June 1, 2013
A Better Place

As we approach a new bar year, I am reiminded of something I was taught as a young child, "always leave a place better than you found it."  Each year TYLA sets out to create new projects that will help the community and strengthen, promote, and serve the legal profession. And somehow, the leaders and staff of TYLA are always able to end the bar year in a better place than before. I hope to continue this legacy. 

July 1, 2013
A Purpose-Driven Career

There was once a man who passed a construction site where three men were laying bricks. The man asked the first bricklayer, “What are you doing?” The first man said, “Can’t you see? I am laying bricks!” When the second bricklayer was asked the same question, he said, “I’m earning a living.” The third bricklayer said proudly, “I’m building a cathedral!” These three men were doing the same work on the outside, but their motivation and their perspective of their tasks made all the difference in how they perceived their jobs. The same can be said of our legal careers. Why did you become a lawyer? To give legal advice? To earn a living? Or was it because you wanted to make a difference?

September 1, 2013
Ethically Speaking

The State Bar of Texas logged 7,882 grievances filed against Texas lawyers last year. Studies show that most lawyers will receive at least one complaint of unethical conduct at some point during their legal career. This is true whether you are a lawyer who doesn’t practice law or a lawyer who practices with the highest standards of the profession. Disciplinary complaints are a fact of life, which is why TYLA embarked on a new project, TYLA Pocket Guide: Grievance & Malpractice 101, to help educate lawyers on how the disciplinary process works, provide tips on how to avoid a disciplinary action, and offer guidance on what to do if a disciplinary action is filed against you.

October 1, 2013
Learning To Think Outside The Box

Statistics show that 84.7 percent of 2012 Law School graduates found employment upon graduation. However, of those graduates for whom employment status was known, only 64.4 percent obtained a job for which bar passage is required. In my years of practice, I have found that many of my law school classmates who were able to land a job using their law degrees were eventually opting out of those jobs to do something else.  Although many of these classmates were females, there were also a surprising number of males. Studies show that 42 percent of women lawyers leave their legal career for a period of time. It is probably obvious why the statistics of women are so high, but I would suspect that the number of men may be on the rise in the near future given the increase of economic issues and the burnout rates. So, what are your options if you are unable to find employment using your law degree or you are interested in leaving the profession?

November 1, 2013
Carrying The Torch Forward

As I approach my 10-year anniversary in the practice of law, I am amazed by how things have changed in just this small amount of time. Most of our filings and settings are done electronically, our statutes and case law are available on smartphones, and exhibits are published in the courtroom via iPads. But even with all the advancements that have made our profession more efficient, our job to uphold the reputation of lawyers has not gotten easier.  When I entered the practice of law, I had several great mentors who showed me the ropes. They were respectful, hard-working, ambitious, and generous with their service, time, and advice. They were involved in local bar associations and organizations, and they encouraged me to get involved and to find a place where I could serve others.

December 1, 2013
Becoming Partner

Many of us spend our careers seeking out partnerships within our firm. For some, this is not a professional goal because we choose other career paths, such as working in the public sector, as in-house counsel, or as a solo practitioner. Regardless, the path toward being a contributing partner is for all lawyers.

January 1, 2014
Improving The Life Of A Foster Child

In 2012, there were 30,571 Texas children in foster care.  Studies show that less than 2 percent of foster children receive a bachelor’s degree after high school. More than 37 percent of Texas foster children drop out of school and never receive a high school diploma or GED. Sadly, these foster children often experience seven or more school changes during their formative years, and more than 54 percent of these children have one or more mental health issues.

February 1, 2014
Daily Strides Can Help You Go The Distance

When was the last time you were stressed? Or found yourself nodding off at your desk? Or were disinterested and felt depressed? Many of us feel like this every day. Sadly, studies show that lawyers have a high risk of suicide and health conditions associated with the fatigue, anxiety, stress, and depression that commonly come with our profession. One of the easiest ways to combat these issues is with exercise and healthy living. As lawyers, we are our business. If we are sick or unable to function, not only does our business suffer but so does our service to clients. What are you doing to ensure that you can go the distance in your career?

March 1, 2014
Growing Up Is Hard To Do

As a new parent, I am always searching for tools to improve my child's chances for success. Fewer role models and the myriad pressures in today’s fast-paced society have made growing up a challenge for kids—and their parents. The Texas Young Lawyers Association realized there was a need to be filled and has made strides in creating resources for parents, schools, and caretakers to utilize and help kids get on a productive and thriving path. Some of these tools include:

April 1, 2014
Don't Call Saul, Call The Ethics Helpline Instead

I admit it.  I was late to the game, but I am finally watching Breaking Bad.  Better late than never, right? I delayed starting the wildly popular AMC series because the theme and basic premise did not appeal to me. I just could not relate. Chemistry and the periodic table still confuse me, and as Nancy Reagan taught me, I “just say no” to drugs! However, I have to admit that while the show’s leading characters—methamphetamine kingpins Walter White and Jesse Pinkman—are well developed and entertaining, the character that constantly shocks me the most is their attorney, Saul Goodman.

May 1, 2014
All Good Things Must Come To An End

Serving as TYLA President has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my lifetime.  I am thankful to have had the opportunity to meet lawyers across the state and be involved in projects that enhance and honor our profession.  Sadly, however, all good things must come to an end, and it is time for me to pass the baton.