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.





























































June 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Why Did You Become a Lawyer?
By: Katy Boatman

Perhaps you are working with law students this summer, as I am. If so, undoubtedly you have seen the nervous looks in their eyes as they contemplate their future job prospects. The state of the economy and the day-to-day life of being a lawyer often makes us forget the reasons we went to law school in the first place. I have heard so many of my colleagues discourage people away from going to law school. I say, as we interact with law students and others, we focus on the benefits of being a lawyer and the positive change we can effect.

Top Story
Top Story

Year in Review
By: Jennifer Morris, Partner, Carrington Coleman

This year’s Texas Young Lawyers Association Annual Meeting will celebrate a year focusing on those we serve – young lawyers, the public, students, and children. TYLA worked hard this year to provide practical resources to help with a challenging economy. Together, we created Office in a Flash – everything you need to know to open your own law practice, all on a flash drive. We initiated Partnering for Pro Bono, a sustainable web-based program matching in-house counsel with law firm lawyers to support equal access to justice by increasing the provision of pro bono services. Finally, we produced The Little Voice – Recognizing Child Abuse and Your Duty to Report It, which serves as a reminder and educational tool about our obligation to report child abuse. Of course, we also continued to support our existing projects and resources.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

Teen Talk
By: Leif Olson

The Houston Young Lawyers Association taught nearly 400 students about legal issues affecting teenagers in two film festivals presented through its Teen Talk committee.

Teen Talk volunteers presented four TYLA programs to the students and led discussions about those programs to increase the students’ understanding of the materials. Each session of Teen Talk featured TYLA’s video programs “R U Safe?” on Internet safety and privacy; “They Had a Dream Too,” on the young leaders of the civil-rights movement; “Vote America,” on voting rights and responsibilities; and “American Juror,” on the importance of juror service.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

More Resources for Young Lawyers and the Community
By: Brooke Ulrickson Allen

Throughout the Bar year, you hear about the many great projects TYLA completes such as Partnering for Pro Bono and the Little Voice. However, there are also some “lesser known” resources available for young lawyers, clients, and the community in general. These are the plethora of pamphlets TYLA produces and updates each year.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

Identifying and Dealing With a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
By Chip Brooker

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.
— Matthew 7:15-16 (New International Version).

It’s 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning, and the Defendant just served you with its Original Answer. You’re relieved to see that Harvey Dent is representing the Defendant. You have a long history with Harvey, who was a law school classmate of yours. Although more of an acquaintance than a friend, you generally like and respect Harvey and have had lunch with him on more than one occasion. You believe that he is a good attorney based on your service together on bar committees and one prior experience where he represented a co-defendant. You’re immediately convinced that this case will be more enjoyable with Harvey on the other side.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

5 Things Associates Need to Know Before Preparing Clients for Depositions
By: Chris Simmons

You are sitting in a conference room. The court reporter diligently transcribes the record. The videographer has your client’s image on screen. The tape is rolling. Opposing counsel has been deposing your client for 30 minutes. You think to yourself, “I’ve got this under control.” The next instant, opposing counsel asks your client a question and your heart instantly repositions itself from its customary location on the left side of your chest to somewhere in your esophagus. As your client flounders to answer the question, you think to yourself, “Why did I not prepare my client for that question?” You spend the remainder of the deposition, and possibly the remainder of the litigation, trying to undo what has just occurred.

ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

Spring Conference Report
By: Chip Brooker and C.E. Rhodes

Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted more than 300 young lawyers, including many of our international affiliate friends, at the ABA YLD Spring Conference May 12-14, 2011 at Caesars Palace.

Spring Conference Council Meeting

The ABA YLD Council met on Thursday, May 12, 2011. The highlights of the Council meeting included:

  • Announcement of 2012-13 conference sites: Charleston, SC (Fall Conf., Oct 2012); Dallas, TX (Midyear, Feb. 2013); Minneapolis, MN (Spring Conf., TBD); Francisco, CA (Annual, Aug. 2013).
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Chris Rogers, reminded all council members to donate to the Fund for Justice and Education to continue the YLD council’s tradition of 100% participation.
Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

June 21-23, 2011
TYLA State Moot Court Competition, Grand Hyatt Hotel San Antonio
June 24, 2011
TYLA Annual Meeting Reception and Midnight Mambo, Grand Hyatt Hotel San Antonio

June 25, 2011
TYLA New Directors Orientation, Grand Hyatt Hotel San Antonio

July 1, 2011
Deadline to Receive Nominations for 2011-2012 LeadershipSBOT class

July 1, 2011
ABA YLD deadline to receive entries for the ABA YLD National Award of Achievement Competition

July 18, 2011
TYLA Deadline to receive committee Plan of Action and Budget Request 

Take Note
Take Note

View This Month's TYLA President-Elect's Opinion
Natalie Cobb Koehler
TYLA President-Elect 2010-2011

2011 Annual Meeting

Last chance to register for a year’s worth of CLE and ethics! This is your chance to earn 6.75 hours (3.75 hours ethics daily)! Join us in San Antonio (June 23-24) and don’t miss: U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk, Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton, award winning authors James B. Stewart, Edmund Morris, Douglas Brinkley, and H.W. Brands. It’s your move.

Summer Savings through the State Bar Member Discounts Program

Take advantage of the State Bar Member Discounts Program to save money this summer on car rentals, cruises, resorts, and theme park tickets. Click here for travel and entertainment discounts or visit texasbar.beneplace.com for more great savings from dozens of retailers and service providers. State Bar Member Discounts — A new way for Texas lawyers to shop!

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 14,000 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 here.

TYLA Annual Report 2010-2011
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2010-2011 annual report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2010-2011 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send you a copy.