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.





























































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! At a time when voting among young people is low and apathy toward the political process is at a record high, we can educate students, motivate them to vote, and register them so they can make an impact on our nation’s future. Now is the time to empower young minds with knowledge of the importance of the right to vote! Indeed, the American Bar Association Young Lawyer Division has created a similar initiative with its American Voter project . Join our non-partisan initiative today by committing to this five-step method for a successful presentation.

1. Become inspired by our Vote America video, found here. This video highlights the civil rights era; the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and the 15th, 19th, and 26th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Then, present the video to high-school seniors in your area. While conquering the logistics of organizing a presentation might seem overwhelming at first, TYLA will provide you with the confidence to crush that challenge. Simply contact Baili Rhodes, your local TYLA representative, or me for advice and assistance.

2. To ensure that schools have plenty of time to plan for this project, get in touch with them as soon as possible to discuss the project and schedule a date. We will be happy to provide you with a draft letter that you can use to initiate contact with your school district and educators.

3. Once a local school gives you the green light, start planning the event. (Ideally, you will complete your presentation by October 9 so that eligible students can meet the Texas voter-registration deadline!) Will this be a half-hour presentation to one classroom of seniors, or will you have a full hour and an auditorium in which to educate and entertain students? Be sure to ask the schools if they will have the equipment to play the Vote America video. You can order the Vote America DVD by contacting the TYLA office. You may also want to let schools know about the VoTexas Curriculum Guide, which provides six model lesson plans that can be implemented in social studies, government, or political science classes in grades 7–12. The Curriculum Guide covers several components of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) requirements. VoTexas can be used independently or in conjunction with the Vote America video.

4. Consider the options available to register students to vote. Many school districts have staff who are qualified to register students to vote. Your local voter registrar’s office may also be able to set up a booth or have people present who can take on this task. If these resources are not available to you, you can easily become a deputy voter registrar for free. Visit the Secretary of State’s website to get started.

5. On the day of the presentation, be sure to introduce yourself and your fellow presenters, if there are any. Talk to the students about the type of law you practice, the firm where you practice, your organization, and why you felt it important to present Vote America. Consider creating games, quizzes, or topics for discussion to use after the video if you will have additional time. We encourage you to publicize the event. And we would love to receive an e-mail letting us know about your presentation. Be sure to attach pictures of your project so TYLA can feature you on our social media and websites!
Take the time to reflect on your accomplishment once the presentation is complete. You made a difference by encouraging young voters to exercise their fundamental right.