President's Opinion


by C. Barrett Thomas
President, Texas Young Lawyers Association


January 1, 2016
New Year--New You

It’s time to make our New Year’s resolutions! Unfortunately, I imagine that by the time this is printed, many of us may have already broken them. It’s never too late to start over though, right?

December 1, 2015
Practice as if Santa Were Watching

’Tis the season of good tidings and Christmas cheer, a time when we are called to put aside petty differences, love our fellow man, and maintain a selfless spirit. Working with lawyers for a living, however, can prove difficult.

November 1, 2015
See the Struggle and Help

Not too long ago, I was a first-year law student and single father. When I had my twin five-year-olds every other week, it was a total whirlwind. There were times when I couldn’t find childcare and I had to take them to class with me. I remember one of those days in particular. Running late, I raced through the law school with the boys in tow. My face clearly showed concern that either my sons or myself would be kicked out of school by the day’s end.

October 1, 2015
Giving Back to Our Veterans

During my career as a lawyer, I have always practiced in areas where a large percentage of the population was active military. I started off in Abilene right next to Dyess Air Force Base, and now I practice in Waco, which is down the road from Fort Hood and home to a large Veterans Affairs ospital. Having a working knowledge of how military duty affects criminal and civil litigation is a must for practitioners living in these and other military areas. Yet, it certainly doesn’t come naturally.

September 1, 2015
A Child's Story

In my past life as a prosecutor, I was often assigned to sexual assault cases involving children. The outcomes of cases such as these are quite frequently dependent on the testimony of one child victim, and getting an unbiased and complete statement is crucial. Years later, as a criminal defense and family law attorney, I have come to realize that the challenges and necessity of procuring impartial child testimony aren’t unique to one side of the bar. The question is, how do we get that kind of testimony?

July 1, 2015
Building Business

I recently spoke at a new lawyer CLE in Austin, but it might have been me who learned the most during the course. One question particularly caught my attention. A young lawyer asked, “How do you develop business when you spend all your time with attorneys?” That question was particularly notable to me because I have a new private practice myself. Business development is certainly on my radar and has been since I began my private practice part time in 2010.