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Alana K. Ackels

Alana Ackels advises employers on how to minimize risk, protect their businesses, and navigate the multitude of state and federal laws governing the employer-employee relationship. She prepares employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, non-competition agreements, employee handbooks, and other policies that mitigate risk for employers. She also prepares injury benefit plans for employers who choose to opt out of workers compensation in Texas, and she manages the plan roll-out for companies that go non-subscriber.

Licensed in Texas and California, she has extensive experience litigating disputes in state and federal courts and arbitration. Selected by her peers as a Super Lawyer Texas Rising Star every year since 2015, she routinely defends employers in claims involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wage and hour claims; trade secret litigation; and non-compete matters. Ackels also litigates complex business disputes, non-subscriber negligence claims, certain employee benefit challenges under ERISA, and insurance coverage disputes.

Alana spends much of her time counseling clients on ways they can minimize risk in their handling of labor and employment matters. She assists employers in terminations of employment, conducts workplace investigations, provides strategic advice for successful corporate transitions, manages reductions in force, coaches businesses on how to navigate leaves of absence, and audits companies for compliance with wage and hour laws. She regularly provides training seminars for management and human resources professionals on a wide range of labor and employment topics.   


  • J.D., cum laude, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 2009
  • B.A., English and Spanish, cum laude, Southern Methodist University, 2006


  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of California
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
Representative Matters
  • Obtained a complete defense victory on behalf of a national retailer in a personal injury arbitration in which the claimant sought six figures in recovery.
  • Secured a take nothing arbitration ruling on behalf of a Texas luxury resort in an arbitration matter involving a former employee who sought damages for wrongful termination, disability discrimination, and failure to accommodate.
  • Helped secure a favorable class action settlement from the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for client, R Wings R Wild LLC.
  • Won a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a national retailer in a case involving allegations of age and disability discrimination. 
  • Obtained favorable results on behalf of a national assisted living facility in various labor and employment matters.
  • Obtained temporary restraining order and temporary injunction on behalf of software telecommunication company against former employee in a misappropriation of trade secrets matter.
  • Obtained a judgment of over $7 million against a national bank on behalf of one of its corporate trust beneficiaries.
  • Successfully enforced employer arbitration agreements in federal courts and state appellate courts.
  • Obtained complete defense award on behalf of a national assisted living facility in a nonsubscriber negligence lawsuit where the plaintiff alleged she suffered injuries that caused brain damage while at work.
Representative Opinions
  • Fernandes v. Dillard’s Inc., 997 F.Supp.2d 607 (S.D. Tex 2014)
  • Ranked in the Chambers USA 2022 legal directory for the “Labor and Employment” category for Texas.
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in Dallas" by D Magazine, 2021 and 2022.
  • Featured in Best Lawyers®’ Texas' Best Lawyers, 2020.
  • Selected by attorney peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2019-2022.
  • Named to Super Lawyers “Up-and-Coming 50: Women Texas Rising Stars” List, 2019.
  • Named to Dallas Business Journal's “40 Under 40” List, 2019.
  • Named to D Magazine's "Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas" List, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
  • Selected by attorney peers as a Texas Rising Star®, Thomson Reuters, 2015-2019, 2022.
  • Proficient in Spanish.
Activities & Memberships
  • Fellow, 2019 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
  • Steering Committee, Bell Nunnally Women’s Initiative
  • Mentor, Dallas Young Lawyers Association Women’s Mentoring Circles
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Board Member, Women With Promise
  • Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Publications & Presentations



  • "Employment Law Update - Are All Those Gig Workers Employees or Not?" TXCPA Dallas, May 16, 2021.
  • “Modes of Argument, Arguing Before the Judge,” Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Trial Skills Boot Camp, April 28, 2021.
  • "Employer COVID-19 Facts & Questions for 2021," Texas Security Bank Speaker Series, April 27, 2021.
  • "Labor & Employment Conversations," The Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas, January 28, 2021.
  • "Combatting Sexual Harassment on Film Sets," Women Texas Film Festival, August 14, 2020.
  • "Employment Law Webinar - Pandemic Style," Texas Security Bank Speaker Series, April 14, 2020.

Please contact Alana if you are interested in her presenting to your company on these or other labor and employment topics.

  • Employment Law Webinar – Pandemic Style
  • Corporate Culture in The Age of #METOO
  • Management Training – Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  • Mitigating Risk for Employers
  • Navigating Leaves of Absence Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) & Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Managing Employee Performance and Expectations of Fairness
  • Social Media in the Workplace
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – Guidance on Overtime Exemptions, Salary Deductions, Work Hours, and Independent Contractors

To view our COVID-19 Legal Services Resource Directory, please click here.