Benya is among a distinctive group who impact the legal industry and mold the future of the legal system with their insight and leadership.
The National Diversity Council (NDC) hosted a Top 50 General Counsel Dinner on October 30 in Houston at the Marriott Marquis. A distinctive list of executives, partners, and professionals who impact the legal industry comprise the Top 50 General Counsel Award recipients. Aldine ISD’s Assistant General Counsel Amy Benya was among the honorees.
Criteria to be considered for the distinction included demonstrating achievements across the full spectrum of in-house responsibility, performing above and beyond the usual requirements of his or her professional capability, showing commitment to diversity and community well-being, and displaying high integrity and ethical behavior. Benya is honored by the recognition.
“The distinction inspires me,” said Benya. “It gives me a renewed confidence and purpose. It affirms that I am on the right track, and encourages me to continue to press forward in my faith, career, and life.”
Ms. Benya has been practicing law for eight years. She joined Aldine ISD as assistant general counsel in the Legal Department in September 2018. Primarily, Benya handles business transactional, labor and employment, as well as Texas Public Information Act matters.
Before working in AISD, Benya worked in the Office of the General Counsel for the Lone Star College System. In addition to her role at LSCS, she also held a six-month appointment as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities and Construction. Benya managed all construction projects for LSCS, including new construction under a $485 million Bond Program.
Her resumé is impressive, including stints as Assistant General Counsel with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. She was also one of three intern candidates selected nationally for a coveted summer internship with the largest U.S. retailer, Wal-Mart, Inc., in their Club General Counsel Offices in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The native Houstonian received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, and her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in government from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
Benya shared that she went to Nicholls State University on a full athletic basketball scholarship. While at Nicholls, she served as vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to the university’s administration. The star-athlete earned the Southland Conference Player of the Year Runner-Up and made the Southland Conference All-Academic Team. The over-achiever also made the Dean’s and President’s List every semester as well as finished her undergraduate degree within three years.
Her desire to achieve and serve began early, attaining academic honors and taking on leadership roles in middle and high school. Benya credits her parents for inspiring her, especially her mother, who Benya describes as her most prominent advocate and supporter. Her mother has an Aldine connection. She and her siblings are proud graduates of Aldine ISD.
Among Benya’s favorite things about her role is listening to issues or concerns or even future goals brought to her by district employees, and collaborating in the discussion, and working to resolve issues or offering advice on how to legally stay on track and attain future goals. She added that she loves planning and detail.
“Growing up, I had always admired legislators and other prominent public figures, many of whom, if not most, are also attorneys, and the great responsibilities and duties that their public service carried,” Benya said. “I saw that learning the law was a great tool and platform to touch lives in different ways. I, too, wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of others and have always had a knack for bringing people together and issue solving. I have jokingly even earned the nickname of ‘Miss United Nations’ among family members. The legal field is a natural fit.”
When she is not practicing the law, Benya enjoys being active in her church and spending time with close friends and family. Benya also enjoys staying fit. She plays on a co-ed flag football league and kickball team.