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: Aamir Siddik

Employer/Organization: Vinson & Elkins LLP

Practice Area(s): Commercial Litigation

Why did you join the TYLA board? I’ve always looked for ways to help the communities I’m involved in. After graduating from law school, I really didn’t know a lot about TYLA and the services it provides, but my time in LeadershipSBOT allowed me to meet a few sitting TYLA board members and learn more about the work TYLA does. It was exactly the kind of outlet I was looking for to serve the public and do good.

What advice would you give to other TYLA members who are looking for ways to grow professionally? Find a mentor who is the type of attorney you want to be when you grow up and model your practice after that mentor. This does not have to be someone you work with, but it does make it easier when you can see how your mentor works in the day-to-day trenches. I’ve been fortunate to have a few great attorneys as mentors and opportunities to see how they behave and react in a variety of situations. Every instance was a learning opportunity and allowed me to improve in those same situations when they arise in my practice.

Before joining the TYLA board, what is your favorite experience with community or public service? When I lived in Austin, I volunteered as an after-school tutor for refugees where I helped children from Afghanistan and Iraq with their school homework. I had no training in teaching and had no idea how to control a classroom full of kids. After the first few days of attempted tutoring ended with very little accomplished, I realized that I needed a better incentive for the kids if this was going to work. I made a deal with them that if everyone finished their homework, I’d play soccer with them before leaving. The progress they made over the course of a year was worth me getting scored on repeatedly.

What was your favorite movie, TV show, musical artist, or song from high school/college? The Office overlapped my entire high school and college career, and I was a huge fan. While some parts of the show have not aged well (e.g., Diversity Day), there are a lot of aspects of the show still relevant today, and I find myself still making references to it.