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.





























































Young Lawyer Spotlight

Young Lawyer Spotlight

TYLA Profile: DaSean A. Jones, Attorney and Army Veteran
By: Topher Sanders

Countless veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in the past few years. These men and women have been lauded as heroes. Many have earned medals for valor, meritorious service, and other accomplishments for which they will be heralded for years. But despite their sacrifices, many of these same warriors will return unable to find suitable employment. Leaving a stable job and income for unchartered territory is uncomfortable. The transition can be unpredictable. I spoke to one veteran, DaSean A. Jones, about his experience.

Topher: What did you do while you were on active duty with the Army?

DaSean: I was a Field Artillery officer from 2001 until around 2008. During the time, I went to Korea, Iraq, and several professional developments schools including: Armor Captain's Career Course, Joint Fire Control Course, and the Cavalry Leadership Course. My duties were to employ lethal and non-lethal effects, usually by means of cannons, rockets, missiles, mortars, etc. During my last tour in Iraq, I worked as a Fire Support Officer with the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.  I was assigned to an attack aviation battalion where I coordinated air ground integration. I worked with Apache helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, Air Force assets, and other tools utilized for associated missions. It was a very rewarding job.

Topher: I know you probably get this question a lot, but how was it in Iraq.

DaSean: I do. But to answer your question, I think Dickens put it best, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” On the good side, I feel I learned a lot about myself. I was placed in situations I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. But, I learned that I could overcome what I thought was impossible or the end. On the bad side, it's war. I lost friends and I saw a lot of people go through significant emotional events that will likely impact the remainder of their lives and the lives of their families. All in all, it severely changed my outlook on life and how precious it is. I learned not to be consumed by petty issues.

Topher: When did you go to Iraq?

DaSean: I went in 2003 for about thirteen months with the 17th Field Artillery Brigade. I went again in 2006 for about fifteen months with the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.

Topher: How was life when you returned stateside?

DaSean: Honestly, tough. It was difficult to adjust at times. Plus about one month after I returned from my second tour my mom passed away on Valentine's Day. I felt like I lost a lot of time with her. When I left in 2006, she was doing okay. In fact, I was able to visit her in 2007 during my R&R leave, and she appeared to be in good health. After I returned to Iraq, her condition got worse. Beyond dealing with life in a combat zone, dealing with family issues is an added stress a lot of soldiers experience. Some of these guys are just 18, 19, 20 years old and they are dealing with really complicated issues. It reshapes your mindset. You will hear people say, “he or she came back so different.”

Topher: Why did you choose to leave the Army and pursue a law degree?

DaSean: I used to watch a show called “Night Court” with my parents. I really enjoyed that show. If you recall, the show had a judge and a more memorable bailiff named Bull. “Night Court” sparked my desire to enter the legal realm at a young age. So, I think parents should be cautious about the programs they allow their children to watch.

After I returned from my second tour in Iraq and my mom passed away. It made me think; life is short. As a result, I was inspired to pursue a few childhood dreams. Six months later, I started law school.

Topher: Why did you choose to start your own practice instead of joining a firm?

DaSean: I had the intention of working for myself after getting out of the Army from day one. I  had good experiences during law school at a criminal law firm and at an energy company. Coincidentally both had a significant military influence that made it easy for me to quickly integrate. In the military, I worked in teams where we shared both the risk and reward. It's hard to unlearn that sort of experience. Also, I left the Army as a Captain just before the timeframe I would have pinned on Major. I had gotten to accustomed to a certain level of reward and responsibility. I find that same level of reward and responsibility working for myself.

Topher: What was it like going from being a seasoned Army Captain to a first-year law student?

DaSean: It was a huge culture shock. I went from knowing my job like the back of my hand to being nervously confused about strange new topics like “mens rea” and “res ipsa”. I had to deal with the fact I was starting from scratch, a whole new career. I went from being a subject matter expert to a doormat overnight. All in all, I enjoyed the experience. Like the military, I learned a lot about myself. Self-examination and bit of constructive criticism are always a plus in my book. It was a fun challenge.

