Oldies but Goodies …

Out with the old, in with the new.” “Moving on to bigger and better things.” “Breaking new ground.” These are all common clichés trotted out when new opportunities present themselves. Sometimes, they’re also a nice way of us telling current leadership to move on over (just kidding, Baili Rhodes! You did an amazing job and we can only hope to live up to the next-to-impossible standard set forth during your year).

A little bit of history for you: The Texas Young Lawyers Association was first founded as the Texas Junior Bar Association back in 1930 and later changed its name to the State Junior Bar of Texas. Then, in true Texas spirit, when young lawyers decided they weren’t “junior” to anyone, in 1977, they changed the name of the organization to the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

Since its inception, TYLA has been a leader in young-lawyer affiliates across the nation by creating projects that make a critical impact on communities across our state, advancing the profession by providing guidance and mentorship to young attorneys, and serving as the public service arm of the State Bar of Texas. As a result, TYLA has been the recipient of numerous national accolades, including a Telly Award for one of its signature projects, Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking. The same impact proves true of the young-lawyer affiliates in Texas. Big-city and small-city affiliates alike have been creating projects and resources that are invaluable to the communities they serve. At the annual Bar Leaders Conference scheduled to take place in Austin this July, many of these local affiliates will receive awards for their outstanding projects, providing them an excellent opportunity to share their ideas and collaborate on how to better serve their constituents.

With the start of the new bar year under our belts, TYLA is positioned at the helm and planning to have a successful year. As we aim to do just that, one of our goals is to build on the legacy created for us by the accomplishments of prior TYLA and local-affiliate leadership.

This year, TYLA will be continuing that legacy by focusing on spreading already available resources such as Teach Safe. Learn Safe. Be Safe, Divorce Guide for Children, Not a Victim, Spanish for Lawyers, and I was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too!

TYLA will be reinvigorating an oldie-but-goodie called Junior Judges, a program designed to help children make the right choices in tough situations they will likely encounter in their adolescent years. Junior Judges 2.0 will partner with two San Antonio high school students majoring in cinema who will help us modernize the project with topics such as sexting and online safety.

TYLA will also utilize the brainchild of a Texas affiliate by incorporating a program that focuses on compassion fatigue (also known as secondary traumatic stress disorder), an issue that has recently become more prevalent among attorneys and is caused by helping those exposed to stressful situations cope with their experiences and find solutions to them. TYLA intends to create a series of guides that will be geared toward educating our community about compassion fatigue, the process of determining whether someone is falling victim to it, and methods to prevent such burnout.

I truly believe that building TYLA leadership is like building a cathedral—while the style may change from one decade to the next, we are all working toward the same goal, and it is truly amazing to see the legacy and hard work of those that came before us. Here’s to building on the foundations that have already been laid for us by embracing the accomplishments of those that came before us.


Texas Young Lawyers Association


TYLA in Action

On May 22, 2018, TYLA hosted Legal Legends, a CLE and dinner that fosters connections between experienced practitioners and young attorneys. The event, held in downtown Austin, featured a panel discussion from jurists and practitioners about litigation and the evolution of the practice of law.

TYLA member Meagan T. Harding welcomed the crowd at the Austin Club.

From left: Judge Lora Livingston, Texas Supreme Court Justice Paul Green, Austin attorney Steve McConnico, former State Bar of Texas President Lisa Tatum, and moderator Jorge Padilla.


TYLA members attended the Judicial Conference of the Fifth Circuit on May 23-25 in Austin.

From left: TYLA Immediate Past President Baili Rhodes, Priscilla Castillo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., Raymond Baeza, Melissa Baeza, and TYLA President Sally Pretorius.


The New Lawyer Induction Ceremony was held May 14 in Austin.

From left: State Bar of Texas Executive Director Trey Apffel, TYLA Immediate Past President Baili Rhodes, State Bar of Texas Immediate Past President Tom Vick, TYLA President Sally Pretorius, and State Bar of Texas President Joe K. Longley.

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