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

Tips For Young Lawyers

Tips for Handling Appeals
By: Justice Brett Busby, 14th Court of Appeals

Would you like to handle an appeal in one of your cases with confidence, or are you considering specializing in appellate practice? Here are a few tips that will help you put your best foot forward in the appellate courts.

Volunteer to handle an appeal pro bono. The best way to learn appellate practice is to do it. While it can sometimes be difficult for young lawyers to find lead counsel experience writing briefs and presenting oral arguments in paying cases, there is no shortage of clients who need pro bono representation in the appellate courts. The State Bar Appellate Section, the appellate sections of many local bars, and some public interest organizations identify clients seeking representation and place them with attorneys willing to take on pro bono appeals. Many of these groups screen the cases to be sure they have arguable merit before they are placed. In addition, the Texas Supreme Court and many of the Texas Courts of Appeals give preferential consideration for oral argument to cases that lawyers obtain through an appellate bar pro bono program.

Find an appellate mentor. Talk with a lawyer who is experienced in appellate practice about your case. An experienced practitioner can help you spot the issues that have the best chance of prevailing on appeal and give you advice about navigating the appellate rules and standards of review. Many of the bar pro bono programs discussed above will pair you with a mentor. The continuing legal education programs and appellate section meetings discussed below are also good places to find appellate mentors.

Attend appellate-focused continuing legal education programs. The State Bar of Texas hosts two excellent one-day programs in Austin each year that cover the basics of handling appeals: the Handling Your First Civil Appeal seminar in February and the Civil Appellate Practice 101 seminar in September. These seminars cover topics including preservation of error in the trial court, the mechanics of an appeal, standards of review, writing briefs, and handling oral argument. The State Bar, the University of Texas, and other continuing legal education providers also offer programs on advanced appellate topics in various locations around the state.

Join the appellate section of your local bar. Finally, if your local bar has an appellate section, become a member and get involved. Attend the section’s continuing legal education lunches, get to know the justices and appellate specialists who attend, and volunteer to serve on a committee. Participating in the section is a great way to build your reputation in the appellate bar. In addition, attending appellate-focused continuing legal education luncheons (or the longer programs mentioned above) will keep you on top of the latest trends in appellate law so that you can use those trends to your clients’ advantage.