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.





























































Top Story

Top Story

Calling All Young Lawyers
TYLA Commits to State-Wide Veterans Clinics
By:  Geoff Gannaway

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

With these words in 1781, George Washington emphasized that veterans deserve to be appreciated and held in high regard. Fast forward to 2010 and you will find that with Veterans’ Day quickly approaching on November 11th, TYLA is heeding Washington’s call as it attempts to return a small measure of the service that our country’s veterans have rendered to us. Specifically, TYLA has committed to have each of its state-wide slate of directors participate in at least one pro bono veterans’ clinic this bar year, and is now asking all young lawyers in Texas to do the same.

In the August 2010 issue of eNews, I wrote about TYLA’s efforts to support Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans (TLTV), the new State Bar of Texas program to assist in creating and supporting pro bono legal clinics throughout the state for military veterans. In the first phase of TYLA’s involvement, we published two pamphlets to help veterans: Resources for Lawyers Assisting Veterans (the “Lawyers’ Pamphlet”) and Resources for Veterans Seeking Help (the “Veterans’ Pamphlet”). I closed the article by encouraging readers to consider accepting pro bono representation of a veteran, quoting from State Bar President Terry Tottenham: “All we need are people willing to do it.”

In an effort to supply the “people willing to do it,” the leadership of TYLA has made the commitment that each of the approximately 40 members of TYLA’s Board of Directors will participate in at least one veterans’ clinic this year. In addition, TYLA is putting out the call for its membership to participate in the various veterans’ clinics around the state. Please consider participating in a clinic or accepting pro bono representation of a veteran.

There are ample opportunities for young lawyers to volunteer to help veterans. Local bar associations have begun planning and hosting veterans’ clinics around the state. Click here for a list of veterans’ clinics currently scheduled around the State. Please get in touch with the appropriate contact person in advance of your participation in a clinic.

If your local bar association is not listed as having a clinic scheduled, please consider initiating (or assisting in initiating) a clinic yourself. Contact the local bar leadership in your area, as well as your nearest VA facility or Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion post, to help determine the need for veterans’ legal services in your area and to establish support for a clinic. Alternatively, if you are interested in taking a pro bono case to help a veteran, email ATJMail@texasbar.com for more information.

A number of resources are available for those organizing or participating in veterans’ clinics. TLTV’s website (www.texasbar.com/veterans) provides a great repository of information that can assist those involved in clinics, including:
• The TYLA Lawyers’ Pamphlet provides a roadmap for lawyers who accept pro bono representation of veterans. www.texasbar.com/tylaattorneysassistingveteranspamphlet
• The TYLA Veterans’ Pamphlet provides information and resources relating to VA benefits, disabilities, education benefits, employment, financial assistance, home and land loans, health care and mental health issues. www.texasbar.com/tylaveteransresourcespamphlet
• “Clinic in a Box”: Local bar associations can request a free “Clinic in a Box,” which contains everything an organization need to host a veterans’ legal clinic — forms, folders, signs, office supplies, etc. To request a Clinic in a Box, email Judy Marchman at jmarchman@texasbar.com or call (800)204-2222, ext. 1520.

What should you expect when you volunteer at a clinic? I recently volunteered at one of the Houston veterans’ clinics. The time commitment was minimal (I was at the VA hospital for a little over two hours until the last client had been seen), the legal issues covered were varied (for me, everything from employment benefits to child support), the people really needed help (medical issues and homelessness were recurring themes), and the team was organized. Legal topics that you might encounter in a clinic include (but are not necessarily limited to) Bankruptcy, Child Support, Consumer/Contracts, Divorce, Probate, Landlord/Tenant, Wills/Estate Planning, Employment, Housing, and Tax. In addition, lawyers who are accredited with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can assist veterans with VA benefits claims and appeals; however, there is absolutely no need for a lawyer to have that accreditation to participate in a clinic. In fact, no particular training is needed before a lawyer participates in a clinic.

Texas lawyers have mobilized forces on a number of fronts to assist veterans for the 2010-2011 bar year. A great deal of effort has gone into facilitating the planning, organization, and execution of veterans’ clinics. But in the end, these efforts will be wasted if volunteer lawyers are not willing to participate in the clinics and, ultimately, take on a veteran as a client. TYLA is in a unique position to provide uncommon leadership in serving veterans. Can you help?