Houston partner Alan York, Reed Smith’s global chair of diversity, equity, inclusion and a member of the appellate practice, and Omar Alaniz, Dallas office managing partner, were named to the Outstanding LGBTQ+ Executives Role Model List 2023; Wilmington counsel Jason Angelo, a member of the firm’s Financial Industry Group practicing in the areas of Restructuring & Insolvency and Commercial Litigation, was named to the Outstanding LGBTQ+ Future Leaders Role Models List 2023.
“It is gratifying to see these three lawyers honored as top role models for their accomplishments in promoting authentic equality and meaningful inclusion for members of the LGBTQ+ community at Reed Smith and in our communities,” said Casey Ryan, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “They continue to inspire us to expand on this important work.”
The global Outstanding LGBTQ+ Role Model Lists, supported by YouTube, showcase LGBTQ+ business leaders and allies who are breaking down barriers and creating more inclusive workplaces across the world. This is York’s third appearance on a list, Alaniz’s second, and Angelo’s first.
The LGBTQ+ Executives category recognizes successful senior LGBTQ+ executives in roles one to three levels from the chief executive who are helping to make the workplace a more welcoming place. The LGBTQ+ Future Leaders list recognizes role models who work at all levels of an organization to promote workplace equity and inclusion.
Prior to being named Reed Smith’s head of DEI in September, 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 members, doubled its membership, and established a presence across the firm’s geographic platform in the United States, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
York’s LGBTQ+ advocacy work includes service on 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; serving as pro bono counsel for an amicus brief by criminal justice leaders in the Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas in Jane Doe v. Greg Abbott, a suit 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 for individuals seeking name and gender marker changes; and championing Reed Smith’s signing of the United Nations Global LGBTI Standards of Conduct.
Alaniz became the global head of Reed Smith’s PRISM business inclusion group in 2022. He is committed to ensuring the firm remains a safe space for LGBTQ+ attorneys and staff to be out and proud.
Alaniz, too, partners with numerous LGBTQ+ legal advocacy groups, including the National LGBT+ Bar Association, Lambda Legal, and Out Leadership. He is committed to leveraging his prominence as an out gay Latinx leader in Texas's legal community to be a powerful LGBTQ+ changemaker in Texas – a state where lawmakers are proposing some of the country's most repressive anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Alaniz presents and participates regularly on panel discussions focused on LGBTQ+ rights and equality at universities and law firms in Texas and beyond.
Angelo became co-chair of PRISM in 2019. In the four years since, he has made significant contributions to expanding PRISM's reach, membership, and impact firmwide.
An active participant in Lavender Law career fairs and the organization of Pride Month activities in Delaware, he is also actively engaged in external DEI efforts, chairing the LGBTQ+ Section of the Delaware State Bar Association, and supporting legislative efforts to protect LGBTQ+ rights.
Beyond his professional commitments, Angelo is a dedicated advocate for transgender individuals and supports many organizations that actively serve LGBTQ+ communities; he is dedicated to creating inclusive spaces in the legal profession and beyond.