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.





























































August 2013

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

By:  Leif Olson

I grew up in Washington, and my family still lives there. My wife, children, and I just returned from a vacation to visit them, and stepping out of the baggage claim into the Houston air reminded me of one undeniable truth: Texas in the summer is hot.

Top Story
Top Story

Five Things (and Then Some) Every Lawyer Should Know About Tax Law
By:  Jason B. Freeman

“Tax law”—the phrase is as likely to conjure images of pocket protectors and wire-rimmed glasses as it is to prompt a sudden burst of uncontrolled heart palpitations. Well, take a deep breath; we’ll keep it simple and relevant. The bottom line is: Tax laws affect every lawyer’s practice. So here are a few tips for the less-tax-savvy counsel to help identify and diagnose some tax issues that come up with more or less frequency.

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

Generation Generosity
By:  Kristy Blanchard, TYLA President

Did you ever wish you could do something to help change the public perspective of lawyers? Does your local affiliate want to put on a public service project but lacks the resources to do it? TYLA can help!

This year TYLA will roll out its newest project, Generation Generosity, across the state. Generation Generosity is an award-winning project started by the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. It aims to help change the public perspective of lawyers across Texas through public service projects performed by lawyers.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

2013 Freedom Run 5K

This year marks the 13th annual Freedom Run organized by the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL). As with most people, September 11, 2001 began as a normal day for members of the 2001 Leadership Class. Most members were excitedly anticipating the first class luncheon in a series of luncheons that would introduce them to city leaders, community leaders, leaders in education, and to the City of Dallas, in general. 

Tips for Young Lawyers
Tips for Young Lawyers

Hydration Information
By:  Emmy Lu Trammell, MS, RDN, LD

Maintaining good hydration is essential to maintaining overall health. With many hot summer days ahead, staying properly hydrated can be increasingly difficult but also increasingly important.

What are some signs of dehydration?

The most common indicator of dehydration is thirst. Unfortunately, this reveals that you are already dehydrated, not just approaching dehydration.

Article of Interest

Buy, Buy, Buy, Sell, Sell, Sell When the Market is Still Great: Now, When Do I Take Possession of My New Home?
By: Sean A. Clemmensen

A Quick History Lesson on Interest Rates

While factors such as inflation, incomes, and GDP growth can certainly affect the purchase and sale of homes, interest rates are one of the most important determinants over the long term. Generally, the Texas real-estate market has benefited from historically low mortgage rates. And while there has been a recent spike in mortgage rates (the highest level in two years), those rates are still low by historic standards.

ABA YLD Update

This year’s American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division annual meeting in San Francisco started with our second kickoff of ABA CareerAdvice LIVE! This event offered young lawyers a chance to discuss career strategy with top legal career consultants, in person at no cost. Young lawyers could also call in to take advantage of the free advice. Ten experienced consultants were on hand to cover a variety of topics, including: Branding Yourself and Marketing Your Practice; Dealing with Difficult People; Getting Effective Feedback from Your Supervisor; and, Understanding and Leveraging Your Strengths in the Workplace.

Texas Access To Justice Commission Update
Texas Access To Justice Commission Update

The Care Campaign: Supporting Lawyers in Pro Bono Service

The Texas Bar is committed to fostering a culture of pro bono service in our state. As part of this commitment, the Bar is launching the Care Campaign to empower attorneys who want to serve the millions of low-income Texans who need legal help. 

Important Dates To Remember

September 2, 2013
Holiday - Labor Day (Texas Law Center closed)

September 6-8, 2013
TYLA Board of Directors Meeting - Fredericksburg, TX

September 12-14, 2013
LeadershipSBOT - Austin, TX

Take Note

Kristy Blanchard, TYLA President
Click here to view this month's TYLA President's Opinion


I was the First. Vote for Me!
The State Bar of Texas has launched I was the first. Vote for Me!, a multimedia project educating elementary students on some of the historic figures featured in the new social studies TEKS standards. In addition to lessons on historic firsts, students will also learn about math, citizenship, reading, and voting. The website includes animations of historic figures; curriculum materials for teachers; and links to other resources for students, teachers, and attorneys. In addition to the web-based materials, an e-reader and hard-copy book are available and can also be accessed in PDF format from the website. The book and animations are prepared in both English and Spanish.


