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.





























































Law Students

Law Students

Five Tips to Opening a Law Firm Right After Law School
By:  Megan E. Leger

Starting your own law practice can be scary, stressful, and exhilarating all at the same time.  Whether you start your own law practice because you need a job or because you hate your current job, you took the challenge to go out on your own and be your own boss.  Being your own boss has its challenges, though.  You have to serve as the attorney, CEO, marketing coordinator, bookkeeper, and office manager, just to name a few jobs.  If you are up for the challenge, then it may be the right time for you to start your own firm.

There are five important things that I have learned are extremely important to starting your own law firm.

1.  Get Involved

You must get involved in something!  There are so many ways for young lawyers to get involved in different events.  Join the local bar association, get involved in committees, volunteer your services for pro bono events, or go to happy hour events.  When you are involved, people know who you are and what you do.  You never know what opportunities will become available to you or who you will meet at these events, so get out of your comfort zone and get involved.

2.  Get a Mentor

If you do not already have a mentor, get one. A mentor can help show you the ropes.  Whether mentoring involves taking a tour of the courthouse (and yes, you can graduate from law school without ever stepping into a courthouse), having lunch together once a month to discuss different topics, or merely having a person to call when you have a random question about your law firm and you do not know who else to ask, it is imperative to cultivate a mentoring relationship.  Mentors are invaluable assets to new attorneys.  Remember to always be courteous and respectful of your mentor’s time.  Your mentor has work to do, too!

3.  Be Organized

Opening your own firm has a tremendous amount of responsibility.  You must maintain business records, keep up with the finances, and practice law.  These tasks can be overwhelming for a new attorney, but if you are organized from the beginning, you will establish a routine of keeping everything organized throughout the life of the law firm.  You will also have more time to practice law because you have been organized throughout the start-up process. 

4.  Work on a Budget

When you open your own firm, you are financially responsible for everything.  Remember to stay within your budget, and do not overspend on things that are not necessary to start your law firm. Budgeting can be very difficult at times, but it will be worth it if you want your law firm to continue to grow through the years.  If you need a revolving line of credit or a business loan, then get it if that is the only way to start your practice.  Do your research first and make sure that is the correct step for you and your new law firm.  A business loan or a revolving line of credit will help cover up-front costs that you may not be able to afford in the beginning, but these options may not be the right fit for you, so make sure you know what you are agreeing to.

5.  Be Confident

Be confident in your abilities to practice law.  You graduated from law school and you passed the bar.  You are capable of being a successful lawyer.  But remember, it takes hard work, hours of research, a strong network of colleagues, and positive reinforcements.  If you have questions, do not be afraid to pick up the phone and call a lawyer in your practice area.  I have had so many great interactions with different lawyers that have been willing to answer my questions.  If you have questions, ask around and get different opinions.  Be aware that you may struggle in the beginning, you may become frustrated with the process, and you may not be able to help every client that walks through your door, so just remember to stay positive and keep working hard.  It will pay off in the end.  

If you are interested in starting your own firm, do your own research and make sure it is the right fit for you.  Only you can decide if this is the right decision for you and your future in the legal profession.