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: Armin Salek

Employer/Organization: Youth Justice Alliance

Practice Area(s): Legal Diversity and Pro Bono Projects

Why did you join the TYLA board? I work with secondary and college students who dream of becoming lawyers. My goal is to work with TYLA to offer mentorships, scholarships, internships, and institutional knowledge in support of those aspiring lawyers.

What advice would you give to other TYLA members who are looking for ways to grow professionally? The old cliche that the best way to learn is to teach is very true. Volunteer with schools, coach mock trial and moot court teams, partner with a more experienced attorney to serve as guest speakers at a local school, and sit down with a younger version of yourself. It helps you grow and serves as a reminder of why you worked to become a lawyer.

Before joining the TYLA board, what is your favorite experience with community or public service? I was fortunate enough to teach law at a high school in Southeast Austin for three years. We started a legal aid clinic, discussed complex ethical questions, and learned the rules of evidence. Between watching the students serve our custodians, teachers, and security officers, or watching them compete in mock trial, it is a close call for my favorite experience.

What was your favorite movie, TV show, musical artist, or song from high school/college? This might be the lawyer in me reinventing my past, but I saw My Cousin Vinny for the first time in high school and absolutely loved it. I didn’t decide to be a lawyer until five years later, but I still give Joe Pesci 90% of the credit for my life choices.