Ashton has practiced law for more than 30 years and is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Texas. His primary practices include employment law, dispute resolution and commercial litigation. Ashton returns to McGinnis, where he was a partner and led the employment law practice group, and also handled commercial litigation matters. His diverse clients include and have included fortune 100 companies, such as technology and oil and gas corporations; as well as educational, health and wellness, and utility companies.
Ashton’s employment law practice has included counsel and litigation about state and federal employment statutes, including the Texas Commission of Human Rights Act, Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act. He has advised employers on covenants-not-compete, unemployment insurance, and wage and hour issues; and investigated allegations of employee misconduct.
During his leave from McGinnis Lochridge, Ashton served the Central Texas region in several capacities. He was Police Monitor for the City, where he worked to increase the level of cultural competency in the Austin Police Department (APD); provide impartial to oversight of APD’s conduct, practices, policies; and internal investigations; and enhance earned trust between APD and the community. He was also an executive at the Seton Healthcare Family, where he focused on advocacy and community engagement. Most recently he served as a Policy Advisor for Austin Mayor Steve Adler, where, among other things, he co-led initiatives focused on equitable and holistic development, such as mixed-income housing, education, health and wellness, and public safety, in Austin's historically underserved region; and the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. Prior to his original stint at McGinnis Lochridge, Ashton was Chief of the Trial Division for the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
Ashton’s contributions to the well-being of the Central Texas region have been widely recognized. He has been the recipient of many awards and recognitions, including the University of Texas at Austin Dr. James Hill Leadership Award, the American Heart Association Power Award, the AISD Charles Akins Award, the University of Texas Thurgood Legal Society’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Austin NAACP Outstanding Service Award, City of Austin Distinguished Service Award, and the Austin Metropolitan YMCA Will W. Miller Volunteer Leadership Award. Examples of his servant leadership include service as President of the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO), Chair of the Board of Directors of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, and Co-Chair of the AISD Bond Oversight Committee.
Currently, Ashton is the Executive Pastor at Agape Christian Ministries, past-President of AARO; a board member of HousingWorks Austin and E3 Alliance; a member of the steering committee for EquitySpace 2019; and an advisory board member of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Black Chamber, and I Live Here, I Give Here. Additionally, he serves on the Travis County District Attorney’s Civil Rights Advisory Council and the University of Texas Dell Medical School’s Admissions Committee.
After re-joining McGinnis Lochridge, Ashton has continued to serve the Central Texas community. He has given multiple presentations raising awareness about the state of racial equity in Austin; has co-founded Equidad ATX, a nonprofit with the mission of creating sustainable neighborhood revitalization in Austin; and is working with Leadership Austin to co-convene Pacific Education Group’s Beyond Diversity - Courageous Conversations About Race seminars for community members and industry leaders, including members of the legal profession.
Ashton has an A.B. in Economics from Brown University and a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law.