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.





























































November 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Pausing During this Season of Busy
By:  Rebekah Steely Brooker

At the end of the year, when the days get shorter and Christmas displays appear in October, I find myself feeling anxious over all the stuff I was not able to accomplish in my day.  As attorneys, we provide a service, which often means we have to adjust our daily schedules to when it is most convenient for our clients.  It is not uncommon to look up at the end of the day and wonder, “Where did my day go?”  I have discovered that I often get too busy to stop and enjoy the simple things – like leaves changing colors or the crispness in the air.  But this year I have challenged myself to “pause” to enjoy the little moments that make life truly special. 

Top Story
Top Story

BREAKING THE SILENCE:   Helping Texans Identify Mental Health Needs So That They Can Seek Assistance
By:  Erin O'Driscoll

Do you, a family member, a friend, or a co-worker have questions about mental health issues?  Are you having trouble coping with stress in your life, but you don’t know where to turn for help?  The TYLA Low Income Texans Committee is teaming up with experts from around Texas to provide resources to help you get the answers you need.  Our experts are filming podcasts on discrete topics that will be downloaded to the TYLA website in December 2011.  We are reaching out to educate Texans and address a variety of mental health issues such as:  depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, bullying, eating disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, and suicide awareness and prevention.  Our goal is to provide resources to a broad audience such as, veterans, individuals who are unemployed, persons struggling with custody issues, parents of adolescents, individuals suffering from chronic illness, and family members of those coping with mental illness.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

By: Lacy Durham

“Oh yes it's ladies night
And the feeling's right
Oh yes it's ladies night
Oh what a night (oh what a night)
This is your night
Tonight, everything is gonna be alright!” 

     You wouldn’t have known it at first glance, but among the usual Monday night crowd at the Alamo Drafthouse in San Antonio on October 24th, there was a group of TYLA directors gearing up for a party.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

Lawyers Cookin’ and Judges Judgin’—Arlington’s First Annual Chili Cook-Off
By:  Daniel B. Mathis

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, things were heating up in Downtown Arlington, but the weather was only partially to blame.  In addition to the lingering summer temperatures, 30 judges and 20 teams of lawyers and a few friends spiced things up during the ABA/AYLA First Annual Chili Cook-Off, an attorney/judge meet-and-greet event and fundraiser for Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (“LANWT”).  The event concept was developed in 2010 by the Arlington Young Lawyers Association (“AYLA”), and this year AYLA teamed up with the Arlington Bar Association (“ABA”) to make the event a reality.

Tips For Young Lawyers

Makin’ It Rain: An Associate’s Guide to Bringing in Business
By:  Rob Bogdanowicz

Business generation is oftentimes an overlooked topic of discussion for young lawyers. What strikes me about that is that it is one of the most important determinative factors in making partner or simply having the ability to work for yourself one day.

What you’re not going to see in this article is a bullet point telling you that the key to bringing in business is “doing good work.” That goes without saying. If you can’t maintain a minimum level of legal competence, you can stop reading now. It’s also worth recognizing that there are many incredible legal minds that have almost no work of their own.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Juvenile Drug Court: The Therapeutic Practice of Law
By:  Danny Razo

     When most attorneys begin the practice of law, they dream of making a difference in the lives of individuals.  However, they soon learn that most of the time, the practice of law is a business.  There is neither a right nor a wrong when dealing with a particular case, there is only finding a median or risking it all in a court of law.  Therefore, most attorneys become tired, frustrated, and even indifferent to the practice of law.


ABA YLD Update

2011 ABA/YLD Fall Update
By:  Jobe Rodgers

If you weren’t able to attend the ABA/YLD’s Fall Conference in Seattle, you missed a great weekend.  With record attendance, the Fall Conference featured more than 20 educational and practical sessions provided by some of the country’s brightest legal minds. 

One featured session was the sold out General Counsel Luncheon featuring David Byers, Director, Corporate Counsel, Licensing & Franchising at Starbucks; Steve Crown, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft Corporation; and Melissa Matthews, Assistant General Counsel of the Seattle Mariners.

Important Dates To Remember
Important Dates To Remember

November 18-19, 2011
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting

November 24-25, 2011
Holiday - Thanksgiving (Texas Law Center closed)

December 9, 2011
SBOT Holiday Party - Texas Law Center, Austin

December 19, 2011
TYLA Deadline to receive third committee report

December 23, 2011
Holiday - Christmas (Texas Law Center closed)

December 26, 2011
Holiday - Christmas (Texas Law Center closed)

Take Note
Take Note

View This Month's TYLA President's Opinion
Natalie Cobb Koehler
TYLA President



The ABA Section of Litigation Mass Torts Committee is seeking co-chairs for its Young Lawyers Subcommittee.  The co-chair position offers young lawyers a number of excellent, nationwide networking, mentoring and publishing opportunities.  If you are interested, please contact the Mass Torts Committee co-chairs, Beatrice O’Donnell, Duke Maloney or Rudy Perrino.
The ABA Section of Litigation Mass Torts Committee offers unique opportunities to learn about procedural and substantive legal and factual issues involved in complex cases, including: pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, toxic tort litigation, aviation, MDL and class action, experts & evidence, and ADR.  In addition, the committee co-sponsors two annual regional seminars and the annual ABA Environmental, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees Joint CLE Seminar.  If you are interested in joining the committee as a member, please contact Beatrice O’Donnell.

Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay!
State Bar President Bob Black has worked with the State Bar Law-Related Education Department on Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! Civics Resources for Texas Students and Teachers, an interactive web-based project to assist Texas teachers and their students in preparing for the new Texas Essential and Knowledge Skills (TEKS) standards, which took effect Aug. 1, 2011. The website will include links to landmark court case decisions that students are required to study, as well as videos and other multimedia tools, and teacher resources. Toolkits are also available that include information on the new TEKS standards, as well as a sample case summary, sample teaching strategies, a list of online resources, and other curriculum ideas from Law-Related Education.  For a toolkit, which includes a video sample on Marbury v. Madison, contact Judy Marchman or call (800) 204-2222, ext. 1520.


Making the Case
Texas lawyers work hard to protect the rights of everyday Texans. We also work hard to give back to our communities by volunteering and serving in leadership roles. We help communities recover from natural disasters and help veterans secure the benefits they deserve. We may not spend a lot of time talking about our commitment to public service, but we need to. The State Bar has created an online portal — www.texasbar.com/makingthecase — with resources to help you lead a conversation with a community group about the role of lawyers and the judicial system in our society. You’ll find a civic engagement toolkit as well as inspirational profiles about trailblazing Texas lawyers. You can also request a copy of the “We Are Lawyers” DVD by emailing Judy Marchman or calling (800) 204-2222, ext. 1520.

Back-to-School Savings through the State Bar Member Discounts Program
Take advantage of the State Bar Member Discounts Program to save money on computers and books. 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 here.

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.