Editor’s Note: In this blog series, we are getting to know the members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. TYLA, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, works to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All TYLA programs are accomplished through the volunteer efforts of its board and committee members, with the cooperation of local affiliate young lawyers associations. Learn more at tyla.org.

Name: Michael Gaston-Bell

Firm: Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Area of Law You Practice:  Labor and Employment, Litigation

Position Held in TYLA: Director, District 5, Place 4

How did you get involved in bar service? A strong desire to get involved in the local legal community and to give back. As a new lawyer to Texas, I started by participating in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Class 2019.

What is your favorite TYLA project and why? I am excited to be part of the business development podcast/video series because I am very passionate about BD and believe it is the least emphasized skill taught to young attorneys through law school and law firms.

What tips can you give to other attorneys to manage stress? Do not look for validation and complete fulfillment in your work. You have to always maintain and emphasize your anchors—the things that you enjoy and that keep you grounded and happy.

What is a piece of advice you would give new lawyers or law students? Constantly make efforts to grow your network through building genuine relationships. Remember to ALWAYS treat every interaction as a possible business development and carry yourself in a manner that endears yourself to others.

Also, know that where you start your legal career is not indicative of where you will end it. You have the power to shape your path.

What do you do in your spare time? Spend time with my family and friends and play as much basketball and golf as I can!

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? I was inspired to be a lawyer after being forced (due to an unusually hot summer in Illinois) to stay in the house and watch the O.J. Simpson trial with my dad. From that time forward, I never considered any other profession.