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Avila Named to LOC 2014 Hot List

July 15, 2014

Varnum labor and employment attorney Luis Avila has been named to Lawyers of Color’s Second Annual Hot List, which recognizes early- to mid-career minority attorneys excelling in the legal profession.

Honorees will be profiled in Lawyers of Color’s Hot List 2014 issue (July 2014). Avila and other honorees from the Midwest region will also be feted at a reception at the Chicago offices of Quarles & Brady in July.

Avila is one of just seven attorneys from Michigan – and the only attorney from West Michigan – to be named to the list. A labor and employment attorney, Avila focuses on employment litigation and traditional labor matters, including grievances, arbitrations, collective bargaining negotiations, union campaigns, and matters in front of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC).

Prior to joining Varnum in 2011, Avila worked at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Switzerland, the Centre for Advice on Individual Rights in Europe, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, and the Florence Immigration and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona. He formerly worked for a large international corporate law firm in Mexico City where he focused on foreign direct investment matters.

Attorneys named to the Lawyers of Color Hot List 2014 were chosen through a two-pronged process which included attorneys working as in-house counsel, government attorneys, and law firm associates and partners. The selection committee reviewed nominations and researched bar association publications and legal blogs in order to identify promising candidates. Nominations from mentors, peers, and colleagues were accepted. The selection committee also made editorial picks of attorneys who had noteworthy accomplishments, especially those active in legal pipeline initiatives.

At Varnum, Avila has been a member of the firm's Diversity Committee for several years and is especially active in efforts geared toward recruiting diverse candidates to the firm. Avila was also featured in a video created by the marketing arm of the Managing Partner's Diversity Collaborative, focusing on Grand Rapids as an attractive market for minorities in the legal profession.

Lawyers of Color was initially founded as On Being A Black Lawyer but now also produces publications for lawyers of South Asian American, Pacific Asian American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. LOC has been recognized by the American Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, and National Association of Black Journalists. "Our company provides research, career development, and brand marketing opportunities to our clients. With a core readership of 35,000, nearly 200,000 unique blog visitors, and nearly 4,000 followers and fans, we have the largest social media presence of any minority legal organization."

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