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.





























































Top Story

Top Story

Texas Young Lawyers Elect Kristy Sims Piazza as President-Elect
By:  Kenneth C. Riney

          After two months of campaigning and voting, young lawyers across Texas elected Kristy Sims Piazza as TYLA President-Elect.  Ms. Piazza, an associate attorney in the Plano office of Koons Fuller, P.C., will serve as President-Elect in 2012-2013 and will then serve as President for the 2013-2014 term.  Ms. Piazza says of her election:  “I am so honored and excited about being elected President-Elect of TYLA.  I had an amazing time meeting young lawyers across the state and I look forward to my continued service to TYLA and the State Bar of Texas.  I also want to congratulate Shivali Sharma on a great campaign and race.  She is such an inspiration to me and I am so glad to have the opportunity to continue to serve with her on the TYLA board.”

           Ms. Piazza’s focus during her year as TYLA President will be two-fold:  continued service to the bar and continued service to the community.  For service to the bar, her main priorities will be helping young lawyers and law students find jobs and creating resources and tools to help educate young lawyers and assist them in their practices.  This will include the creation of a job posting application, as well as training and internships that unemployed young lawyers and law students can participate in to help them gain the experience and skills needed to secure a job and segway into a permanent position.  Ms. Piazza also intends to create projects that will provide mentoring opportunities, informational pamphlets and tool kits to help educate and assist young lawyers in their practices and provide workshops and pro bono opportunities that will help young lawyers gain experience. 

          For service to the community, Ms. Piazza plans to create projects that will assist in educating and providing resources to the public on a wide array of legal and societal issues and will also seek to partner with local affiliates across the state to create public service projects such as legal clinics, aid to the poor, and pro bono services.  Ms. Piazza also intends to continue all of the great projects already created by TYLA and to expand on those projects so that they continue to be relevant and up-to-date. 

          As President-Elect, Ms. Piazza will join the 2012-2013 TYLA Executive Committee, which consists of C.E. Rhodes, President; Alyssa J. Long, Chair; Alfonso Cabanas, Vice President; Keith Kruger, Secretary; Rebekah Steely Brooker, Treasurer; Cameron J. Cox, Chair-Elect; and Natalie Cobb Koehler, Immediate Past President. 

          In addition to the President-Elect race, young lawyers elected directors from various districts around Texas to represent them on the TYLA Board of Directors for a two-year term.  Newly elected directors include Baili Rhodes of West, Webb, Albritton & Gentry, P.C. in College Station; Aaron Capps of Griffith Nixon Davison in Dallas; Bill Gardner of MacDonald Devin in Dallas; Patrice Childress of Beck, Redden & Secrest, LLP in Houston; Sally Pretorius of Andrae Law, PLLC in Austin; John Shaw of Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas in Fort Worth; Shannon Steel of Wood, Boykin & Wolter, PC in Corpus Christi; and Laura Hale of Sprouse Shrader Smith PC in Amarillo. 

           Current directors on the TYLA Board of Directors who were re-elected to a second two-year term include:  Leif Olson of Welsh & Chapoton, L.L.P in Houston; Kathryn Boatman of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Houston; Danny Razo of the Law Office of Danny Razo in El Paso; and Sam Houston of Ford & Massey, P.C. in San Antonio.  In a rare occurrence, Zeke Fortenberry and Kimberly Smith tied for first place in the District 4 race.  Pursuant to TYLA Bylaws, the winner was determined by the flip of a coin and Kimberly Smith was re-elected to a second two-year term.

           As TYLA welcomes new officers and directors, they also say thank you and good-bye to its officers, directors and liaisons who are retiring to the TYLA fossil community:  Jennifer Evans Morris, Natasha Brooks, Sarah Rogers, Brooke Ulrickson Allen, Ken Riney, Geoff Gannaway, Chike Okpara, Don Jones, Daren Brown, Kendall Hayden, Jose Sanchez, Tammy Fisher and Heather Creed.