Estela Diaz joined Akin Gump’s New York office in 2007 and became a partner in the firm in 2012. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation and labor and employment issues.
The daughter of Mexican farm workers, Estela is the first member of her family to attend college. She received her A.B. cum laude in 1997 from Harvard College and her J.D. in 2003 from Harvard Law School. As an attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Estela worked on discrimination and harassment cases, including a significant class action suit involving Hispanic factory workers paid less than their non-Hispanic counterparts.
At Akin Gump, Estela continues to concentrate on employment discrimination and wage and hour complaints as well as white collar and internal investigations. She counts among her most notable representations a high-profile hedge fund client accused of insider trading, which required her to deal directly with the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
As a member of the New York office diversity committee, Estela is active in many of the firm’s diversity initiatives. She has contributed to the firm’s submissions for the Thomas L. Sager Award, an award presented annually to law firms committed to the hiring, retention and promotion of minority attorneys. Estela is active in on-campus recruiting and working with students interning at the firm through the Sponsorship for Educational Opportunity Program. Through her pro bono practice, Estela is often involved in cases that make use of her Spanish-speaking background. These cases have included assisting a sexually abused teenager from the Dominican Republic secure immigration status within the United States. She is also a member of the Minorities in the Courts Committee for the New York City Bar.
“There’s an exceptional commitment to diversity, to making sure people succeed, are mentored and are happy here. It’s not just a concept you put down on paper.”