York joined Reed Smith as a partner in the firm’s appellate practice in 2016. In his new role, he will oversee the advancement of the firm’s industry-recognized DEI program, including development and implementation of policies and programs aimed at fostering a diverse and inclusive environment at Reed Smith, such as recruitment and retention strategies, training and education, and community outreach.
“Alan’s deep and unwavering commitment to DEI strongly aligns with Reed Smith’s core values, making him a natural fit for this critical leadership position,” said Casey Ryan, Reed Smith’s global managing partner. “Those who know and work with Alan can attest that he is a tireless champion for equity and justice. His dedication to these principles will help us achieve our goals in helping create a more diverse and inclusive legal community.”
For the past five years, York served as global partner chair of PRISM (Pride, Respect and Inclusion Simply Matter), Reed Smith’s LGBTQ+ business inclusion group. During his tenure, PRISM made significant strides to support the professional development, mentorship and sponsorship of its members, doubling its membership and establishing PRISM leadership in all geographies in which Reed Smith operates, including the United States, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. York spurred PRISM’s growth and engagement through member activities, educational programming, firm policy and procedure reviews, and community and client partnerships; and by acting in concert with other inclusion groups within the firm – especially on issues of intersectionality.
York advocates for organizations and causes that uphold the civil rights of diverse individuals. His advocacy work includes:
- Serving as a member of the National Leadership Council and as a leader of the Houston Leadership Committee for Lambda Legal, the United States’ most active and engaged legal organization fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ+ and HIV+ communities
- Acting as pro bono counsel for an amicus brief by criminal justice leaders in the Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas at Austin in Jane Doe v. Greg Abbott, supporting efforts to “block the State of Texas from prosecuting and criminalizing parents who seek gender-affirming care for their transgender children”
- Partnering with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund to expand Reed Smith’s pro bono efforts to Houston / Harris County to assist clients in seeking name and gender marker changes; and
- Championing for Reed Smith to become a signatory to the United Nations Global LGBTI Standards of Conduct, a set of five codes of conduct created to protect LGBTI people from discrimination in the workplace and in the communities where they and their business partners operate.
“I am humbled to be selected to lead the firm’s DEI program and am committed to building upon the good work done by our people to ensure that Reed Smith is a place where everyone can be their authentic selves,” York said. “That authenticity brings out the best in all of us, ensures that Reed Smith has access to the best version of its people, and serves as a model for our peer firms and clients who stand alongside Reed Smith in delivering on the promise of a more diverse and accepting legal community.”