TYLA Officers


Rebekah Steely Brooker, President


Dustin M. Howell, Chair


Sam Houston, Vice President


Baili B. Rhodes, Secretary


John W. Shaw, Treasurer


C. Barrett Thomas, President-elect


Priscilla D. Camacho, Chair-elect


Kristy Blanchard, Immediate Past President

TYLA Directors


Amanda A. Abraham, District 1


Sharesa Y. Alexander, Minority At-Large Director


Raymond J. Baeza, District 14

    Aaron J. Burke, District 5, Place 1

Aaron T. Capps, District 5, Place 2


D. Lance Currie, District 5, Place 3


Laura W. Docker, District 10, Place 1

    Andrew Dornburg, District 21
    John W. Ellis, District 8, Place 2
    Zeke Fortenberry, District 4

Bill Gardner, District 5, Place 4


Morgan L. Gaskin, District 6, Place 5

    Nick Guinn, District 18, Place 1

Adam C. Harden, District 6, Place 6


Amber L. James, District 17


Curtis W. Lucas, District 9

    Rudolph K. Metayer, District 8, Palce 1

Laura Pratt, District 3

    Sally Pretorius, District 8, Place 2

Baili B. Rhodes, District 2


Alex B. Roberts, District 6, Place 3

    Eduardo Romero, District 19
    Michelle P. Scheffler, District 6, Place 2

John W. Shaw, District 10, Place 2

    Nicole Soussan, District 6, Place 4
    L. Brook Stuntebeck, District 11

C. Barrett Thomas, District 15

    Judge Amanda N. Torres, Minority At-Large Director

Shannon Steel White, District 12

    Brandy Wingate Voss, District 13
    Veronica S. Wolfe, District 18, Place 2

Baylor Wortham, District 7

    Alex Yarbrough, District 16


Justice Paul W. Green, Supreme Court Liaison


Jenny Smith, Access To Justice Liaison


Brandon Crisp, ABA YLD District 25 Representative


Travis Patterson, ABA/YLD District 26 Representative


Assistant Dean Jill Nikirk, Law School Liaison


Belashia Wallace, Law Student Liaison


TYLA Office

Tracy Brown, Director of Administration
Bree Trevino, Project Coordinator

Michelle Palacios, Office Manager
General Questions: tyla@texasbar.com

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 12487, Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711-2487
(800) 204-2222 ext. 1529
FAX: (512) 427-4117

Street Address

1414 Colorado, 4th Floor
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 427-1529


Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.





























































August 2010

Editor's Column

Jefferson and Tarrant Counties Lead the License Tag Charge
By: Brooke Ulrickson

At Bar Leaders, TYLA kicked off the Justice for All License Plate contest for young lawyer affiliates. Through members of your affiliate purchasing “Justice for All” license plates, you can contribute $25 to a special account supporting legal services to the poor. First to join the charge was Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association followed by the most recent addition, Fort Worth – Tarrant County Young Lawyers. Surely, you can’t let Jefferson and Tarrant beat your affiliate, so how can you join the competition?

Top Story

Serving Those Who Served:  TYLA Publishes Two Pamphlets to Help Veterans with Legal Issues

By: Geoff Gannaway

It is rare to find a cause so universally supported that just about everyone will agree with its inherent worth. TYLA and the State Bar of Texas have adopted just such a cause for the 2010-2011 bar year, driven by one simple truth: “Veterans deserve our gratitude.” This maxim forms the cornerstone for projects currently underway on the part of a joint effort of TYLA and Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans (TLTV), which have pooled their talents and resources to serve those who have sacrificed so much for others.

Feature TYLA Affiliate

Food for Thought Benefits Dallas Youth
By: Kim Garlitz

It was another incredible year for the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers’ Food for Thought at the Tower Club, a celebrity chef charity fundraiser supporting Big Thought. The remarkable generosity of the committee’s celebrity chefs, sponsors, event participants, and volunteers is an extraordinary example of a unified community outreach effort to help area youth. Because of this outpouring of support, DAYL’s Food for Thought was able to raise in excess of $15,000 for Big Thought, a Dallas-based nonprofit dedicated to closing the opportunity gap in education through creative learning.

Feature TYLA Project

Office in a Flash

By. Robert Booth, Mills Shirley LLP

Are you considering opening your own law practice? The Texas Young Lawyers Association recognized that an increasing number of young lawyers are choosing to open their own law firm straight out of law school or within the first few years of their practice. These lawyers are quickly forced to make a number of decisions such as whether they should form a partnership, where should they rent office space and what type of billing method and rate should they use -- while at the same time learning to practice law and creating business. To assist these young lawyers in many of the decisions they face, TYLA has created a new project: Office in a Flash.

Tips For Young Lawyers

Surviving in the Legal Practice
By:  Sonia Munoz Gallagher, Esq.

