Our Time. Our Community. Our Impact.

"Our” is such an impactful word. It can take something that could be mine or yours or theirs and make it part of something bigger—something that belongs to us. I recently sat down with a Texas Young Lawyers Association past president who gave me some simple advice: refer to the board as “our board,” and TYLA as “our organization,” and the upcoming 2018-2019 bar year as “our year.” Her advice resonated with me.

A number of active social campaigns behind transformative movements—both local and national—have had an incredible impact on our society as a whole because people are stepping up to make a difference and improve their communities. These people are taking their experiences and hardships and finding common ground with others to effect changes to public policy, laws, and even societal norms. This is everything. This is what we as young lawyers should strive to do. This is our time. This is our community. This is our impact.

As we prepare for the upcoming bar year, we will focus on taking advantage of the time we have as young lawyers to make a lasting impact on our community. Several projects will help us reach our goals, and a few are highlighted below. Our signature initiative will be Proud to Be an American, a program designed to help educate students about what it means to be a U.S. citizen, identify characteristics of good citizenship, and help students understand the fundamental rights Americans are guaranteed through the Bill of Rights and other amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

TYLA will adopt a project inspired by Judge Karin Crump, a former TYLA president, in an effort to make a direct impact on our communities. We will encourage and offer resources to local affiliates to establish programs that provide bookshelves and books in courthouses for children to take home. Kids sometimes find themselves in difficult situations only adults should face, and a good book may assist a child coping with such a situation.

In 2001, TYLA launched Junior Judges, which sought to provide peer-based guidance on basic moral principles through a series of vignettes that students would watch and then decide whether the action taken therein was wrong or right. TYLA will build on this project and include relevant topics such as cyberbullying, sexting, internet safety, and online dating apps.

TYLA is our organization, and it is our goal to have you be an active member of TYLA, your local affiliate, and any sister bar organizations. Please get involved and make an impact in our community. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me at sally@koonsfuller.com.


Texas Young Lawyers Association


TYLA in Action

TYLA President Baili Rhodes attended the LeadershipSBOT class of 2017-2018 team building conference in Galveston. Founded in 2008 by the State Bar of Texas and TYLA, LeadershipSBOT is a yearlong training program for up-and-coming Texas lawyers.


TYLA members presented two projects—What Do Lawyers Do? and I Was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too!—aimed at educating young people about the legal profession to students at Fleming Middle School in Houston, O’Connell College Preparatory School in Galveston., and AIM College & Career Preparatory Academy in Galveston.

From left: TYLA members Michael Razeeq, Jacqueline Franklin, Rekha Akella, and Herbert Hill at Fleming Middle School in Houston.

From left: TYLA members Rachel Kelly, Rekha Akella, Teresa Messer, Daisy Chaparro, and Austin Stevenson at O’Connell College Preparatory School in Galveston.

From left: TYLA members Chris Pineda, Kayla Landeros, Haleigh Jones, and Omar Saenz at AIM College & Career Preparatory Academy in Galveston.

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