Chambers Diversity Seminar: Houston

Chambers Diversity Seminar: Houston, in association with Baker Botts LLP.

Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018


Baker Botts Houston
910 Louisiana Street
Houston, Texas 77002-4995

Time: 8.30am - 10:45am


08:30 - 09:00 (Breakfast & Registration)
09:00 - 09:10 (Welcome Remarks)
09:10 - 09:30 (Opening Address - Sandra Yamate)
09:30 - 10:45 (Panel Discussion)

Our panel will focus on successful initiatives and the benefits of a diverse and inclusive environment. It will also analyse the measurements of success as well as the economic impact in implementing such initiatives.


Texas: This course has been approved for MCLE credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1.00 legal ethics/professional responsibility credit hour.

California: This course has been approved for MCLE credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1.00 Elimination of Bias credit hour.

This event is free to attend.


- Attracting and retaining diverse talent
- What’s working and what’s not
- Measuring success and aligning with business objectives

Keynote Speaker:

Sandra Yamate
The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Sandra S. Yamate is the CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. Previously, she spent ten years as the Director of the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, Sandra was a litigator in Chicago for ten years.

Sandra was a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she served as the first Central Region Governor. She is a former president of the Japanese American Service Committee, the oldest Asian American social service agency in the Midwest and the Harvard Law Society of Illinois. She is a former member of the boards of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian American Institute, the National Women's Political Caucus of Metropolitan Chicago, the Girl Scouts of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago Public Library, the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute, and Asian Americans for Inclusive Education.

Sandra is a member of the Board of Trustees of The National Judicial College, an organization that offers courses to improve judicial productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges to achieve judicial excellence. She has written and spoken extensively on diversity in the legal profession and on multicultural children's literature.

Sandra earned her AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her JD from Harvard Law School.



Bruce Byrd
Chief Legal Officer, AT&T Communications, LLC

Bruce Byrd is responsible for legal affairs for AT&T Communications, which is AT&T’s largest operating company generating over $145 billion in annual revenue. He was appointed in August 2017.

Before taking his current position, Bruce was the Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel responsible for legal affairs for AT&T Technology and Operations and Corporate Strategy, as well as, at various times, the Global Marketing Organization, AT&T Mexico, and the Home Solutions business unit.

From July 2010 until December 2013, he was Vice President and Associate General Counsel for AT&T Mobility in Atlanta, Georgia, where he provided legal support for AT&T’s marketing and advertising organizations.

Prior to moving to Atlanta, Bruce was Vice President and General Counsel – Washington for six years, where he was responsible for legislative and other affairs pending before Congress; matters before the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission; and the company’s dealings with state attorneys general.

Hector Pineda
Head of Legal US – Associate General Counsel

Hector Pineda was appointed Shell Oil Company’s Head of Legal for the United States in 2016. Hector is accountable for consulting with the US Legal management team on country-wide legal and reputational issues, consulting with Shell Oil’s US Country Chair, and creating a sense of community and teamwork for all US based legal staff.

In addition, Hector is the Associate General Counsel – Downstream for the US, Central & South America. In his 23 years with Shell’s legal department, Hector has supported major Upstream and Downstream business segments in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Outside of Shell, Hector serves as a Director of Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston, a charitable organization providing comprehensive medical services to Houston's homeless population. Hector also serves as a Director and Executive Committee member of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and as a Director of the Texas Lyceum.


Kelly Walton
Vice President, Global Trademark and Copyright

Kelly Walton is a Vice-President at Dell in Round Rock, Texas.  She leads Dell's global trademark and copyright practice, which includes all aspects of portfolio management, protection of Dell's multi-billion dollar brand, and support of global marketing initiatives across all business units.

She also manages diverse teams and leads departmental initiatives such as diversity and inclusion programs and internal process improvement.  Kelly is a committee member of the International Trademark Association and Intellectual Property Owners Association.  She serves as the Chair of Dell’s Legal Diversity Committee, where she manages several initiatives such as the Dell Legal Diversity Award, the Dell General Counsel Diversity Scholarship, and outreach and mentoring programs at local high schools.  She has also served on the faculty of the Women in Law Institute, helping women law students with speaking and demonstrating value. 


Christa Brown-Sanford
Partner and Deputy Chair, Intellectual Property
Baker Botts LLP

Christa Sanford is the firmwide Deputy Chair of the IP Department. She partners with her clients on intellectual property matters and serves as a trusted IP counselor. Ms. Sanford provides guidance on patent procurement, patent portfolio development, patent litigation, and patent licensing, particularly involving telecommunications, blockchain, electronics, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, software, personal mobility, and other cutting-edge technologies.

Ms. Sanford has assisted companies in developing and managing their patent portfolios and generating revenue from their intellectual property assets through licensing campaigns. While leading licensing efforts for companies, she continues to provide counsel and advice on patent procurement and litigation exposure.

Actively involved within Baker Botts, Ms. Sanford serves on the Diversity Committee, the Technology Sector Committee, the Patent Practice Committee, and the Technology Editorial Committee.

Kathy Bowman-Williams
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Baker Botts LLP