Topher: What lessons did you learn from your time in the military that you apply to the practice of law?

DaSean: First, always do your best to be prepared. The more prepared you are the more likely you are to survive. Second, never underestimate your adversary. Allowing your opponent to catch you off guard because you “sized them down” rather than “sized them up” is bad business. Third, never rush to failure. Try to take your time and do things properly the first time so you don't waste time or make an error that could have been avoided. Finally, just give 100% and if you do mess up, take ownership, “suck it up and drive on.”

Topher: What areas of law do you practice?

DaSean: I am a solo attorney with general practice. I style it as a Civil Litigation and Criminal Defense practice. However, my favorite areas are employment and consumer. I really get a lot of joy from helping people who have been mistreated by companies and businesses. A lot of these companies seem to think they are invincible. Its really a shame the way some companies fail to stand up for employees who have been unfairly handled. The public places a lot of trust in businesses. When I speak to my clients, you can tell they really trusted their employer or business to do the right thing. I feel these companies need to be held accountable. I also do criminal law and personal injury. I'm still new, so I'm open to different areas. But I know I love employment law!

Topher: As a new solo practitioner, is it intimidating facing more seasoned attorneys.

DaSean: Yes. But obviously, I do not mind a challenge. So, if I believe it's a meritorious claim, I'm going to war for my client. It's really funny to me when I get a phone call from an opposing counsel and they try to intimidate me. I've been shot at and attacked by an improvised explosive device. So, trying to scare me is a waste of time. More importantly, I have a lot of good people behind the scenes coaching and mentoring.

Topher: You seem to gained a lot of joy from being in the Army. Have you worked any cases that really moved you or made you proud to be an attorney?

DaSean: I have a case now where the daughter of a Vietnam veteran was improperly treated by her employer. It really pains me to see his disappointment in what happened to his daughter. Imagine, you go to a foreign land and put your life on the line for what you think is a good, righteous purpose.  And now he is watching his child endure the very things you fought to prevent: mistreatment, discrimination, and abuse of power. In general, I really feel good when I get to help a fellow veteran.

Topher: Do you still keep in touch with other veterans in your area?

DaSean: Of course. I am still in the reserve component of the Army, so I interact other Soldiers regularly. I am also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and recently joined Lone Star Veterans.

Groups like these are important to me because they keep me focused on my sense of duty and honor.  I am also hoping to get involved with the Veteran's Court in Harris County. I think its important for attorneys and others who endeavor to support veterans take it seriously.

Topher: What's been your biggest help in transitioning from the military profession to the legal profession?

DaSean: Mentorship. I have a great group of lawyers who spend time and effort to push me in the right direction. I really feel they want me to succeed, and most have some affinity for the military. Quite frankly, I think I have some of the best attorney's in Houston investing in my success. I'm very grateful.

Topher: What's your ultimate goal for your law practice and future?

DaSean: With respect to my practice, I want to either establish a small firm or become a partner at an existing small firm. I like things lean and mean so to speak, so that's a good fit for me. I also have some political aspirations, but that is still in its infancy. As far as the Army goes, I want to complete twenty years of service, I am on year twelve now.

Topher: Any final thoughts or comments?

DaSean: There are a lot of veterans in Texas. If given the opportunity, attorneys should try to assist these men and women when time and resources permit. Many only seek some advice or to be pointed in the right direction.

Topher Sanders is an award-winning reporter whose beat work has been recognized by editor associations in New York and Florida. His freelance work has appeared in Essence, Black Enterprise and Newsweek magazines and Washington Post Company subsidiary TheRoot.com. He is currently a reporter with The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He is also the author of Aysel's Arrow, a novel, available online.

DaSean A. Jones is a solo attorney and mediator based in Houston, Texas. He is a former active Army Field Artillery Officer with two tours to Iraq. DaSean currently serves in the Reserves as a Judge Advocate.

Contact  information: Main. 832.224.6740 | Fax. 832.201.9501 | djones@texasjoneslaw.com | www.texasjoneslaw.com