Professional Liability Insurance
Two professional liability insurance providers have options specifically for State Bar of Texas members. Learn more about USI Affinity and the Texas Lawyers' Insurance Exchange and how they can help Texas lawyers here.


Texas Bar Today
Texas Bar Today is an online media network designed to promote the news and commentary of Texas lawyers, law students, and legal professionals who maintain blogs or submit guest articles. The site, TexasBarToday.com, is updated weekdays with selected blog and video posts and Texas legal headlines, which are also promoted on the Texas Bar Today Twitter account.

Texas lawyers who want to include their blog or video on Texas Bar Today, or submit a guest article for posting, can send an email request to webmaster@texasbar.com. The State Bar of Texas has full editorial discretion regarding which blogs are linked, and all opinions and statements in blogs are those of their authors and not the State Bar. All attorney websites, including blogs, must comply with State Bar of Texas advertising guidelines, TexasBar.com/adreview.


Disaster Response
The State Bar of Texas has established a disaster legal hotline to assist people with basic legal questions following the devastating plant explosion in West, Texas. The hotline, which is answered in English and Spanish by Lone Star Legal Aid, is intended to help low-income persons affected by the disaster with such issues as replacing lost documents, insurance questions, landlord-tenant issues, and consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process. For  help, call (800) 504-7030.

A partnership between the State Bar of Texas, Texas Young Lawyers Association, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Lone Star Legal Aid, local bar associations, and other legal services providers throughout Texas is making a range of assistance available. To access additional resources, please visit texasbar.com/disasterresponse and texaslawhelp.org.


Savings through the State Bar Member Discount Program
Visit texasbar.com/discounts to take advantage of the State Bar Member Discount program. Save money on vacations, computers, clothing, gourmet chocolate, televisions, and more! Visit often – the site is updated regularly with new deals!


The Texas Bar Journal wants to hear from you!
Have you received an honor or recognition? Have you recently accepted a new position or moved? Keep the Texas legal community informed by submitting your news at texasbar.com/tbjsubmissions. Your news could appear in an issue of the Texas Bar Journal.

TYLA Local Leader Directory
Please email the TYLA office if there are any changes to your local affiliate's contact information.

If your affiliate has an upcoming event that you would like featured in eNews, please forward the information to Bree Trevino or contact eNews Co-chairs Anita BarksdaleLeif Olson, Sally Pretorius and John Shaw.

Ten Minute Mentor
Ten Minute Mentor debuted in 2004 to share concise and practical advice that is always accessible online. Since then, it has proven its enduring appeal as one of TYLA's most successful projects. More than 50,000 people have visited the site, and we continue to average more than 2,000 segments viewed each month. You can visit the site at www.tenminutementor.com.

Support Pro Bono Legal Services and Let Everyone Know It!
TYLA needs your help to support and promote free legal services for indigent Texans by purchasing a specialty license plate. The license plate proudly states that you support "Justice for All" and costs only $35.00 per year, or $70.00 for a personalized plate.

$25.00 from the purchase of each plate will go to support legal services to the poor.  To buy your plate, simply fill out an application and send your check, payable to the Texas Department of Transportation, to:

Vehicle Titles and Registration Division (SPB)
Texas Department of Transportation
Austin, TX 78779-0001
To pay online click here.

TYLA Annual Report 2012-2013
Want to know how TYLA is serving its members and the community? Then be sure to read the Annual Report, which details the activities of TYLA during the 2012-2013 Bar year. Click here for a copy or call 800-204-2222, ext. 1529 and we'll send one.