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.





























































Article of Interest

Article of Interest

Practical Tips on Client Development for Young Lawyers
By:  Cordell Parvin

I have done a lot of work helping associates with client development in my old firm and now as a coach. In this article I want to share with you my practical ideas for young lawyers on client development.

Set Yourself Apart:

Client development is more challenging today for a variety of reasons. First, business clients are no longer local, no longer loyal, and there are way more lawyers from which to choose. Second, you have less time, and you have more choices of client-development actions. Because you have too many choices, you may either never get started or become very scattered in your efforts.

If you have a plan, become visible to your target market, and find ways to become a valuable resource and advisor for those clients and potential clients, you can become very successful. It is important that you start your efforts as early in your career as possible.

Client Development Myths:

Young lawyers seem to buy into client development myths, and this stifles their efforts. Here are several of those myths:

1. You either have it or you don’t.  I can tell you from my personal experience that I did not have it. Knowing that drove me to work at it and develop my skills.
2. Just do good work, get a Martindale A-V rating, and wait for the phone to ring. There are thousands of lawyers in your city or area who do good work. Client development is a contact sport. It is about building relationships and adding value beyond the good work.
3. “Too young, and inexperienced to…” Lawyers should start learning client development skills as early as possible. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and even though you may not bring in a client now that fits your firm’s client profile, you are building towards doing so later.
4. You have to be an extrovert and know how to work a room. I know lawyers who are very outgoing and yet do poorly because they talk about themselves and do not listen. I know introverted lawyers who ask great questions and listen who do very well.
5. You have to “ask” for business. Lawyers who are good at asking do not come across as needy or greedy. I, personally, was uncomfortable asking so I tried to be the “go to” lawyer who would be sought by clients in my target market.
6. Associates in big firms do not need to learn client development. At the very least, associates in big firms with institutional clients need to learn about those clients and find ways to become more valuable to those clients. As expressed above, institutional clients are no longer loyal, so they can’t be counted on as they have been in the past.  Learning the skill set to get new clients is more important today than before.

What Successful Young Lawyers I Coach Share in Common:

1. They are patient, persistent, and persevere.
2. They are focusing their client-development efforts on things they are passionate about.
3. They have a plan for their non-billable time and written goals.
4. They are regularly working on client development.
5. They are seeking to become more visible to their target market.
6. They are getting feedback on their ideas and how they are doing.
7. They find ways to hold themselves accountable.
8. They all wish they had started their efforts earlier in their career.

Use The Internet and Social Media

The Internet broadly, and social media more narrowly, have provided new opportunities for young lawyers to become visible and credible to potential clients and to build relationships. Take advantage of those opportunities to:

1. Locate information about your clients and information they may find valuable. I use Google Alerts, RSS Feeds and Readers, and Twitter and iPad tools like Flipboard and Zite.
2. Organize the information that comes your way. Create folders based on clients, industries, or types of information.
3. Write, present, or otherwise disseminate. This is your chance to show the world what you know. The valuable information coming your way provides topics for blog posts, articles and presentations. You can also simply disseminate it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and other social media sites.
4. Connect with clients, potential clients, referral sources, school classmates, and others. I primarily use LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with people and with companies.
5. Build relationships with those with whom you connect. I have first met many young lawyers on LinkedIn or Twitter and then met them in person. I keep track of what they are doing both on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Deliberate Practice:

Practice things you want to get better at doing. When I was a young lawyer, I deliberately practiced:

1. Treating your supervising lawyer like a client, figuring out what they want and need, and exceeding their expectations.
2. Finding out what is going on that impact your clients.
3. Networking.
4. Elevator speech/Elevator questions.
5. Identifying future issues impacting my clients.
6. Writing articles for a business audience designed to get me hired.
7. Public speaking.
8. Questions for clients and potential clients.
9. Active listening.
10. Building the team assigning work, supervising, and giving feedback.

Reading an article like this has very little value by itself. If you want to get something out of the article ask yourself: “What can I do based on what I learned?” If you want to share your ideas with me, I would be happy to offer feedback.

Cordell Parvin practiced law for 34 years. During his career he represented top US transportation contractors. He was in charge of attorney development at Jenkens and Gilchrist and started a client development coaching program there. In 2005, he left Jenkens and Gilchrist to teach and coach lawyers full-time. You can follow Cordell on Twitter or learn from Cordell through his LinkedIn Coaching Group, or through his daily blog.