA’s Gender Fairness Committee, Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and The Hollyfield Foundation. As an assistant public defender with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, Brittny represents justice-involved youth in special education, school discipline, and educational access matters.


Mariame is a Houston-area nonprofit lawyer. She has been practicing since 2013 in the areas of immigration and family law. After her undergraduate degree at Rice University in English and French Studies, Mariame acquired a Master in Liberal Arts in International Studies at University of St. Thomas. She then attended University of Houston Law Center, where she was a member of Houston Law Review and Order of the Barons while also pursuing a Master of Business Administration. Mariame has been active in HYLA since 2018 in various capacities including serving on the Nonprofit, Leadership Academy, Generation Generosity, and Spanish Committees.

(in alphabetical order by last name)


Barbara is originally from southwest Florida, just on the other side of the Gulf. Before law school, she taught middle school Spanish outside of Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from UT Law, Barbara clerked for Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht and Judge Lynn N. Hughes. She is currently working as a trial associate at Beck Redden LLP. When she is not practicing law, Barbara can be found making her way through Houston’s food scene and running along the Bayou—but probably not in that order.


Carter is a 2018 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center where he obtained his JD and LL.M. in Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resource law. In law school, Carter was a champion advocate and Moot Court director, and he was a student representative on the HYLA executive board for two years. Carter is currently a fourth year litigation associate at Jackson Walker LLP where his practice focuses on energy, first amendment, and environmental disputes. Carter served as Director on the HYLA Board from 2021-2022, and he plans to continue growing HYLA membership and reinforce programs connecting the Houston bar to communities in need as Director in the 2022-2023 bar year.


Edward “Teddy” Festeryga is an associate at Abraham Watkins, representing plaintiffs in all types of personal injury claims, focusing on catastrophic injury and wrongful death. Edward, who is originally from a small farming community in Ontario, Canada, graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2016 before finding his way to Houston in 2018. Edward has been a member of HYLA since coming to Houston and has served on several committees including the Small & Solo Firms Committee this past year. In the time-before-law (and even after), Edward pursued a career in professional sports. He is a 2009 National Football Champion and was a semi-professional hockey player.


Ryan Frankel is an associate at McGuireWoods LLP. He practices complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on energy litigation and trade secret misappropriation cases. He is a member of HYLA’s Evening with the Judiciary Committee and co-chaired HYLA’s 2021 Evening with the Judiciary Event, which generated over $50,000 for future HYLA events—more than any other Evening with the Judiciary Event before it. He and his team also recently presented a HYLA CLE on trade secret misappropriation cases and temporary restraining orders. Ryan is a native Houstonian, a second-generation litigator, and an active member of HYLA who is excited to seek out more opportunities in HYLA and is grateful for the friendships he has made through HYLA so far.


Rick is a trial lawyer at Smyser Kaplan & Veselka LLP. He currently serves on the HYLA board and, together with Fabio Dworschak, launched HYLA’s Military and Veterans Committee. In its first year, the committee held several networking, CLE, and volunteer events, including a legal clinic for veterans in need. Rick hopes to build on that momentum next year. Rick previously served on the HYLA Leadership Academy Committee and was an Academy member in 2018. He graduated from West Point, the University of Oxford, and Harvard Law. Before law school, Rick served as an Army officer for six years.


Chris Mahfouz is a personal injury trial lawyer practicing with Abraham Watkins Nichols Agosto Aziz & Stogner. Chris is a double bear – so you know who he will be cheering for during March Madness (Sic ‘em). He earned both his undergraduate degree and J.D. from Baylor University with honors. Chris has successfully represented clients in a variety of personal injury matters—most notably, securing a $7,110,000 verdict in Harris County as lead counsel in 2021. He previously served as Vice President of the Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association before relocating to Houston to join Abraham Watkins.


Ciara has been a member of HYLA since graduating law school in 2018 and has most recently enjoyed meeting fellow HYLA members through the 2021-2022 HYLA Leadership Academy. Ciara’s favorite past HYLA events include many Passport to Fitness events and HYLA Spanish lessons. Ciara currently practices at Bush + Ramirez, PLLC where she focuses on representing corporate clients in product and premises liability litigation. Ciara is no stranger to serving her community and values the friendships she has made through voluntarism. She looks forward to the opportunity to further serve Houston’s young lawyers and future generations of legal advocates. 


Emily Rohles is a first-year litigation associate at Baker Botts. After growing up in Cypress and attending UT Austin for undergrad, Emily worked in DC a few years before moving to LA for law school at USC. While she enjoyed exploring the East and West coasts, Emily has been happy to return home to Houston. Outside of work, she enjoys attending concerts, yoga classes, and is always down for a good happy hour. HYLA has been a great resource for meeting new people and getting involved in the community and Emily would love the opportunity to serve as a Director.

Lisa Virgen is a first-generation college graduate and attorney. Lisa began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Lone Star Legal Aid where she created a project representing immigrants with tax and consumer law issues. After her fellowship, she clerked in the Southern District of Texas and is now a litigation associate at BakerHostetler. She is running for Director to support HYLA events that are inclusive of members’ diverse backgrounds and career goals. On her spare time, she enjoys watching the latest streaming show, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with her dogs, Lincoln and Cholula.


The following law firms have 100% of their eligible attorneys signed up for HYLA. Will yours be next?

Baker Botts LLP
Beck Redden LLP
Bracewell, LLP
Gibbs & Bruns LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Marc Whitehead & Associates
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Porter Hedges LLP
Rapp & Krock PC
The BA Law Firm
Winstead PC

Thank you for your membership!


Alvin Adjei, President
Houston Young Lawyers Association
P.O. Box 61208
Houston, TX 77208