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.





























































Health Tips for Young Lawyers

Health Tips for Young Lawyers

Going “Gluten-Free”
By:  Sarah Brown and Laura Pratt
Gluten is the most recent nutrient to catch widespread attention.  Most grocery stores now have “gluten-free” zones, and marketing gurus are using the “gluten-free” label to propagate the hype and the diet.  So, what’s the big deal and what do you need to know about going gluten-free?

Gluten is a major protein found in several grains, most commonly wheat, barley, and rye, and it responsible for the texture and the structure in bread.  Gluten can also turn up in very surprising places including chocolate, deli meats, soy sauce, vitamins, or even some kinds of toothpaste. Because gluten is found in many “good for you” whole grains, excluding it without proper evaluation can lead to nutritional deficiencies. 

Gluten is different from the type of protein found in rice or meat, and it is more difficult for all humans to digest completely.  A growing number of individuals can experience mild to severe adverse responses after consuming gluten.  Some individuals are allergic to wheat, meaning they suffer an adverse allergic response affecting the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or respiratory tract after consuming gluten.  A growing 7% of the U.S. population suffers from gluten sensitivity, which can result in unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms, joint pains, headache, fatigue, and/or insomnia.  For about 1% of the U.S. population, gluten can be a matter of life and death.  People diagnosed with celiac disease suffer an adverse immune-mediated reaction to consuming gluten, which can result in wide range of serious health problems, including cancer.  If you suspect gluten-related health condition, it is critical to be examined by a gastroenterologist before switching to a gluten-free diet.

There are some health benefits of going gluten-free.  Gluten is abundant in a lot of processed foods, so going gluten-free means eating less processed food.  Eating less processed food means eating more whole foods, e.g. fruits and veggies, leading to more healthful eating habits overall.  Also, when you eliminate restaurant menu items that contain gluten, you are left with items such as meat, vegetables, salad, and fruit, all of which contain fewer calories and more nutrients than a heaping bowl of white pasta.  Finally, if you are suffering from undiagnosed gluten sensitivity, you may start to see improvements to your overall health very soon after reducing or eliminating gluten from your diet.

Contrary to the marketing hype, going gluten-free is not always necessary or beneficial.  It will not help you lose weight, and often times, eliminating gluten results in frequent weight gain.  Gluten-free packaged products can be just as high in saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.  A gluten-free cookie is still a cookie.  Additionally, gluten-free products often contain high-glycemic refined ingredients like white rice flour or fillers like potato starch that can increase food cravings and affect blood sugar levels. Gluten-free products are also hard to find with fewer options and higher price tags.

Most articles on the subject of gluten recommend being aware of your gluten intake rather than afraid of it.  As a healthy alternative, focus on increasing your intake of naturally gluten-free foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, quinoa, brown rice, beans, reduced-fat or fat-free dairy, and nuts.  Gluten sensitivity is generally a spectrum, and it is important to talk to your doctor about where you fall on that spectrum if you are considering a major dietary change.

LAURA PRATT is an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Lubbock.  The opinions expressed in this article are not the official opinions of the City of Lubbock.

SARAH BROWN is a Nutritional Sciences student at Texas Tech University. As member of the university’s triathlon team, she is constantly focusing on a healthy lifestyle.  While pursuing her degree, she frequently volunteers to educate others on healthy nutrition practices.