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.





























































Tips For Young Lawyers

Tips For Young Lawyers

Remember the Basics
By:  Sadie Fitzpatrick, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

It is exciting to be a lawyer! We are part of a large community of professionals who have the opportunity and skills to make a big impact in the world. That being said, it is easy to get lost in the intellect and prestige of our profession. We must not forget about the basic practices that can guide us in achieving our career goals. Here are a few reminders:

• Be patient. Do not expect to earn a high salary while working easy hours. If you expect anything at all, expect to pay your dues. Hence, work hard on each and every task with which you are presented. Always follow through, and do what you say you are going to do.

• Be tactful and discrete. You are in the business world now, so act accordingly. Avoid inappropriate comments and off-color remarks. This is especially true in written communication, where jokes and sarcasm can be misinterpreted or seem inappropriate when taken out of context. It is tempting to send playful e-mails back and forth with colleagues, but be aware of the reactions that others might have if they were to read those messages. Remember that e-mails never go away.

• Be concise and clear. Lawyers, clients, and judges are busy, so get to the point. Less is more - why write ten pages when the same could be said in just one? Likewise, use plain English. Do not get lost in legalese and Latin phrases. At the other end of the spectrum, do not use slang and “valley girl” talk. That can be extremely distracting and obscure the intended meaning.

• Mind your manners. Promptly return phone calls and e-mails. Write thank-you notes to acknowledge and show appreciation to those who help you . Maintain eye contact and be present in conversations; do not get distracted by your computer or cell phone. Use a firm and assertive handshake.

• Build relationships and nurture those that you already have. The law is a service-oriented profession, so the relationships that you build are critical to your career. You never know who may be your future client, employer, or confidant. Network through in bar associations or continuing legal education events. Look to other types of organizations, as well. Determine what interests you (e.g., fine arts, the environment, or running for a cause), and embrace that. Be a leader in that group. Not only will these efforts pad your resume, they will also help you to expand your network.

• Figure out what type of law you love! We are lucky that legal practice areas are so numerous and diverse, but this can make it difficult to pinpoint where your skills and interests fit. As you narrow the possible options, be open to new opportunities and be willing to try new things—you never know where your legal degree may lead you. Research a topic that is outside of your normal practice, or attend continuing legal education events in varied areas to get exposure to new areas of law.

• And find a mentor. Everyone needs career guidance at some point, and having someone whom you trust and admire is priceless. A mentor can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and give you suggestions on how to capitalize on your skills in order to become a confident, effective lawyer.