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

And the winner is . . .
By:  Sam Houston

TYLA’s Local Affiliates Committee plays two important roles in TYLA’s overall goal of providing support to local affiliates across the state. The first of those roles is to review grant applications submitted by local affiliates and to make recommendations to the TYLA Board of Directors as to which grants should be funded. The second role, which is intimately related to the first, is to review the applications submitted for the annual Awards of Achievement. Those awards are handed out at the annual Bar Leaders Conference. Big city and small city affiliates are separately recognized for projects that serve the bar; projects that serve the public; newsletters; projects focusing on diversity; and the comprehensive nature of the year’s projects.        

            The winning projects for service to the public involved participation with multiple community organizations. The Ector County Young Lawyers Association took home first place for their “Holidays for Heroes.” The project was inspired by two prosecutors, Amanda Navarette and Brooke Hendricks-Green, who wanted to create an event where children could interact with law enforcement personnel in a positive environment. Thanks in part to a TYLA grant, ECYLA partnered with Harmony Home, Chuckwagon Gang, and the City of Odessa to put together a superhero-themed holiday festival, which included cupcakes, face painting, crafts, a visit with Santa, and gifts. The young lawyers participating were also able to interact with the children and their parents to answer questions about the judicial system.

            The desire to provide resources to the public, both directly and through community organizations, led the Austin Young Lawyers Association to create its “Austin Reentry” project. Building upon its Re-entry Resource Guide, which provided information to persons trying to reintegrate into society after incarceration, and realizing that incarcerated persons often fall within the lowest levels of reading proficiency, the AYLA produced a series of videos to provide legal information to formerly incarcerated persons in an easily accessible format. The topics covered in the videos include criminal records, employment, education, housing, child support, and immigration. The project won first place for service to the public, and it can be accessed at www.austinreentry.com

            Because many local affiliates are voluntary-membership organizations, several affiliates were honored for their efforts to reach out to potential members and to create value for current members. The Denton County Young Lawyers Association hosted a membership reception that was aimed to educating current and potential members about the benefits of membership in the organization. The reception was among many activities devoted to the organization’s members, which included networking socials with their members as well as with members of the Collin County Young Lawyers Association. The Dallas Association of Young Lawyers continued its longstanding tradition of providing opportunities for its members to develop substantive legal skills, including a new half-day expert witness deposition training program. The DCYLA and the DAYL each won first place in the comprehensive category for their respective city classification.

The projects recognized for Awards of Achievement are as diverse as the State of Texas. All of the award recipients could not be featured in this article, but we encourage local affiliate leaders to join us at the Bar Leaders Conference, which will be held at the Galleria in Houston August 1 and 2. Not only will be awards be distributed, but many TYLA projects will be highlighted during the “Projects, Projects, Projects” sessions.  We look forward to seeing you in Houston! 

Sam Houston, practices civil appellate law with Houston Dunn, PLLC in San Antonio.  He is currently Vice President of TYLA and served as a co-chair of the Local Affiliates Committee.