By Matthew Berger, Director of Communications
Bridget Lopez joined Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP as an associate attorney in 2004 and now serves as Managing Partner of the Dallas Office.
“Every Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s time for me to reflect on the sacrifices of my ancestors, who worked in the fields of West Texas,” she said. “It’s also time for me to recognize the sacrifice from people like my parents who had a high school education and provided countless opportunities for future generations like me.”
Lopez, a DRC Board Member, talks career in the DRC’s ongoing Q&A series for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Why is it important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for us as a country to celebrate the contributions of Latinos past and present. We are a community that believes that humility is the foundation of who we are as people. Traditionally, we fly under-the-radar as blue-collar workers, trade and skilled workers, and entrepreneurs, yet Latinos in this country represent increasing economic growth and power. We build homes, skyscrapers, roads, and businesses and feed this country from the fields to the tables of restaurants. It’s a recognition of brave and courageous leaders like Dolores Huerta, Pancho Medrano, Anita Martinez, and Cesar Chavez who were willing to sacrifice so much to open doors for Latinos and people of color to ensure our civil rights were recognized and protected.
What are businesses doing right for the Hispanic community? What are areas of improvement?
Businesses are being more inclusive in their outreach which is critical to gaining trust in the community. It’s difficult to understand the challenges without being involved in the community you serve. It’s not just about hiring more Latinos, although, that is a good start. Businesses should adopt their own local elementary school; my law firm did this five years ago, and it has helped us understand one of the most underserved populations and their challenges. How are we helping our schools develop the next workforce? It does not just fall on the educational system and the parents. It lies with our business community providing time and not just dollars to our public schools. We see more efforts in outreach and hiring of Latinos and marketing to us, but the real change starts at the top. If an organization believes in DEI, it really starts with the top decision-makers who can make real change and transform opportunities for Latinos and communities of color.
Please share with us some Hispanic-serving organizations in the Dallas Region you support.
I was proud to co-chair the Concilio’s 40th anniversary gala. The event was held on Sept. 15, 2022, which also kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month. I am involved because my motto at this stage of my life is, “how do I unlock opportunities for Latinos, women, and people of color who have been historically underrepresented?” The Concilio is a nonprofit in Dallas whose sole mission is to unlock opportunities for Latino families. The Concilio provides resources, programs, mentoring, and data for Latinos, so they can be a successful part of their communities. This includes a better understanding of the educational system for their children and gaining more wealth.
What moment in your career shaped its current trajectory?
My appointment to Managing Partner at my firm in 2014 changed my life. I was the youngest person on our firm’s management committee, and my boss DeMetris Sampson, a respected civic and business leader in Dallas, recommended me for the job. I was fortunate to be mentored by a woman of color who had the confidence, foresight, and courage to push me forward. Incredible leaders see the potential in others before they do, and DeMetris Sampson is an incredible leader. I call it generational leadership, and my goal is to continue this great legacy of transformational change. I stay motivated because we have so much ground to make up for and so many opportunities just waiting for us.
Other executives in the DRC’s Hispanic Heritage Month Q&A series include Rafael Lizardi and Maryanne Pina.