Partner Allison Elko has been selected to the 2018 “Fellows Program” class for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) – an organization comprised of more than 285 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to building a more open and diverse legal profession. In addition, Bell Nunnally attorneys Natasha Gandhi and Scott Larson were selected to the LCLD’s 2018 “Pathfinder Program.”
“Through our membership and involvement we are pleased to support the LCLD as it works to foster a more inclusive legal profession. As a firm, we applaud Allison, Natasha and Scott on their commitment to leadership and personal development,” said James Skochdopole, managing partner of Bell Nunnally.
Elko, Gandhi and Larson follow 2017 Bell Nunnally Partner and “Fellow” Karen Hart and associates and “Pathfinders” Xakema Henderson, Saba Syed and Kelsey Williams. In 2016, Partner Sonja McGill participated in the “Fellows Program” and associates Anneke Cronje and Murphy Sayre participated in the “Pathfinders Program.” In 2017, Hart and McGill were both named to the National Diversity Council’s “Top 50 Multicultural Lawyers in Dallas” list. The chair of Bell Nunnally’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Kassandra McLaughlin, is a 2014 Fellow alumna.
LCLD “Fellows Program” members are mid-career professionals who have been nominated by their company or law firm’s executive members in recognition of strong past performance and leadership. The “Fellow” year focuses on relationship-building, in-person training, peer-group projects and extensive contact with LCLD’s leadership. The “Fellows Program” has trained more than 1,000 mid-career attorneys since 2011.
LCLD “Pathfinder Program” members are early career attorneys, also nominated by their company or organization, who have three-to-five years of practice experience. The initiative aims to arm its set of diverse, high-potential professionals with practical tools for developing and leveraging internal professional networks. The “Pathfinder Program” focuses on relationship building, foundational leadership instruction and career development activities.
Elko is a member of the firm’s Real Estate practice area. She advises commercial real estate clients in their capacity as investors, landowners, landlords, tenants, contractors, builders and developers. She has significant experience with property acquisition and disposition, retail, office and industrial leasing, build-to-suit projects and development finance.
Prior to joining Bell Nunnally in 2016, Elko served as Associate General Counsel and in an underwriting capacity for Hexter-Fair Title Company (now part of First American Title Company), as Senior Counsel for Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ: WIN), a Fortune 500 company and as a law firm associate focused on real estate transactions.
Active in the community, Elko is a volunteer and past board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star. She has twice been named Dallas’ “Big Sister of the Year.” Elko is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1998) and the University of Arkansas (B.A., 1993).
Gandhi is a member of the firm’s Commercial Finance; Corporate and Securities; Mergers and Acquisitions and Real Estate practices. She focuses her practice on the representation of clients in a broad range of transactional and business contract matters. Prior to joining Bell Nunnally, Gandhi worked for a “Big Four” accounting firm performing valuation analysis for several business combinations across the oil, gas and power sectors, including the valuation of equity and intangibles for financial, tax and acquisition purposes. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (J.D., 2014), and the University of Texas at Austin (B.B.A., with honors, 2005).
Larson is a member of the firm’s Litigation section, emphasizing in bankruptcy and financial restructuring; copyright and trademark disputes; and appellate practice. He represents clients in multiple areas of commercial litigation, with extensive experience shepherding cases through complex discovery and pretrial disposition in state and federal court. Larson regularly represents creditors in all forms of bankruptcy proceedings, including adversary proceedings, administrative rent proceedings and discharge issues. Larson also maintains a regular docket representing clients in trademark and rights of publicity cases in federal court. He has briefed appellate matters before Texas appellate courts, the Supreme Court of Texas, the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Larson is a graduate of SMU’s Dedman School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2015) and Iowa State University (B.A., 2012).