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Top Story

By:  Veronica S. Wolfe

Each year, the State Bar of Texas, TYLA, and the Texas Access to Justice Commission host the Bar Leaders Conference, a two-day event in Houston that unites representatives from local bar associations and TYLA affiliates to brainstorm ideas on improving the leadership and membership among lawyers in their respective cities. The goal, in short, is to inspire leaders and offer valuable resources.

Representatives from local affiliates are invited to attend the conference, which is divided into breakout sessions. These sessions generally consist of roundtable discussions or presentations on the projects developed by the local affiliates. The conference also gives TYLA, the State Bar of Texas, and the Texas Access to Justice Commission an opportunity to inform the local affiliates of the resources they have to offer and the various projects being developed.

Year after year, one of the most discussed topics at the Bar Leaders Conference is how local bar and young lawyer associations can increase publicity. Whether it’s drawing attention to a particular project or the value of membership, all associations are challenged with getting the word out.

This year, TYLA was proud to unveil its first project of the year to address that very issue, a TYLA Media Toolkit. Amy Starnes, public information director for the State Bar of Texas, helped us develop the invaluable content in a quick reference guide that we handed out to conference attendees. The toolkit covers all ranges of publicity from press releases to social media. Didn’t attend the Bar Leaders Conference? No worries! Go to to download the TYLA Media Toolkit.

If you haven’t attended the Bar Leaders Conference before, here is a rundown of some of the sessions and topics we cover: 

1. Supporting Uncommon Affiliates Presentation: TYLA’s executive committee presented the services TYLA offers to empower young lawyer affiliates and their leaders. President Sam Houston presented Awards of Achievement to recognize outstanding local affiliates. Click here for the list of the Awards of Achievement winners.

2. Building Uncommon Leaders Sessions: TYLA spearheaded breakout sessions for affiliate presidents, presidents-elect, and other leaders to discuss ideas and solutions for improving membership, diversity, and leadership among local affiliates.

3. Projects! Projects! Projects!: Representatives from various small and large affiliates presented innovative and successful projects implemented within the past year. Each presentation was followed by a question/answer session so that attendees could build off of these projects and share the ideas with their local affiliates.

4. Rolling in Money, Rolling out Projects: How to Maximize Grant Requests: TYLA officers and directors presented strategies on drafting successful grant applications.

We encourage you to attend next year’s conference, which is scheduled for July 28-29, 2017, in Houston! Your local bar association can delegate one member and all executive directors to attend.  Your local affiliate can designate up to four members to attend (two as TYLA official delegates, one as a TYLA minority delegate, and one as an access to justice delegate). Delegates receive two nights at the Westin Galleria and access to all conference events, including the Casino Party and all scheduled meals. The State Bar will reimburse travel expenses. There are requirements for receiving reimbursement, which are detailed in the registration brochure. 

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact me. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet bar leaders in other cities and share ideas on how to improve your local bar association and young lawyer affiliate!

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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