Not a Solo Act

Laura Pratt wearing a grey suit jacket over a blue blouse.

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it."—H.E. Luccok

I love music. I agree with Beethoven that music really can change the world. Thanks to my parents, I started playing the piano and singing from a very early age, and although I have never been great at either, I still love playing and singing. Recently, I have started learning Irish fiddle, and thanks to my children, our house is frequently filled with the sounds of guitar chords, drumbeats, and the quarter notes of “Yankee Doodle.”

For decades, I have enjoyed sharing my (limited) musical talent with those around me. However, all my life I have had horrible performance anxiety. Every program, concert, or recital, my stage fright reappears, and I suffer through it. But the moment any solo act becomes a duet, or the full band can join in, my anxiety all but disappears. With harmonizing vocalists or multiple musicians on my team, my fear dissipates. As an added bonus, the music is markedly improved.

As we begin this new bar year, I am reminded of the quote, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” The Texas Young Lawyers Association, or TYLA, is an incredible team of diverse individuals each with a specific part to play unique to them. Just as an orchestra requires every instrument to play its part to create a beautiful melody, our organization requires every member to contribute in order to support the mission of the State Bar of Texas and the public service work of TYLA. We must continue to foster a culture of open communication, meaningful connections, and strong community. We must be willing to listen to each other, share our ideas, and work together to find the best solutions to the challenges we face.

But it’s not enough to simply work together. We must also work toward a shared vision, a clear understanding of what we want to achieve, and how we will get there. To that end, with the help of new TYLA Chair Ashley Hymel and the TYLA officers and directors, here’s part of our “set list” for the year.

To assist our newly licensed lawyers, we will work to create guides for transactional practice, update our Office in a Flash materials, revise our many mentoring resources, and continue to offer engaging CLE programming. To support our local affiliates, we will develop programming resources and explore options to support reviving our local affiliates across the state. Our Young Gunners podcast will feature the Texas Lawyer’s Creed, interviewing attorneys around the state with intriguing and insightful stories regarding civility and other clauses of the creed. And for our signature project this year, with grant funding from the Texas Bar Foundation, we will create a comprehensive website on adulting as seen through a legal lens, focusing on the most common legal rights and responsibilities associated with adulthood and providing additional resources for navigating the same.

I will freely admit my inability to do any of this on my own, but I am committed to fostering a harmonious symphony of success with my incredible team. Thank you for this honor. I look forward to serving our bar in the months to come.

2023-2024 President, Texas Young Lawyers Association

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