Feature Affiliate

Feature Affiliate

HYLA & DAYL Partner Up for the My Other Hometown CLEs

This year Houston Young Lawyers Association (“HYLA”) and Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (“DAYL”) joined forces and hosted two CLEs entitled "My Other Hometown" in which young lawyers from Dallas and Houston traveled to the other city to discuss the best practices and differences of practicing in the courts in their hometown.

The project originated at the Bar Leaders Conference in Houston in August 2014 when DAYL President Jonathan Childers, DAYL President-elect Stephanie Gause, and HYLA President-elect Brittany Ringel sat next to each other at a breakout group and discussed the need for young lawyers to understand the best practices in the other city so that they would not get "hometowned." We noticed that on the Friday morning Southwest Airlines flights between Dallas and Houston, the planes are full of lawyers who are traveling to the other city for a hearing.  We recognized that a real need existed for young lawyers of one city to learn more about practicing in the other city. This joint project was made possible by a grant from Texas Young Lawyers Association that covered the travel expenses for Want-to-Get Away airfare for the panelists.

Each My Other Hometown CLE covered: (1) how to best practice in the state district and county courts of each city; (2) how to best practice in the Southern District of Texas (for Houston) and Northern District of Texas (for Dallas); (3) perceived stereotypes of the other city’s lawyers, and how to practice in such a way as to avoid them; and (4) general practice tips and advice for practicing as more of a local.  We had over 40 attendees at each CLE.

The panel from DAYL that presented in Houston:

Nnamdi Anozie of Lynn Tillotson Pinker & Cox LLP
Sara Romine of Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP
Chris Simmons of Deans & Lyons, LLP
David Walton of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons LLP
Moderator, Jonathan Childers of Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP and DAYL president

The panel from HYLA that presented in Dallas:

Ben Wickert of Joyce + McFarland LLP
Michelle Gray of Fogler, Brar, O’Neil & Gray, LLP
Andrew Herreth of Law Office of Andrew R. Herreth
David Walton of Beirne, Maynard & Parsons LLP
Moderator, Brittany Ringel, in-house counsel, Siemens Energy, Inc. and HYLA president-elect.

It was a rewarding experience working with and getting to know the leaders and executive director from another young lawyers association, learning from each other, and becoming lifelong friends. We look forward to projects together in the future and highly recommend joint projects with other organizations after this experience.

Keys to Success for Future Collaborations between Young Lawyers Associations

1.  Plan ahead – It takes time to develop the concept, apply for a grant, identify panelists, and to come up with the presentation. My Other Hometown was so successful because we took the time to really get to know each other and develop the concept. There was even a surprise planning session.

2.  Mind the Gap – Don’t schedule the presentations/events back to back. Allow yourself some time to reflect and improve on the first presentation. We scheduled the two CLEs about a month apart so that we had time to regroup and reflect on lessons learned and handle the logistics of two big events.

3.  Consistency & Cohesiveness – It helped us to have one panelist and the moderators involved in both presentations so that there is a cohesive feel to the programs.

4.  Allow Me to Introduce Myself – Participate in conference calls with the panel members in advance of the presentations so that the first time they are meeting isn’t on the day of the presentation. That makes the tone much more conversational.

5.  Say Cheese - Take pictures or hire a photographer to capture the joint project.

6.  Have Fun - Allow for some downtime (dinner or happy hour) to spend quality time with the folks who you’ve been working with and have them show you a cool spot in their city!

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.

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