Rachel Powitzky Steely



Rachel Powitzky Steely is recognized as one of the foremost female trial lawyers in Texas specializing in employment and trade secret law. She was selected as one of Houston’s elite 100 lawyers and named in the top 20 female trial lawyers by Texas Lawyer Magazine, the only employment attorney to receive the honor. Rachel has been selected as a Texas “Super Lawyer” for more than ten years in the specialty of employment litigation and has been recognized by Best Lawyers and Chambers. She was named as Houston Business Journal's Outstanding Business Leader in Professional Services and selected for Who's Who in Energy. She is a former student investigator for the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and is Board Certified, Labor & Employment Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Rachel is an expert in the field of unfair competition litigation, including extensive experience representing clients in prosecuting and defending expedited proceedings seeking emergency injunctive relief related to non-competes, trade secret theft and embezzlement, which allows her to provide quick, strategic and efficient representation for companies and executives.

Rachel also has particular expertise in wage and hour litigation, and a wide variety of employment matters, including disability laws; discrimination, retaliation and harassment; executive agreements; OSHA and safety; terminations, hiring and layoffs, and, severance agreements. She maintains an active trial docket while also providing the necessary preventative counseling to help clients avoid costly litigation.  

Rachel serves as vice chair for the firm's Labor & Employment Practice.

Professional Affiliations

  • Board Certified, Labor & Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Member, Houston Bar Association
    • Former Chair, Lawyers in Public Schools
    • Former Member, Adopt an Angel Program Committee
    • Former Member, Speakers Bureau Committee
    • Former Member, Special Olympics Auction Committee
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Former Member, Women’s Energy Network, Houston
  • Former Member, Texas Young Lawyers Association
    • Former Vice Chair, Crossing the Line and Borders & Boundaries Program
  • Former Board Member, Houston Young Lawyers Association
    • Former Chair, Crossing the Line and Borders & Boundaries Program

Community Involvement

  • Texas A&M University 12th Man Foundation
    • Member, Legal and Governance Committee
  • Corporate Guild Board Member, Dress for Success Houston
    • Chair, "A Night Out" (fundraiser held annually) (2011-2014)
  • Coach, West University Girls Softball Association (2008-present)
    • Auxiliary in support of WUSA
    • WUSA Auction Committee
    • Coach, WUSA Summer All-Stars
    • Coach, WUSA Spring and Fall Ball
  • Volunteer, St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church
    • Member, Capital Campaign Committee
    • Volunteer, Lord’s Day Program
    • Volunteer, Fall Festival
  • St. Vincent De Paul Catholic School
    • School Board Member (2012-2015)
    • Co-Chair - Annual Fund
    • Member, Parent Teacher Organization
    • Member, Gala Committee
    • Member, Breakfast with Santa
  • Former Board Member, Friends of the Ronald McDonald House
  • Former President and Board Member, Young Friends of the Ronald McDonald House
  • "Cookie Mom," San Jacinto Girl Scouts, Troops 25272 and 25199

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized, The Best Lawyers® in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.)
    • Employment Law - Management (2018-2020)
  • Recognized, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Tom Wicker ed., Chambers & Partners)
    • Labor and Employment (2016-2017)
  • Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Super Lawyers Magazine
    • Employment Litigation: Defense (2005-2018)
  • Recognized, Houston Chronicle, Best Lawyers in Texas (2018)
  • Recognized, Houstonia's Top Lawyers,Houstonia Magazine, A SagaCity Media Publication (2017)
  • Recognized, Women Who Mean Business, Houston Business Journal (2017)
  • Recognized, Who's Who in Energy, Houston Business Journal (2016)
  • Recognized, Top Female Litigator in Texas, Texas Lawyer Winning Women (2014)
  • Recognized, Houston’s Top Lawyers, H Texas Magazine
    • Labor and Employment  (2004, 2011, 2012)
  • Recognized, Professional on the Fast Track, H Texas Magazine (2005, 2008, 2009)
  • Recognized, Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Super Lawyers Magazine (2005)


  • J.D., South Texas College of Law, (1994)
    • Member, National Order of Barristers
    • Member, The Order of Lytae
    • Finalist, ABA Appellate Advocacy Competition (1994)
    • Finalist, American Trial Lawyers Association Mock Trial Competition (1993)
  • B.S., Texas A&M University, (1991)
    • Economics


  • Texas State Courts (1994)
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits