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 Project

Feature TYLA Project

New TYLA Video on Human Trafficking Debuted at South Texas College of Law in January
By:  Patrice Childress, Beck Redden L.L.P.

Under the leadership of C.E. Rhodes, the Texas Young Lawyers Association has undertaken a campaign to raise awareness about the growing problem of human trafficking. The modern slave trade of men, women, and children across international borders and within the United States is a thriving illegal enterprise perpetrated through an underground network. TYLA has committed to cast a spotlight on this problem and bring this form of modern slavery out of the shadows.

With help from a grant from the Houston Bar Foundation, TYLA began working with Synthetic Pictures to create a video to educate and inform audiences about human trafficking. The result was a public service video entitled Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking. The video features interviews of prosecutors and law enforcement, social services, school personnel, and victims of trafficking. Narrated by Withelma “T” Ortiz, who was, herself, a victim of trafficking from the ages of 10 to 17, the video tells a powerful story of how victims are exploited and often mistaken for criminals themselves.

To mark National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, TYLA was pleased to debut its new public service video to an audience at South Texas College of Law on January 31. The event was generously co-sponsored by the Houston Bar Association. The premiere video presentation of SOS: Spotlight on Human Trafficking was made to an audience of lawyers, students, and stakeholders and followed by a panel discussion featuring Dawn Lew, Senior Staff Attorney at Children at Risk, and Ed Gallagher, Deputy Criminal Chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. Ms. Lew and Mr. Gallagher are two individuals working on the front lines to tackle the growing problem of human trafficking and how best to identify victims. Among those in the audience were several individuals who were featured in the video, including Wafa Abdin of Catholic Charities and Maria Trujillo of Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition. The attendees and panel had a lively discussion about how to take action to address the multi-faceted problem of human trafficking. In his comments to the audience, Mr. Gallagher explained the challenges faced by law enforcement in coordinating efforts between state and federal authorities and also the importance of coordinated efforts across multiple agencies. Ms. Lew also discussed the challenges in identifying victims of human trafficking who often first come to the attention of authorities after being arrested for prostitution or drug charges. Ms. Lew encouraged the audience of lawyers and law students who were moved by the video presentation to explore opportunities available to get involved by further educating themselves about the issue and pursuing pro bono opportunities.

Additional presentations of the SOS video are planned for locations around Texas. Mark your calendar for an event near you, including Fort Bend (February 21); El Paso (March 14); Lubbock (March 23 and 26). Attendees are eligible to receive one hour of CLE credit, including .25 hours of ethics credit. For additional information about upcoming events, please visit the TYLA website or contact Michelle Palacios in the TYLA office.