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.





























































September 2013

Editor's Column
Editor's Column

By:  Brandy Wingate Voss

I love when school starts for the year and seeing all the Facebook posts with cute little school kids in their new school clothes.  As a kid, I loved the first day of school!  The new school year meant seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and facing new challenges. 

Top Story

Happy New (Fiscal) Year!
By:  Brandy Wingate Voss

For most lawyers, the end of August means the end of the summer and back-to-school time for the kiddos. For litigators, it also means the end of judicial vacations and an increase in docket activity. And for appellate lawyers, it means the end of the Texas judiciary’s fiscal year.

Ok. So what does that mean?

Feature TYLA Project
Feature TYLA Project

Get Involved With the Court Visitor Program
By:  Steven Hallbauer, Lemons & Hallbauer, LLC

The Texas Probate Code requires that all wards subject to a court-approved guardianship be checked on by the court once a year. Because of limited resources available to complete this requirement, the responsibility often falls to volunteers who are willing to assist. More and more, Texas attorneys are stepping up to assist the court by becoming trained in how to properly conduct a Court Visit.

Feature TYLA Affiliate
Feature TYLA Affiliate

Young Lawyers Salary Survey:  What is Your Market Value in Today’s Economy?
By:  Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association

In  the  fall  of  2012,  the  Fort  Worth-Tarrant  County  Young  Lawyers  Association (TCYLA) conducted an anonymous and confidential Salary Survey of the young lawyers in Tarrant County, Texas.1   The purpose of conducting the Salary Survey was to inform Tarrant County’s young lawyers of reasonable expectations of their market value in the Tarrant County legal community.   The Salary Survey took into account several factors, such as the lawyer’s years in practice, type of law office, and size of law office.

Tips for Young Lawyers
Tips for Young Lawyers

By:  Chris A. Szalay

, there's good news and bad news for you. Let’s start with the good news - you just completed law school and landed your first job practicing law. The future couldn't be brighter! The bad news - the student loans and long work hours make you feel like focusing on retirement planning, investing, or other financial goals isn't possible until many years from now. Sound like a familiar tale? As I work predominantly with professionals with careers in the legal field, this situation is very, very common. Fortunately, there are some planning strategies that will be truly advantageous that don't require fancy software, a degree in accounting, or a background on Wall Street.

Article of Interest
Article of Interest

Breathe a Little Easier, Employer – Liability Limitations on Hiring Persons with Criminal Convictions Went Into Effect June 14, 2013
By: John W. Shaw, Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz PLLC

On my way into the office the Tuesday morning after taking Labor Day off, I heard on the local news that more than 650 new laws went into effect on September 1st. While I have not taken the time to research whether that number is accurate, the very mention of anywhere near that many new laws going into effect heightens my desire to attend a legislative update CLE in the near future (if only incrementally, because let’s face it, that is going to be a long CLE). This desire is compounded by the fact that although there were that many new laws that went into effect on September 1, there were many other laws that went into effect immediately upon passage this 83rd legislative session.

Health Tips for Young Lawyers

Catching Some Zzzz’s
By:  Laura Pratt and Sarah Brown

Sleep plays a very important role in your overall health. Even though individual sleep needs vary, on average, most healthy adults need anywhere between six and eight hours of sleep every night for sixteen hours of wakefulness. A person practicing healthy sleep habits generally can reap many benefits including better physical and mental health, enhanced performance, focus, memory conversion, problem-solving, improved relationships with others, and overall emotional stability.

ABA YLD Update
ABA YLD Update


This year’s American Bar Association (“ABA”) Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) initiative, “Bullyproof,” kicked off at the ABA YLD Annual Meeting in San Francisco. This initiative strives to involve young lawyers in both educating and empowering to end bullying.

At assembly, the ABA YLD passed Resolution 6YL written by Courtenay Dunn of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Resolution 6YL encourages schools, school officials, and administrators alike to adopt a uniform definition of “bullying,” to adopt a uniform definition of “protected class,” and to adopt peer-to-peer mentoring programs, school counseling programs, and other mediation programs that can educate students, teachers, and administrators on the effects of bullying.

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

The Access to Justice Campaign Raises $1 Million

We’re thrilled to announce that the 2013 Access to Justice Campaign passed the $1,000,000 mark! Thank you to our 260 inaugural Champion of Justice Society members and everyone who contributed.

We especially want to thank the 1,074 members of TYLA who contributed to the Access to Justice Campaign. Young lawyers were 15% of our donors this year! Your support is critical to improving access to justice for all Texans, and we’re excited to reach this important milestone with your help.

Important Dates To Remember

September 12-14, 2013
LeadershipSBOT - Austin, TX

October 4, 2013
TYLA grant checks mailed to TYLA local affiliate grant recipeints

October 10-13, 2013
ABA YLD Fall Conference - Phoenix, AZ

October 20-26, 2013
National Pro Bono Week Celebration

October 28, 2013
TYLA deadline to receive second committee report

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.


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 Diversity Scholarship Program
Each year, TYLA awards a $1,000 scholarship to one diverse student at each Texas law school. The scholarship promotes diversity in the legal profession by assisting members of diversity populations within the bar to (1) enter the legal profession and (2) participate in the programs and activities of TYLA and the State Bar of Texas. The application deadline is October 25, 2013. The scholarship awards are distributed before the Spring semester. For more information please click here


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.