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.





























































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. Bringing in business is not about skill alone; there are numerous factors, but discussing them all would take an entire book. For now, I offer five tips that have helped me:

1. Network, network, network. I cannot stress how important it is for a young lawyer to get out there and simply meet people. I’m talking anyone. Just think about it from a statistical perspective—the more people that know who you are and what you do, the better the chances that one or more of them will call you. Join local professional organizations like your local affiliate and do more than simply exist as a member. Don’t forget that other lawyers are also a potential source of business, whether through conflicts or different practice areas. When you meet someone new, let them know where you practice and what you do. Handing out business cards is obvious, but make it more than a simple swap; follow up with the person. Take them to lunch. You get the idea. A de minimis level of aggression is necessary.

2. Be confident. When talking to others about who you are and what you do, it’s important to be confident about your skills and abilities. This isn’t arrogance, it’s confidence. What I usually hear from young lawyers is, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet!” Nonsense. There are few—if any—attorneys that know everything about a certain practice area, yet there are thousands upon thousands of attorneys that maintain successful books of business. You don’t have to know everything in order to reel a client in; after all, if you’re a younger lawyer, it’s expected. I’m not telling you to make false representations, but you’re going to have to learn to be comfortable with your limitations if you want someone to trust you with their business. If you have older, more experienced attorneys at your firm, make use of that and tell the prospective client that there is a wealth of experience available to you (and ultimately, them). After all, what matters is that your firm is giving you the credit for bringing the client through the door. If that means you have to rely on someone else’s experience, so be it.

3. Utilize your firm’s marketing resources. Find out if your firm, whether big or small, has a marketing budget for associate attorneys. Use your allotment. Take business contacts to lunch, dinner, or Happy Hour. Suggest marketing trips based on your particular practice area. The more initiative you take, the better. If you’re at a large law firm, get to know the people in the marketing department. Making friends with those people will make it easier for you in the long run.

4. Maximize client contact. If you work with someone that permits contact with their clients, make the most of that time. I’m not telling you to steal someone’s business; I’m telling you to make the most of the time so that client is comfortable with you. Ultimately, you may one day inherit that client’s business. Ask to attend client luncheons and meetings; what’s the worst that can happen? Someone might say no. Big deal! Furthermore, if you’re working on one matter for that client and there are others, ask if you can work on those as well in order to increase face time. Building relationships takes time, and down the line, it can pay out in dividends.

5. Recognize that law is a business. We all want to be good lawyers who win hearings, trials, or draft bulletproof closing documents or non-compete agreements. Whatever it is you do, if you’re in private practice, remind yourself that ultimately, law is a business. You are in the business of selling your services, whether it’s drafting wills or trying commercial cases. Billable hour requirements will always be a concern for most lawyers; this must become second nature for you. Focus your discussions and energy on things like realization rates, hourly rates, and collectable income. The more you start to think and talk like a partner, the quicker attorneys at your firm will recognize your leadership and marketing skills. These are the things partners talk about in their meetings. Trust me; your business acumen will not go unnoticed.

This article previously appeared in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyer’s September 2011 issue of the The Dicta.  It is reprinted herein with permission.