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.





























































Editor's Column

Editor's Column

Save Stress and Heartache with Some Simple Planning
By Leif A. Olson, Welsh Chapoton LLP

I am warning you right now: This isn’t light, but it’s important. I’m hopeful, though, that your love for your family and friends will keep you reading.

We noted in the last eNews that TYLA’s secretary, Keith Krueger, died unexpectedly last month. Keith was a generous and gentle giant, devoted to his church, to our profession, and to his community. He was loved and will be missed by all of us who were his friends, his co-workers, and his family. It was the unexpected nature of Keith’s death that prompted this column.

The unexpected—car crash, a lightning strike, a sudden illness, or even sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time—happens every day. And though we may be young lawyers, we have enough life experience to know the pain and grief caused when the unexpected claims a loved one’s life. Fortunately, you can take simple steps, apart from your estate planning, to ease these stresses.

First, get a manila folder and label it “ICOD.” This is short for “in case of death.” This is where you’ll gather the few things we’ll talk about. When you’re done, put it in your filing cabinet, a safe, or a desk drawer.

Second, especially if you’re a solo practitioner, ask a mentor or trusted colleague to assume responsibility for winding down your practice. List that person’s contact information so the State Bar knows whom to contact. Make sure that you include instructions about your files, such as the access information for your work computer or document-management system. The State Bar’s Law Practice Management Section has online resources that can help you both with this preparation. Many local and specialty bar associations have similar sections or programs.

Third, decide what type of memorialization you want. How would you like your remains disposed? Would you like a traditional funeral, or a more celebratory remembrance? If you’d prefer a religious service, or even if not, which songs, hymns, or types of music would you like? Do you want someone to speak to the attendees and, if so, whom? Taking a few minutes to answer these questions in particular will ease a good deal of stress.

Relatedly—third-and-a-half, I suppose—consider your assets. Burials, cremations, and their attendant expenses tend to cost a few thousand dollars. If you don’t have that much in relatively liquid assets, consider getting a small, term life insurance policy. Short-term life insurance is usually cheap, and naming your loved ones as beneficiaries can prevent your passing from causing them financial worries.

Fourth, list all of your financial accounts and legal documents, preferably with account or policy numbers. Make sure that you include things like car loans, outstanding credit cards, IRAs and 401(k)s, and all of your insurance policies—car, home or renters, and life. For documents, describe what they are and where they are. For instance, you might list:

     Life insurance: Texas Insurance Co., policy xxxx-xxxxxx; “insurance” folder in filing cabinet
     Savings account: First City Credit Union, account xxxxxxxxx
     Will: prepared on 6/12/11 by Joe Rodriguez, Smith & Rodriguez LLP; in “legal docs” folder
           in safe with copy at Smith & Rodriguez

Finally, gather these sheets together in your ICOD folder and store it. Be sure that you tell your loved ones where it is.

Many people find these preparations—as well as estate planning, which I’m not covering here—morbid or depressing. But that’s the wrong attitude. Your loved ones will want to love and mourn you; a half-hour of your time and a simple manila folder can ease the stresses that would otherwise oppress and distract them. You aren’t morbidly preparing for your death; you are proactively helping your loved ones prepare to celebrate your life.