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.





























































March 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Open Doors, Open Minds
By:  Chip Brooker

This month many of you will have the opportunity to meet the candidates for State Bar President-Elect and TYLA President-Elect as they tour the state campaigning for your votes. Each of these four men—Guy Choate, Buck Files, David Courreges, and C.E. Rhodes—have distinguished records of service to the bar, the profession, and the community at large, and when you meet them, I hope that you will give them two things—an open door and an open mind.

Top Story
Top Story

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
By:  Natalie Cobb Koehler

It’s that time of year again…time for candidates for TYLA President-Elect to travel the state in an effort to meet as many young lawyers as they can before Election Day. This year we are fortunate to have two outstanding candidates from large cities, C.E. Rhodes from Houston and David Courreges from Austin. On April 1st, election packets with a paper ballot will be mailed to all eligible attorneys. You may either submit your paper ballot via mail or vote online. The deadline to cast ballots is 5 p.m. CST on April 30th.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

SAYLA Starts Spring with Family Fun
By:  Priscilla Camacho

Moving away from the traditional cocktail socials and happy hours, SAYLA will be hosting its Inaugural Family Fun Fest and Chili Cook-Off on March 6, 2011. The festivities will take place at San Antonio's Brackenridge Park and will be open to the entire legal community and their families. This event promises to have everything from face painting and piñatas to snow cones and even a moon walk for the kids! Not leaving anything out, we are also hosting a chili cook-off where lawyers can show off their culinary skills and present their family's secret recipe. Each participant will compete for Best Chili and People's Choice Award.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

How to See the Inside of the Courtroom by April
By: Erin O’Driscoll, Attorney, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Are your cases settling before trial? Do you miss that sudden surge of adrenaline as you head down to the courthouse steps? Do you want to help foster superior advocacy skills among law students? If you answered yes, TYLA is offering you the opportunity to be a part of a full blown trial—become a volunteer at the upcoming preeminent mock trial competition in Houston!

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

By:  Gary McNeil

The Texas Board of Legal Specialization was established in 1974 by the Supreme Court of Texas to administer a program under which attorneys with sufficient experience, continuing legal education and education in a specific area of law could become “Board Certified” in that area and advertise the certification. The goals of the program were to recognize expertise and encourage ongoing study in a specialty area and to provide the public with a means of identifying a capable attorney in that area.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Summaries of Evidence
By: Bonnie Sudderth, Judge of the 352nd District Court

The Hitchhiker’s Guide, a fictitious travel guide in Douglas Adams' humorous five-part “trilogy,” Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is touted as the most comprehensive source of information on intergalactic space travel destinations. In the Guide, planet Earth is summed up in two words: “Mostly harmless.”

Access To Justice Commission Update
Access To Justice Commission Update

Bank on Justice! Get your money in a Prime Partner bank
By:  Benet Magnuson

The State Bar Board of Directors adopted a resolution supporting the IOLTA Prime Partner Program. The Resolution encourages Texas lawyers to support the Prime Partner Program in three ways:

1. Ask your bank to become a Prime Partner.
2. If your bank won’t become a Prime Partner, move your money to a Prime Partner bank. A list of Prime Partner financial institutions is available here.
3. Talk to your colleagues about the Prime Partner program and the need for increased funding for civil legal aid in Texas.

ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

2011 Midyear Meeting Report

More than 350 young lawyers attended the Midyear Meeting held February 10-12, in Atlanta, Georgia. This report contains the highlights of this very successful Meeting.

ABA YLD Assembly
Delegates from across the country gathered on Saturday, February 12th for the ABA YLD Assembly. Four resolutions were adopted (which is fairly unusual), and each was presented by young lawyers:

Important Dates to Remember
Important Dates to Remember

March 10-11
ABA Bar Leadership Institute - Chicago, IL

March 11
TYLA Joseph M. Pritchard Inn membership applications mailed to all past and present officers and directors of TYLA

March 14
TYLA deadline to receive completed nomination forms for the Minority At-Large Director Place 1 election

March 18
TYLA deadline to receive completed nomination forms for the ABA YLD District 26 Representative election

March 21
TYLA ballots for the ABA YLD District 26 Representative election mailed to all ABA YLD District 26 affiliate presidents

Take Note
Take Note

View This Month's TYLA President-Elect's Opinion

Natalie Cobb Koehler
TYLA President-Elect 2010-2011

Register Early for the State Bar of Texas 2011 Annual Meeting to Guarantee Your Seat
Be part of history and register now for the 2011 State Bar Annual Meeting in San Antonio June 23-24. Learn and grow by attending presentations that educate, motivate, and inspire. Connect with colleagues and exhibitors to discuss hot topics and to renew relationships. This is your once-a-year opportunity to do it all! You will not want to miss presentations by bestselling historians H.W. Brands, Douglas Brinkley, and Edmund Morris or Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton. For more information and to register, click here.

State Bar YouTube Contest Deadline April 1
There’s still time to enter your videos in the 2011 State Bar YouTube contest! The deadline is April 1, and entering is simple: Just go to www.texasbar.com/texansonjustice for the contest rules and entry form. Then, pull out your video camera and shoot a 30-second PSA-style video that answers the question:

“How do lawyers make a difference in our society?”

Just upload your video to YouTube and remember to tag it “statebaroftexas.” Winners will be announced May 9 as part of the State Bar’s Law Day celebration. Prizes of $500 each will be awarded in three categories: Under 18; 18 and over; and People’s Choice Award. The contest is open to residents of Texas and attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. It’s especially a great project for your children, so get them and their friends involved!

Sign up today for Partnering for Pro Bono and win an IPAD!
If you sign up on the website, find a partner and take a case by June 15, 2011, you will be placed into the drawing for an IPAD at the annual meeting. Plus, you can earn 5 hours of continuing education credit FREE while assisting with legal service to the poor. Many companies and law firms have already joined the cause and recently we invited more than 7,500 corporate counsel to participate. Currently, Texas attorneys are only addressing 25% of the legal needs of the poor - Partnering for Pro Bono is a great way to make a difference!  Click here for more information. 

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 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 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.