December 2004
    Referendum Voting Deadline
    TYLA Roadshow

    Off Campus Recruitment Program

    Technology Needs Analysis
    Court Amends Rules of Procedure


    State Bar Sections Wants You!



    Dec. 20 - Monday
    Referendum Voting Ends

    Dec. 24 - Friday
    State Bar Closed - Christmas Eve

    Dec. 31 - Friday
    State Bar Closed - New Year's Eve

    Jan. 10 - Monday
    Employer Registration Deadline
    Off Campus Recruitment Program

    Jan. 17- Monday
    State Bar Closed - MLK, Jr. Day

    Jan. 28-29 - Fri.-Sat.
    TYLA Board Meeting - Fort Worth

    Jan. 30 - Sunday
    Deadline to mailcontributions to HYLA Hunger Relief Campaign
    Note: checks should be made payable to the relief organization of your choice
    c/o Mark Rodriguez at Vinson & Elkins, 1001 Fannin #2300, Houston, TX 77002


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  • Top Story

    Referendum Voting Deadline is December 20th
    By Cade W. Browning

    Referendum 2004 involves changes to referral fee practices and advertising rules. Although you may not be among the 11,766 attorneys who voted during the online voting period, it is not too late to cast your ballot. Attorneys who did not vote electronically were sent paper ballots, and traditional voting continues through December 20th.

    Why is your vote important? In Texas attorneys have the unique privilege of self-regulation. More than a privilege, Texas attorneys have the responsibility to participate in decisions impacting the manner in which we conduct business as a profession.

    Will your vote really have an impact? Absolutely! (More info.)

    Feature Affiliate
    TYLA Roadshow:
    Partnering with Lubbock YLA, Midland YLA, and Odessa YLA

    If you are active in your local bar association, regardless of size, providing member services is likely a key challenge. It is also an important force in recruiting and retaining active members. This challenge is even greater if you do not live in a major metropolitan area ... and the entire population of young lawyers in your area can be counted within a matter of minutes or sometimes seconds. Recognizing that a strong local bar association benefits both the profession and the community, TYLA has developed a program to help TYLA affiliates provide member services. The process begins with leaders from three West Texas affiliates. (more info)

    Feature TYLA Project
    19th Annual Off-Campus Recruitment Program:
    A Win-Win Prospect for Employers and Texas Law Students

    The Texas Off-Campus Recruitment Program is a unique recruiting opportunity for employers seeking to hire law students for summer clerkships or new associate positions. All nine Texas law schools participate in the program, which allows employers a one-stop shopping opportunity to interview law students from Baylor, St. Mary's, South Texas College of Law, SMU-Dedman,TSU-Thurgood Marshall, Texas Tech, Texas Wesleyan, University of Houston Law Center, and the University of Texas.

    Whether this is used as the only recruiting tool or a supplement to a formalized, annual recruitment program, employers will find this a superb opportunity to interview a wide range of candidates at minimal expense and with a minimal investment of time. This year's Employer Registration deadline is January 10, 2005. (more info)

    Article of Interest
    Court Amends Various Rules of Procedure in Accordance with H.B. 4
    By Cade Browning

    On October 7, 2004, the Texas Supreme Court announced changes to five civil procedure rules and one judicial administration in response to the Tort Reform Statutes of the 2003 legislature. These rules impact process servers, guardian ad litems, exemplary damages, jury instructions, and appeals seeking pre-trial orders in multi-dstrict litigation cases. (Cont.)


    Tips for Young Lawyers
    How to Prepare a Needs Analysis for Technology
    Reprinted with permission from the State Bar of Texas Law Office Management department. For additional publications visit

    The world of office automation is constantly expanding. It would be senseless to think that anyone could make an effective decision regarding technology, without a carefully thought out analysis of need. Following is a list of questions to ask yourself in the process of determining what fits your practice needs best.

    1. Which functions are automated now - which additional functions do we wish to automate?
    2. Are existing pieces of equipment mutually compatible?
    3. Does everyone in the office use the same software?
    4. Are our word processing procedures standardized?
    5. Is our billing system interfaced with accounting?


    State Bar Sections Want You! 
    The Sections of the State Bar of Texas want you to be a part of something great!
    Membership and involvement in State Bar sections enables you to gain maximum career potential, study issues, express ideas, enrich your personal development and strengthen the legal profession in our State. Landmark State Bar legislation, including the revision of the Family Code, was produced by sections.

    State Bar President Kelly Frels was instrumental in creating a new initiative for sections in the last fiscal year, bringing enhanced State Bar services to sections and increasing member awareness and involvement with sections. The initiative is continuing in the current Bar year, so its an exciting time to get involved.

    There are 42 sections with diverse memberships and focus areas. Sections offer several benefits to Texas attorneys, such as discounts for CLE programs, newsletters and journals; networking opportunities; and leadership development. For more information or to join a State Bar section, visit or contact the Sections Department at 1-800-204-2222 x1425.

    Help Improve the Jury System!
    The National Center for State Courts has undertaken its National Program to Increase Citizen Participation in Jury Service, a multi-phase project designed to promote public awareness and understanding of jury service and to support state and local courts in their efforts to improve the jury system. The Center is seeking information from lawyers and judges about local jury trial practices and procedures. Please take a few moments to complete their online survey. Your input is greatly appreciated. Access the survey

    Next Month: Look for upcoming information about TYLA's exciting new project "American Juror: The Decision is Yours".