Time is constantly ticking isn’t it? Doesn’t it seem to get even faster when you walk into your office? Competition for solo practitioners and law firm associates is only getting tougher each month as more lawyers lose their jobs.

So, how can you stand out? How can you differentiate yourself, be profitable, and truly enjoy being a lawyer?

Article of Interest

Texas Lawyers for Texas Vets: VA Claims, Denials, and Appeals
By: Brian Walker

For most of our nation’s history, attorneys have taken very little, if any, part in assisting veterans in obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For many years, federal policy even discouraged attorney representation of VA claimants, and in some instances, created criminal penalties for attorneys who took a role in the veterans benefit process. In the most recent decades, however, Congress has opened the door to attorney representation. Attorneys can assist veterans on a pro bono basis at all phases in the claims process, and as of June 20, 2007, Congress legalized accredited attorneys to get involved in the VA benefits adjudication process and charge a fee as long as the veteran claimant has applied for benefits and been denied those benefits at least once.

Access To Justice Commission Update

“Demand for Pro Bono Higher Than Ever”
By: Benet Magnuson

The State Bar’s pro bono survey revealed only 52 percent of Texas lawyers provided any free legal services to the poor in 2009, the lowest level of pro bono participation in the history of the survey. Following the crash of IOLTA funding for legal aid programs, this fall in pro bono services is another sign of how the economic recession is making it increasingly difficult for poor Texans to access justice.

Important Dates to Remember

August 20
TYLA Minority Scholarship applications and brochures mailed to all participating Texas ABA-accredited law schools

August 27
TYLA deadline to receive grant applications for the 2010-2011 Local Affiliate Grant Program

August 30
TYLA deadline to receive final first committee report

September 6
Holiday - Labor Day (Texas Law Center closed)

September 17-18
TYLA Board of Directors meeting - T Bar M, New Braunfels

October 4
TYLA grant checks mailed to TYLA Local Affiliate grant recipients

October 14-17
ABA/YLD Fall Conference - Santa Fe, NM

October 15
TYLA deadline to receive TYLA Minority Scholarship applications

October 25
TYLA deadline to receive second committee report

Take Note

View This Month's TYLA President's Opinion

Jennifer Evans Morris
TYLA President 2010-2011


Get Involved and Sign Up Today!
If you want to be involved as an active volunteer in TYLA visit our website to find out more about TYLA committees and their focus ... then sign up online! Please note: if you signed up for a committee prior to June 2010, you will need to sign up for your committees again. Committee memberships are reset each year on June 1st.

TYLA Annual Report 2009-2010
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2009-2010 annual report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2009-2010 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send you a copy.

TYLA Local Leader Directory
Please email the TYLA office if there are any changes to your local affiliates contact information.

If your affiliate has an upcoming event that you would like featured in eNews, please forward the information to Bree Trevino or contact eNews Co-Chairs Ken Riney or Brooke Ulrickson

Ten Minute Mentor

Ten Minute Mentor is a TYLA project that debuted in 2004 as a means for sharing concise and practical advice that is always accessible online. Since that time, it has proven its enduring appeal as one of TYLA's most successful projects. More than 50,000 people have visited the site, and we continue to average more than 2,000 segments viewed each month. You can visit the site at www.tenminutementor.com.

Support Pro Bono Legal Services and Let Everyone Know It!

The Texas Young Lawyers Association needs your help to support and promote free legal services for indigent Texans by purchasing a specialty license plate. The license plate proudly states that you support "Justice for All" and can be purchased for only $30.00 per year.
$22.00 from the purchase of each plate will be deposited into an account
supporting legal services to the poor. If you would like that plate personalized, you can get your plate for $70.00 per year. To purchase your plate today, simply fill out an
application and send your check, payable to the Texas Department of Transportation, to the following address:
Vehicle Titles and Registration Division (SPB)
Texas Department of Transportation
Austin, TX 78779-0001
To pay online click

Rule 78a Requires Civil Case Information Sheet

New Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 78A requires that a case information sheet accompany the filing of an original petition in a civil case and certain post-judgment motions under the Texas Family Code. [5/10]
For details and instructions, including the form for the sheet, visit this page and see the heading, "Civil Case Information Sheet."

Make New Connections with Texas Bar Circle
More than 12,000 of your peers have joined Texas Bar Circle - our social and professional network for Texas lawyers. Join today and reconnect with colleagues, find jobs, explore opportunities, and have fun. The power of Texas Bar Circle is in the connections you will make. Visit https://texasbar.affinitycircles.com/sbot/auth/login.

Member Benefits Program
Are you looking for ways to save this summer? Take advantage of exclusive money-saving offers from the State Bar of Texas Member Benefits Program. Bar members are eligible for discounts on products and services including car rental, clothing, computer hardware and software, office supplies, and more. For details on the State Bar Member Benefits Program, please click here.