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

Feeling blue? You are not alone.  Local bar associations across Texas have support groups just for you.
By:  Amber Altemose, Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC 

Out of 105 professional careers surveyed, lawyers rank number one in suffering from major depression.[1] The rate of suicide among lawyers is six times the rate of the general population,[2] and suicide is the third leading cause of death among lawyers after cancer and heart disease.[3]

One reason lawyers are more susceptible to depression and suicide is our personality characteristics.[4] We tend to be perfectionist and competitive; thrive on stressful situations; and work long hours.[5] Another reason is our substance abuse problem—one in five lawyers is addicted to alcohol, and substance abuse among lawyers is double the national level.[6]

Looking at our profession, it is easy to see why lawyers struggle so much with depression and suicide. The stress and pressure of bringing in new clients; managing current clients; billable hours; and moving up the partner track, while juggling family and community obligations, can keep us from taking care of our own physical, mental, and emotional needs. If these needs are not met, it can lead to depression, anxiety, burnout, and sometimes suicide.

The State Bar of Texas has numerous resources to help lawyers suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. The State Bar’s biggest resource is the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP)—an anonymous, confidential support group for lawyers suffering from mental illness, such as anxiety and depression, and substance abuse.[7]

If you or a lawyer you know is suffering from depression or may be suicidal, call the TLAP hotline to speak to a TLAP volunteer (see Resources below for contact information). TLAP will help you or the lawyer you refer find mental health professionals or other appropriate services in the community.

With the help of TLAP, local bar associations across Texas have also created support groups specifically for lawyers suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. These groups typically meet monthly and engage a speaker in the mental-health community to educate the audience on a range of topics from understanding depression to finding healthy coping mechanisms.

Do not suffer silently—these free resources were created specifically to assist you in your recovery from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

Symptoms of Depression

If you or a lawyer you know is suffering from any of the following symptoms please call TLAP:

Feelings of guilt, helplessness, or hopelessness
Persistent sadness and a pessimistic attitude
Difficulty concentrating
Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
Insomnia, early-morning awakenings, or oversleeping
Fatigue and lack of energy
Weight loss or weight gain
Suicidal thoughts
Dramatic mood change
Unusual or more reckless behavior
Excessive irritability, anger, or rage
Perceived public embarrassment or humiliation
Increased or excessive use of drugs or alcohol
Possession of or acquiring a weapon
Increased anxiety, including panic, insomnia, and agitation

Healthy Ways to Cope with Depression, Anxiety, and Mental Illness

Here is a short list of ways to cope with and manage your depression or anxiety in a healthy manner:

Antidepressant medication
Support groups
Gratitude list
Helping others
Proper nutrition
Avoid alcohol and drugs


Below is a list of resources to contact if you or someone you know is suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental illness:

Texas Lawyers Assistance Program
1414 Colorado
Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 427-1453
1-800-343-8527 – 24/7 Hotline

Local Bar Associations – Support Groups


Austin Lawyers Support Group
816 Congress Avenue
3rd Floor, Longhorn Room
Austin, Texas
Meet: Last Thursday of the Month at Noon


St. Mark’s Episcopal
Main & Calder
Beaumont, Texas
Meet: Thursdays at Noon

Corpus Christi

Tower Two – Lunch Room in Basement
555 N. Carancahua
Corpus Christi, Texas
Meet: 1st and 3rd Thursdays at Noon


Monday Night Group
21st Floor – Doubletree Hotel
Campbell Center
8250 N. Central Expressway
Meet: 2nd Monday of the Month at 6 p.m.

El Paso

Lunch at a local restaurant
Call TLAP for information
Meet: Fridays at Noon

Fort Worth

Lawyers Living Effectively with Anxiety and Depression
Tarrant County Bar Association Center
1315 Calhoun Street
Fort Worth, Texas
Meet: 1st Monday of the Month at 5:30 p.m.


Attorneys Forum on Depression and Wellness
Council on Alcohol and Drugs
303 Jackson Hill, Room B164
Houston, Texas
Meet: 1st Monday of the Month at 6:30 p.m.


Law Office at 1102 Main Street
Lubbock, Texas
Call 806-786-2215 for information
Meet: Fridays at Noon

San Antonio

Lawyers Support Group
Alamo Heights Methodist Church
825 Basse Road, Room W105
Meet: 1st Tuesday of the Month at 6:30 p.m.

Rio Grande Valley – McAllen
Call TLAP for location and information
Meet: Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Rio Grande Valley – Brownsville
Call TLAP for location and information
Meet: Wednesdays at Noon

Rio Grande Valley – Weslaco
2300 W. Pike Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Weslaco, Texas
Meet: Wednesdays at 6 p.m.



[1] David, Ted, Can Lawyers Learn to Be Happy?, 57 No. 4 Prac. Law 29 (2011).

[2] Carroll, Don, Lawyer Suicide and Resources for Managing Stress, North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program, http://www.nclap.org/article.asp?articleid=60 (accessed March 18, 2013).

[3] Id.

[4] Weiss, Debra Cassens, Lawyer Personalities May Contribute to Increased Suicide Risk, ABA Journal, http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/lawyer_personalities_may_contribute_to_increased_suicide_risk/ (April 30, 2009).

[5] See id.

[6] David, 57 No. 4 Prac. Law 29.

[7] Communications with TLAP are statutorily confidential under Chapter 167 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, with limited exceptions such as when an individual is a danger to him/herself or others.

Amber Altemose practices transactional and administrative law in Fort Worth. She is a Board Member for the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, Chair-Elect of the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Peer Assistance Committee, and a TLAP volunteer.