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.





























































Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

Champions of Justice Gala benefiting Texas Veterans
The Texas Access to Justice Commission with its co-sponsor, the State Bar of Texas, honored veterans throughout the state at the Champions of Justice Gala on Tuesday, April 23, at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin, Texas. More than $338,000 was raised to help provide civil legal services to low-income Texas veterans.

“Veterans bravely risk their lives serving our country. Legal aid can help low-income veterans obtain health benefits they deserve for injuries obtained during military service,” Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht, the Court’s liaison for access to justice issues, said. “These courageous men and women should not be without legal assistance and deserve access to justice.”

“The Champions of Justice Gala honors the service of the valiant men and women who have made great sacrifices for our country,” Harry M. Reasoner, chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, said. “We owe them gratitude and assistance in returning to civilian life. Many face life-changing legal problems, including improper denial of disability and health benefits. With the funds raised at the gala, we can continue the fight to improve access to justice for Texas veterans.”

Paul Melton, president of the board of directors of the Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation, and Lt. Michael E. Thornton, retired U.S. Navy Seal and Medal of Honor recipient, spoke at the gala about the importance of assisting veterans with obtaining civil legal aid. Lt. Thornton discussed highlights of his highly decorated military career as a Navy Seal during which his heroic actions in Vietnam resulted in saving the life of a fellow Seal. He was later commissioned as an ensign.  As Bravo Company Commander coordinated rapid-response deployments in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

The 2013 Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Stewart W. Gagnon of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. This award, named for the former Executive Director of the Commission, recognizes an outstanding individual whose extraordinary spirit and demonstrated commitment to legal services has improved our society and inspired others.  The 2013 James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award was presented to James C. Harrington of Texas Civil Rights Project. This award recognizes a legal services program lawyer or a pro bono lawyer who is an exemplary advocate, who gives selflessly of his or her time and talent to provide legal help to those who have no voice.

Gala sponsors included: S. Jack Balagia of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Joseph D. Jamail Jr. of Jamail & Kolius, Harriet E. Miers of Locke Lord LLP, Hon. Harriet O’Neill, Law Office of Harriet O’Neill, D. Wayne Watts of AT&T, Inc., and William O. Whitehurst, Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees & Cheng, P.C.  Harry M. Reasoner of Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston serves as chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. Additionally, respected law firms, schools, companies, and nonprofits all contributed towards the effort.