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.





























































Feature TYLA Affiliate

Feature TYLA Affiliate

By:  David C. Courreges

Over the course of the week before Halloween, heavy rains pounded Central Texas, prompting minor flooding throughout the area. Even the tree hovering above Lady Bird Lake — a monument to the recent extreme drought — was enveloped by rising waters. Once the rains ended Halloween morning, it appeared that much of the area was spared any major damage. It would be a perfect night for tick-or-treating.

We were wrong. A flash flood had ravaged the Onion Creek Watershed, destroying the southeast Austin communities of Dove Springs, Bluff Springs, and the Onion Creek Neighborhood. Approximately 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and nearly as many families were displaced, including many within the Austin legal community, and some of our closest friends.

As Texans, we are familiar with disaster. Hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and floods are an unfortunate part of living in the Lone Star State. It is a price we pay — a fact we may even accept. Though we may never be truly prepared, we do have experience. As soon as news of the flooding began to circulate, neighbors and friends from across Travis County rallied to help one another through a most difficult time. These responders included several Austin-area attorneys.

Throughout the month of November, Austin attorneys assisted hundreds of individuals and families in finding a sense of control over their situations. Assistance from the legal community has come in many forms, including a series of legal clinics established at local shelters and town hall meetings, and call-in help lines. Not to mention the dozens who have volunteered by helping clean out damaged homes, sorting and donating goods and food, and assisting at the various community shelters.

My purpose is not to praise the work of lawyers for doing what is right. Lawyers are first and foremost stewards of our communities, and we owe a duty to those who need our help.

Rather, I want to extend thanks to the many people and organizations who stepped up to donate their time to assist our neighbors in need.

In the days immediately after the floods, numerous legal organizations and their members came together to work in tandem to help those in need:
• Austin Bar Association
• Austin Black Lawyers Association
• Hispanic Bar Association of Austin
• Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas

Special thanks goes to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas for their invaluable contributions to the betterment of our community through their presence and resources. The driving forces behind the efforts of these organizations are D’Ann Johnson of TRLA and Abby Anna Batko-Taylor of VLSOCT.

As with any Texas disaster, the effects of the recent floods are far-reaching. It will take time to rebuild the hundreds of damaged homes and much longer to establish a feeling of safety again. Residents are still dealing with multiple legal issues and now must face the daunting tasks of hiring reputable contractors, determining insurance coverage, and interpreting contracts. They still need the help that attorneys can provide.

To volunteer to provide legal advice or take a case, please contact Abby Anna Batko-Taylor of VLSOCT. You can still make a difference in a life that has been turned upside down. And isn’t that why we became lawyers?