Haynes and Boone, LLP Associate Remya Menon has been accepted into the State Bar of Texas LeadershipSBOT class of 2023-2024. The program, which only accepts 20 attorneys per class, is designed to increase diverse leadership participation within the legal community through the nomination of lawyers with the desire and potential to assume leadership roles in their communities and the State Bar of Texas (SBOT).
We sat down to talk to Remya about the upcoming program and how she hopes it will benefit her practice:
Q: Tell me about your time at Haynes Boone so far.
Remya: I joined the firm last October as an associate. Before that, I participated in both years of Haynes Boone’s summer associate program as a diversity scholar. Both summers were virtual, due to the pandemic, but they were great introductions into the legal profession. I learned very quickly that I was interested in transactional work, and I fell in seamlessly with the Haynes Boone finance section. Right now, my practice is pretty evenly split between borrower-side and lender-side transactions.
Q: What inspired you to take part in this leadership program?
Remya: A large part of my inspiration came from how involved everyone at Haynes Boone is with the community around them. My first week in the finance group, Sakina Rasheed Foster and Albert Tan invited me and other first years to the Dallas Asian American Bar Association’s Annual Awards Night as their guests. I was in awe at the sheer number of people contributing so much of their time and effort to supporting and empowering Asian-American attorneys in our community. I felt so immediately welcomed and knew I wanted to get involved myself. Through the connections made at that event, I was invited to join DAABA’s planning committee for this year’s event, which raises funds for scholarships and DAABA’s programming. The whole committee is made up of young female attorneys, so I feel empowered being in that room. I was also able to attend the SBOT Asian Pacific Interest Section’s conference in April. Once again, I was introduced to a tight-knit community of attorneys intent on serving and giving back to others. I met and became close to an attorney from Houston, Nadia Gire, who was serving on the SBOT Asian Pacific Interest Section committee at the time. She helped open my eyes to the possibilities of connecting with and giving back to the Texas legal community at large. She expressed how much the LeadershipSBOT program inspired her path to leadership and, at the end of the weekend, she let me know that she was going to nominate me for the program. With her support and the support of Haynes Boone, I knew I could begin to contribute to this culture of service.
Q: What about the program are you most looking forward to?
Remya: I am looking forward to meeting people from around the state and seeing where the needs and opportunities are [for Texas communities / the Texas legal community]. In my first year, I will participate in a training program, where we will identify my personal leadership style and work on honing it and determining how my skills can best help serve [the Texas legal community]. The second year, which I am most excited for, I will serve on a State Bar of Texas committee. I am keeping an open mind going into the program, because I want to learn about the great work the State Bar of Texas does and then serve where I am needed most.
Q: Is there any client work you are a part of right now that you are particularly excited about?
Remya: I am enjoying working with Valesco Industries on their acquisition financings. Valesco is a Dallas-based private equity fund that focuses on growth-oriented small and lower middle-market businesses. I have had the opportunity to work with their savvy team on a number of debt deals and through that work have gotten to know them well. They are the strongest client relationship I have developed so far, and the more I work with them, the more confident I feel in my work and in myself.
Q: How did you become interested in finance law?
Remya: It was the people! I knew I wanted to do transactional work in my first summer with Haynes Boone because both my mentor, CJ Donald, and my supervisor, Cory Feldman were in the finance group, and I truly enjoyed working with them. Even now, my current supervisor, Nick Monier, was extremely supportive of my involvement in this program. I enjoy the work I do with the finance team, and I appreciate that they push me to be a better attorney.
Q: How do finance law and leadership intersect, and how might the program help your work in finance?
Remya: Almost every lawyer in my practice group is a leader in the community in some way, whether that is Nick with the American Cancer Society, Sakina with the Texas Women’s Foundation, or Albert with the SBOT Asian Pacific Interest Section, just to name a few. Having the opportunity to build personal relationships makes business development sound more approachable. This program is an opportunity to serve my community while potentially building my network and growing business more organically.
Q: Tell me about yourself outside of the office. What do you like to do when you’re not being a lawyer?
Remya: I really love to dance. I am involved in the Indian dance community in Dallas. I go to weekly community dance classes. It was something I did a lot growing up, and since moving back to Dallas, I have loved having that part of my life return. I am also involved in a couple of book clubs, and I am a part of a walking club that meets weekly.