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.





























































Law Students

Law Students

Introducing TYLA’s New Law Student Liaison

     Belashia Wallace is the new chair of the Law Student Division for the State Bar of Texas and the law student liaison for TYLA. She is a native of Missouri City, Texas, and alumna of Lamar University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Communications-Print Journalism. Her heart to serve is fueled by her history as a troubled youth, whereby she was repeatedly told that she would never amount to anything. She says she now serves as proof to youth and adults alike that with God, all things are possible. Her track record of excellence reflects her self-coined acronym, “L.A.W.”: Leadership, Advocacy, and Writing.

     While at Lamar University, her “Leadership” led her to be the only student to serve as President of many of the top student organizations, receiving the University President’s highest excellence awards during her tenure. As Founder and President of “Woman to Woman,” the University’s first women’s empowerment organization, she set a record by having the largest campus organization of more than 150 members in its first semester.

     Her “Advocacy” was reflected through her service as the Founder of the University’s first-held Unity March, where hundreds of students, faculty, and community leaders gathered in support of ending the racial divide that was still present on campus. She was also a lead youth mentor for schools and organizations, becoming the Mayor Pro-Tem’s only female intern to generate proposals geared toward the needs of youth and minorities.

     Her “Writing” shined during her rare opportunity to serve as Editor for the official newspaper and official magazine of Lamar University and Lamar Institute of Technology. Most notably, she was the honorary published writer and speaker for the centennial celebration of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. At the centennial celebration, she performed her original spoken word poetry in front of an audience of more than 15,000 members.

     Without ever considering a career in the legal field, she graduated Lamar University with internship offers from major publications, such as Vibe magazine. However, she accepted the challenge from a prominent attorney and community leader who asked her to help him “run his law firm.” She found herself immersed in the law, continually searching for strategic ways to utilize the power of the law as a vehicle to strengthen the community. Her “L.A.W.” reputation led her to become the youngest appointee by the Mayor and City Council to serve on two committees on behalf of the City of Beaumont:  the Ad Hoc Recycling Committee and the Police Community Advisory Committee. In these capacities, she worked hands-on with city officials, generating the City’s most responsive survey that was disbursed to more than 100,000 citizens.

     Mrs. Wallace then relocated to Houston to pursue law school in order to finally combine her love of Leadership, Advocacy, and Writing. While in Houston, she was promoted to case manager at a multi-million dollar litigation firm prior to her acceptance into Thurgood Marshall School of Law (“Thurgood”).

     Mrs. Wallace is currently a second-year law student at Thurgood. In addition to being a Dean’s List Scholar, she also excelled in an array of leadership positions during her first year that will continue throughout her second year. She served as Student Representative for the State Bar’s Law Student Division, a Student Ambassador for Thurgood, Charter Member of Thurgood’s Women of Law organization, and Class Representative for Themis Bar Review. She is also the National Director of Alumni Affairs for National Black Law Students Association, which is the largest student-run organization in the United States.

     Mrs. Wallace was appointed to Thurgood’s Board of Advocates after being one of few first-year law students to advance in all advocacy competitions for the year. She was also a part of the only first-year law student team that placed as Finalists in the Negotiations Competition.  She was selected as a federal judicial intern by the A.B.A. and Just the Beginning-A Pipeline Organization. Through these organizations, she serves as a current summer intern for the Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

     Mrs. Wallace has a heart to serve her community that is coupled with an unwavering standard of excellence. She firmly believes that the best way to solve the problems throughout our communities is by being a servant working toward solutions. She hopes to utilize her love of the “L.A.W.” by continuing to serve her communities as a judge. She is married to Dr. Jerry Wallace, and they collectively serve as the Christian youth ministry leaders at The Refreshing Church in Houston, Texas.