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.





























































February 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

A Call for Young Lawyers to Get Involved in the Texas Legislative Session
By: Robert Booth, Attorney, Mills Shirley LLP

The Texas Legislature is currently in its 82nd session and there are several important reasons for Texas’ young lawyers to pay attention and get involved. This session will likely have an impact on the practice of law and legal business for years to come. Young lawyers will be particularly interested in a number of proposals, including tort reforms, immigration, jurisdiction and venue modifications, and revisions in the areas of family law, collaborative law, probate, voting and animal law.

Top Story
Top Story

The Little Voice
By: Jennifer Evans Morris, Partner, Carrington Coleman

You know someone who was abused as a child. It might be your client, your neighbor, the colleague down the hall, your boss, or the person who does your taxes. It might be you.

You probably know a child who is being abused today - a child who is too terrified to tell, too loyal to speak up, too alone to help themselves. It is a hard reality to accept, but four children die every day from child abuse. For every four children that die each day, there are over 13,000 who suffer neglect, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse – almost always at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them most - parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, babysitters, and nannies.

Feature TYLA Affiliate

Amarillo Area Young Lawyers Association 12th Annual Las Vegas CLE
By:  Laura L. Hale, Associate Attorney, Sprouse Shrader Smith P.C.

The Amarillo Area Young Lawyers Association is gearing up for a busy spring! AAYLA will host its 12th Annual Las Vegas CLE on April 16, 2011, at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. The CLE will cover a wide range of topics and will be relevant to all attorneys, from those who are newly licensed to seasoned veterans. A quality CLE that is offered for a bargain price in the city that never sleeps…who could ask for anything more? We would enjoy seeing our friends from other bar associations across the State at this event so if you are interested in attending, please email Trey Lansford at tlansford@mhba.com or Laura Hale at laura.hale@sprouselaw.com.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

How to Get a Job After Law School: The Unclassified Story
Presented by the TYLA Law Student Outreach Committee


1. To arrange or organize according to class or category.

2. To designate as confidential, secret, or top secret.

Were you a law student who didn’t have the grades to participate in the On-Campus Interviewing process? Do you know a law student who is unable to find a job but who is at the top of her class? Do law students approach you asking what the “secret” is to finding employment upon graduation in 2011?

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Financial Priorities for Young Lawyers
By: Gelasia Steed CFP, Steed Investments

You’ve done it! You made it through undergrad despite all the partying, finished law school with your eyesight a little worse for wear, and hopefully passed the bar…if not, get back to studying! Now, you’ve landed a great job and are earning a steady paycheck. But wait, before you go spend it all on a fancy new car, understand that a high salary does not equate to a high net worth. What should your financial priorities be?

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Baby Boomers and Estate Planning - Get Started!
By: David F. Johnson & Jennifer Lovelace, Winstead PC

Nearly 76 million baby boomers – people born between 1946 and 1965 – are headed for retirement in the next 20 years or so in the United States. Even after the recession took a significant toll on the value of their homes and investment portfolios, they remain a powerful force in the nation’s economy. They control an estimated $10 trillion in assets -- most of which they will still own when they retire.

Access To Justice Commission Update

Represent a Pro Bono Client and Get MCLE Credit
By: Hannah Silk Kapasi

Did you know that you can receive up to five hours of MCLE credit by participating as either a mentor or a mentee when handling a pro bono case?

Let’s say you want to obtain more experience in family law cases. Accept a case through an approved legal aid program, be matched with a mentor expert in family law, and you both will help a poor person in need of legal services while working towards meeting your MCLE requirements.

ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

2011 ABA Midyear Meeting
By: C.E. Rhodes, Baker Hughes, Inc.

The American Bar Association 2011 Midyear Meeting will take place in Atlanta, Georgia from February 9-15, 2011. The Midyear Meeting brings together more than 3,000 lawyers and their families from across the country. The Midyear Meeting provides the forum for many divisions, sections, and committees to conduct business meetings as well as offering CLE programs to its members. In addition, the ABA House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the association, meets to review recommendations submitted by various divisions, sections, committees, and entities of the ABA. Action taken by the House of Delegates on specific issues becomes official ABA policy.

Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

February 9-15
ABA YLD midyear meetings; House of Delegates - Atlanta, GA

February 16
TYLA Officer election results are announced

February 17
Texas lawyers have until Thursday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. to vote on proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

February 21
Holiday - Presidents Day (Texas Law Center closed)

Take Note
Take Note

View This Month's TYLA Chair's Opinion

David Anderson
TYLA Chair 2010-2011

“Justice for All” License Plate Contest
The "And Justice For All" License Plate contest has come to an end.
Thanks to all the affiliates that participated:

Austin Young Lawyers Association
Collin County Young Lawyers
Fort Worth - Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association
Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association
Waco McLennan County Young Lawyers

We appreciate everyone that supported this effort. Congratulations to Fort Worth - Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, the winner of the affiliate contest with less than 800 members and to Austin Young Lawyers Association for winning the contest of affiliates with more than 800 members! Your flip video recorder is on the way. Please also let us know which legal aid charity we can donate $100.00 in your name.
Finally, be sure to look for your name in the Access to Justice magazine and on the ATJ website. Although the contest is over, if you would like a license plate, you can download the application here:

Referendum Voting Ends Feb. 17!
Texas lawyers have until Thursday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. to vote on proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. TexasBarCLE is offering a free two-hour ethics webcast. The University of Texas School of Law is offering a free one-hour ethics webcast. To cast your vote in Referendum 2011, click here.

Texas Forum — Ethics CLE for Only $20
On Feb. 25, 2011, the State Bar of Texas Standing Committee on Paralegals will host Texas Forum XXVIII, its annual conclave of attorneys, paralegals, and legal administrators. This year’s Forum, to be held in Dallas, will examine the ethical implications involved in using social media in a legal setting and the ethical responsibilities lawyers and paralegals owe to each other and to clients. Keynote speaker Kari Wangensteen, senior director, legal at Best Buy, will speak on “Embracing Transparency: The Business and Legal Impact of Social Media.” The half-day seminar (9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.) is State Bar MCLE accredited (3 hours, 2.25 ethics), and registration is only $20 (before Feb. 15) or $25 (after Feb. 15). Law students and paralegal students can attend for $10. For more information or to register, visit www.texasbar.com/texasforum

2011 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting
The 2011 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting will be held in San Antonio June 23-24, 2011. Earn all of your CLE credits for the entire year. Connect with colleagues to discuss hot topics and renew relationships. Grow by attending presentations that educate, motivate, and inspire. Don’t miss keynote speeches from U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton and bestselling historian and biographer H.W. Brands.

Enter to win a complimentary Annual Meeting registration by e-mailing your answer to the question below. E-mail your answer and contact information to annualmeeting@texasbar.com by February 28.

Question: What is the last day you can vote on the proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct?

Click here for conference registration and program updates.

Texans on Justice
The Difference A Lawyer Makes
2011 State Bar of Texas YouTube Contest
Call for Entries
Lawyers are entrusted by the public to preserve our liberties by upholding the rule of law. Our legal system can involve serious and complex issues. Lawyers help guide their clients. How do lawyers make a difference in our society?
The State Bar of Texas invites aspiring Texas filmmakers of all ages to create a 30-second video similar to a public service announcement on the following theme: The Difference a Lawyer Makes.
Prizes/scholarships will be awarded in the following categories: 1) Under 18; 2) 18 and over; 3) People’sChoice Award for the video that gets the most views. Parental permission is required for children under 18. Winners will be recognized at the State Bar’s Law Day Celebration in Austin on May 9, 2011.
We want to know what you think! Encourage your local bar, your colleagues, and your family and friends to participate and show us the many ways lawyers make a difference!
Deadline for entries: April 1, 2011
For complete contest rules and how to enter, visit: www.texasbar.com/texansonjustice

Handling Your First Civil Appeal
The Appellate Section CLE Committee and State Bar CLE are teaming up to host a new one-day course called "Handling Your First Civil Appeal" on February 18. Whether you attend in Austin or watch via webcast, this course will be a great refresher for the seasoned appellate practitioner and a practical, information-packed introduction to appellate practice for any litigator. Help the Section make this new program a success: please consider attending, and please spread the word to your contacts who might be interested. For more information, click on the following link: http://www.texasbarcle.com/materials/Programs/2338/Brochure.pdf. 

TYLA Minority Scholarship Program
Annually, a $1,000 scholarship is awarded to one minority student at each Texas law school. The scholarship promotes diversity in the legal profession by assisting members of minority populations within the bar to: (1) enter the legal profession; and (2) participate in the programs and activities of TYLA and the State Bar of Texas. The application deadline is in October. The scholarship awards are distributed prior to the Spring semester. Please click here to view the winners for 2010.
TYLA Seeks Spanish Translators
Are you fluent in Spanish? Do you want to become more involved in TYLA? If your answer to both of these questions is “si,” TYLA is looking for your help. TYLA is currently in the process of translating several of our educational pamphlets into Spanish. These pamphlets are distributed throughout our communities and TYLA wants to expand the impact of these pamphlets to the Spanish-speaking communities. If you are interested in helping, please contact Michelle Palacios at mpalacios@texasbar.com.
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 Kenneth C. Riney or Brooke Ulrickson Allen.

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 $35.00 per year.
$25.00 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

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.