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.





























































August 2012

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

Save Stress and Heartache with Some Simple Planning
By Leif A. Olson, Welsh Chapoton LLP

I am warning you right now: This isn’t light, but it’s important. I’m hopeful, though, that your love for your family and friends will keep you reading.

We noted in the last eNews that TYLA’s secretary, Keith Krueger, died unexpectedly last month. Keith was a generous and gentle giant, devoted to his church, to our profession, and to his community. He was loved and will be missed by all of us who were his friends, his co-workers, and his family. It was the unexpected nature of Keith’s death that prompted this column.

Top Story
Top Story

Supreme Court Approves Revised Protective Order Kit
By Melissa Cook, Staff Attorney, Texas Access to Justice Commission

In May, the Supreme Court of Texas approved a revised Protective Order Kit for use in all Texas courts. The revised Kit, available on TexasLawHelp at www.texaslawhelp.org/protectiveorderkit, incorporates changes made to the Family Code and Civil Practices and Remedies Code during the 82nd Legislature. Victims of domestic violence can now seek protection of their pets in a protective order and, under certain severe circumstances, seek a permanent protective order. The revised Kit also reflects changes to the category of persons eligible for a protective order. Under the new law, a protective order is now available to a new partner or spouse of a victim of domestic violence.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

How You Can Rock Vote America
By Shivali Sharma, Staff Attorney, Sixth Court of Appeals

Those of us who appreciate the historical and current struggle for the right to vote have an obligation to honor the efforts of those who led that struggle by educating future generations about the reason for their fight. TYLA thus aims to present its Vote America multimedia project to as many high school students as possible before this year’s upcoming presidential election.  We need you to help accomplish our goals!

Young Lawyer Spotlight
Young Lawyer Spotlight

Austin Young Lawyer Dustin Howell
By John W. Shaw, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas

The fact that a bright young associate, formerly of Baker Botts, was involved in an important case before the Texas Supreme Court may not come as a surprise. But the subject of the case and the fact that the associate—Dustin Howell, a TYLA director from Austin—handled it pro bono might.

Tips For Young Lawyers
Tips For Young Lawyers

State Bar of Texas Member Discount Program

Did you know that your State Bar of Texas membership can save you money?

A key benefit of being a member of the State Bar is the Member Discount Program, which provides significant discounts from a variety of retailers. Overall, Texas lawyers who have taken advantage of program have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars on items such as clothing, auto rentals, financial services, home and office items, electronics, and insurance. For example, FedEx Office saved Texas lawyers who participated in their program nearly $400,000 in the past year alone.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

New Presidential Policy Affords Work Permits to Some Undocumented Immigrants
By Alfonso Cabañas, Cabañas Law Firm, PLLC

On June 15, President Barack Obama announced that undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children will be able to remain in the country and obtain work permits. The President’s policy does not grant lawful status to these individuals but rather defers their removal for two years and makes this status subject to renewal.

ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update

ABA YLD Awards of Achievement Announced

TYLA swept the Awards of Achievement given out at the ABA YLD Annual Meeting held August 2-4, 2012. We are very proud and thrilled to be recognized for all the hard work our volunteers have done this past year.  

Texas Access To Justice Commission Update
Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

TYLA Affiliate Leaders Focus on Ensuring Access to Lawyers
By Hannah Silk Kapasi, Staff Attorney, Texas Access to Justice Commission

Vexing problems require creative solutions. These tough economic times mean that more people who need legal help can’t afford it. At the same time, legal nonprofits are facing significant cuts and can’t provide the level of services they could even a few years ago. In other words, more people need free or reduced-fee lawyers, yet there are fewer lawyers providing these services.

Important Dates To Remember

August 17, 2012
TYLA Minority Scholarship applications and brochures mailed to all participating Texas ABA-accredited law schools

August 24, 2012
TYLA deadline to receive grant applications for the 2012-2013 Local Affiliate Grant Program

September 3, 2012
Holiday - Labor Day (Texas Law Center closed)

September 7-9, 2012
TYLA Board of Directors meeting - Renaissance Hotel, McAllen, TX

October 5, 2012
TYLA grant checks mailed to TYLA Local Affiliate grant recipients

October 12, 2012
TYLA deadline to receive TYLA Minority Scholarship applications

October 18-21, 2012
ABA YLD Fall Conference - Charleston, SC

Take Note
Take Note

Congratulations to TYLA's Local Affiliates! 
The Texas Young Lawyers Association has reviewed the 2012 Awards of Achievement applications submitted and selected the winners.  Please click here for a list of the 2011-2012 TYLA Local Affiliate Awards of Achievement winners.  Once again, congratulations and thank you all for participating in this program.

Please note:  August 24, 2012 is the deadline to receive grant applications for the 2012-2013 Local Affiliate Grant Program.  Please click here for more information.

TYLA Minority Scholarship Program
Each year, TYLA awards a $1,000 scholarship to one minority student at each Texas law school. The scholarship promotes diversity in the legal profession by assisting members of minority populations within the bar to: (1) enter the legal profession; and (2) participate in the programs and activities of TYLA and the State Bar of Texas. The application deadline is October 15, 2012. The scholarship awards are distributed before the Spring semester. For more information please click here.

2012 State Moot Court Competition
Seven Texas Law Schools competed in the Annual State Moot Court Competition on June 12-14, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  Congratulations to the 2012 State Moot Court Champion, Baylor University School of Law! Click here for a full list of the results.

Call for Entries! 2012 State Bar of Texas YouTube Contest
Beginning on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, 2012, the State Bar of Texas will launch its 2012 YouTube contest. This year's theme is "Compromise in a Democratic Society" and is geared toward Texas middle and high school students. Students are asked to create a video between 1 and 2 minutes long answering the following question: "Why is compromise important to our democratic society?" Students are encouraged to think about how compromise played a significant part in the framing of the U.S. Constitution and in other significant moments in U.S. history, as well as ways students have had to use compromise in their own life. Scholarships of $1,000 are being offered in the categories of Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12. Students may enter individually or as a team/class. The deadline for entries is Dec. 14, so there's plenty of time to enter. Please spread the word to your local schools! For more information, visit www.texasbar.com/justicefortexas.

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 includes 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.

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 affiliate's 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 Robert E. Booth, Leif Olson, or Victor Villarreal.

Ten Minute Mentor
Ten Minute Mentor debuted in 2004 to share concise and practical advice that is always accessible online. Since then, 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!
TYLA 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 costs only $35.00 per year, or $70.00 for a personalized plate.

$25.00 from the purchase of each plate will go to support legal services to the poor.  To buy your plate, simply fill out an application and send your check, payable to the Texas Department of Transportation, to:

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 15,000 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 2011-2012
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the 2011-2012 Annual Report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2011-2012 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send one.