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.





























































October 2011

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

TYLA’s First Quarter Yields Conclusion That Committees Are Cranking Out The Goods
By:  Shivali Sharma

          TYLA held its first board meeting of the year amidst the white sands and pale blue ocean waters of South Padre.   Delighted fresh faces of new directors hardened with determination to win a “Hicks v. Slicks”  volleyball tournament, the critical first ice-breaker of the year was served.  In addition to the fun and games (and karaoke night), committee reports were presented by board members eager to share the fruits of their labor.  The result of these reports led to the conclusion that TYLA has been toiling, its energy is at its peak, production of new projects is at a record high for the first quarter, and new projects are quickly rolling off the line.

Top Story
Top Story: Peace of Mind

Game On: TYLA is Putting Family and Children First
By: Lacy Durham

It’s still the first quarter of the bar year and like any established team, TYLA is at the top of its game with no signs of letting up.

The Big Score
TYLA is right out the huddle and scoring big by tackling matters significant to special needs children. It’s no secret that TYLA places strong values on the family and children.  In fact TYLA believes that every child is special, but understands that there are some special children who have special needs.   According to the National Organization on Disability, there are more than 54 million people suffer with a handicap or special need.  

Feature TYLA Project

Baby Lawyers Need Jobs Too!
By: Tammy T. Fisher, TYLA Law Student Division Liaison

TYLA is taking on a new initiative this year to promote different ways to utilize newly licensed lawyers in existing firms and solo practices. The current economy is tough all around. Newly minted, freshly bar-passed lawyers are having a harder time than ever before finding jobs. The project dispels many myths that seasoned attorneys may believe about hiring staff in their firm or solo practice.

According the National Association of Legal Professional’s (NALP) recently released report, Selected Findings from its Employment Report and Salary Survey for the Class of 2010, the overall employment rate for new law school graduates between 84.1% and 87.6%, the lowest it has been since 1996.1

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

2011 TYLA Road Show with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
By:  Cameron Cox

TYLA’s Local Affiliates Committee is set to kick-off its first Road Show of the current board year with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas. This first Road Show is the result of TYLA President Natalie Cobb Koehler’s initiative to do at least one Road Show this year with a legal aid services organization.

Every Road Show TYLA conducts is unique and narrowly tailored to the individuals, groups, organizations, or associations that take part in that Road Show.  This Road Show will be no different. Legal Aid of Northwest Texas informed us that they would like for specific conflict of interest issues to be addressed within their organization.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

How to Deal with the DA's Office
By:  Amanda Navarette

So you’ve gotten your first criminal case or appointment and now you have to make contact with the dreaded district attorney’s office. Pretty scary right? The DA’s office can be intimidating, especially when you are dealing with large offices.  Here are a few tips to help you interact with the DA’s office more effectively and comfortably:

     1. Introduce yourself.  Take an afternoon out to introduce yourself to the prosecutors and staff at the DA’s office.

Article of Interest

A TALE OF TWO CASES:  Crump and Casas, and Their Lessons About the Pitfalls in Proving Medical Causation
By: Steve Hayes
          Prologue: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, Don’t Trifle With the System

          It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, . . .we had everything before us,
          we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going
          direct the other way . . . .

          A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

          It's kind of like that book
          they had us read one time in school.

ABA YLD Update

Honoring Our Young Military Lawyers
By:  Jobe Rodgers

Each year the ABA/YLD takes the time to honor our Outstanding Young Military Lawyers.  A young lawyer from the JAG Corps of each military branch is selected each year for his or her exceptional service to our country and our communities.  This year’s recipients are awe-inspiring to say the least.  They perform duties from drafting 700 wills for deploying soldiers to serving as turret gunners on patrols.  They ensure the safety of our shores and fight for the safety of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Access To Justice Commission Update
Access To Justice Commission Update

Doing Well While Doing Good:  Incorporating Limited Scope Representation into Your Business Model to Help Low-Income Litigants
By:  Melissa Cook

We all know that it is best to have a lawyer handle clients’ legal needs. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of poor to low-income Texans need help with their civil legal issues but can’t afford - or believe they can’t afford - to hire a lawyer.  And while we’d like to think that their needs can be met through the good deeds of pro bono lawyers, it is not an attainable goal.  Texas lawyers already do a tremendous amount of pro bono work, but they simply cannot help everyone who needs it.  The numbers of people attempting to represent themselves are growing rapidly, resulting in a dramatic impact on judicial efficiency. 

Important Dates To Remember
Important Dates To Remember

October 13-15, 2011
ABA YLD Fall Conference - Seattle, WA

October 14, 2011
TYLA Deadline to receive TYLA Minority Scholarship applications

November 11, 2011
Holiday - Veterans Day (Texas Law Center closed)

November 14, 2011
New Lawyers' Induction Ceremony - Frank Erwin Center, Austin

November 18-19, 2011
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting

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


Take Note
Take Note

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



TYLA's Minority Scholarship Program
SCHOLARSHIPS DUE OCTOBER 14, 2011: The TYLA Minority Involvement Committee is helping some deserving students earn free money for their legal education and encouraging minorities entering the profession and promoting higher participation from minority lawyers in the bar. TYLA's Minority Scholarship is a $1,000 award for one student from each of the 9 ABA accredited law schools in Texas. Applicants must be a member of a recognized minority group which includes gender, race, national origin, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and persons with disabilities. To access the application, individuals can go to the TYLA website or contact their respective law school's financial assistance office. Applications need to be emailed, faxed or postmarked no later than October 14, 2011 to TYLA, 1414 Colorado Street, 4th Floor, Austin, Texas 78701, btrevino@texasbar.com. Please help spread the word of this great opportunity for law students!

State Bar of Texas - Law Student Division Legal Professionalism Award
Two scholarship recipients will be chosen from amongst the Law Student Division applicants (Texas law school and out-of-state student members may apply). Each recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship.  The 2011 Legal Professionalism Award application and statement must be received by the Law Student Division no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 14, 2011 to be considered for the scholarship.  For eligibility, rules and regulations, please click here.

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.


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.