Executive Director's Page April 2023

The Power of Your Vote

Headshot of Trey Apffel

This month, there's a simple step all active Texas lawyers can take to benefit the legal profession.

From April 3 to May 2, voting is open in the 2023 State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association president-elect and district director elections. Taking a few minutes to learn about the candidates and casting a vote by mail or online not only ensures quality leadership of our 111,000-member bar, but also sends a strong message that you value lawyers’ self-governance.

Attorneys are unique among professionals in Texas because our system of self-governance gives all active bar members the right to vote on the people who represent us, the rules that regulate us, and the dues we pay for the right and privilege to practice law. Doctors and dentists don’t have that right. Neither do architects or accountants. Only lawyers.

We know Texas lawyers are worthy of this immense responsibility. Voting in State Bar elections is a major way we can demonstrate it.
This year’s State Bar president-elect race is between Jerry Alexander, of Dallas, and Steve Benesh, of Austin. The winner will serve as president in 2024-2025. Among other duties, the president serves as an officer of the bar, as the bar’s official spokesperson, and as a member of the State Bar Board of Directors, which governs all aspects of bar operations.

Depending on where you live, your ballot also may include a race for State Bar district director. State Bar directors are elected on a staggered basis from 17 districts throughout the state to serve three-year terms on the board. Districts 4 (Harris County), 6 (Dallas County), 9 (Travis County), 11 (Southeast Texas), 12 (South Texas), 14 (North Central Plains), and 17 (El Paso and nearby counties) have open seats this year.
If you are an active Texas lawyer licensed 12 years or less as of June 1, 2022, your ballot will include the Texas Young Lawyers Association president-elect race and, if your district has an open seat this year, a TYLA district director race. Cali Franks and Hisham Masri, both of Dallas, are candidates for TYLA president-elect.

Paper and digital ballots will be distributed to all active members on April 3 for the voting period that ends at 5 p.m. CDT May 2. You can find more information on the State Bar and TYLA elections, and cast a ballot during the voting period, at texasbar.com/elections.

Former President Franklin Roosevelt once said: “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting at all.” Don’t deprive yourself of the right to guide how the legal profession is governed. Take time to vote!

Executive Director, State Bar of Texas
Editor in Chief, Texas Bar Journal


Get To Know The Candidates
To help you get to know the State Bar president-elect candidates, we have provided their bios and a Q&A in this issue. Bios of the TYLA president-elect candidates were featured in March, and a Q&A is included in this issue.

Also, Alexander and Benesh participated in a live, virtual candidate forum on March 10, which you can hear as the April episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast at texasbar.com/podcast. They will hold a second and final live, virtual candidate forum from noon to 1 p.m. CDT on April 4; register for free at texasbar.com/elections. Submit questions in advance by email to webmaster@texasbar.com or during the forum by using the Zoom Q&A feature. If submitting questions by email, use the subject line “Questions for the Candidates.”

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