A Not So Perfect, Perfect Ending

Any of you who know me on a personal level know that I am a planner. I have journal after journal full of ideas for projects and to-do lists. I have a color-coded calendar on my devices and a good old-fashioned paper calendar that I carry around just in case. True to form, I spent most of 2017-2018 planning the best Texas Young Lawyers Association bar year ever. I re-evaluated how TYLA did things and made some changes, from committee structuring to our breakout sessions during the annual Bar Leaders Conference. But there is a joke around the State Bar office that some leaders don’t have the bar year that they planned for but end up with the bar year that is planned for them.

I remember the morning that I got a phone call from State Bar leadership. It was November 16, the first day of the second TYLA meeting in Dallas. I was in the car with Baili Rhodes, and I was asked whether I thought it was unconstitutional or a violation of the law that only TYLA members are allowed to vote in TYLA elections. I said that I didn’t think so and asked if there was a specific reason to ask. I knew immediately that we were in for a ride. This started a long series of events—including a request by President Joe K. Longley for an attorney general opinion—that is still going on today.

Despite the legal controversy that has now been covered in Texas Lawyer and the subject of Texas Bar Journal president’s pages and attorney forums, I am proud to report that TYLA has remained strong to its mission and motto—we are true uncommon leaders. I am beaming with pride at the TYLA Board of Directors, committee chairs and members, staff, alumni, and past leadership. They have rallied to support TYLA by showing up in unprecedented numbers to a State Bar meeting to voice their opinions, by going out of their comfort zones to speak up to more senior leaders in public forums, by getting the word out, and by making their opinions about this “legal issue” known. They have drafted precise and pointed memos and responses that make our position known.

And, they have done this without missing a beat. I started the year with a list of goals and projects that I wanted to get done to benefit young lawyers and fulfill TYLA’s role as the public service arm of the State Bar. And let me tell you, all of those goals have been accomplished, and the projects are all scheduled to be finalized by May 1—30 days before the end of the 2018-2019 bar year. TYLA has met and exceeded many goals that have been set. We have highlighted many of those projects in the Texas Bar Journal throughout the year, and they can be found on the TYLA website, tyla.org.

It has been my absolute pleasure to serve as TYLA president, and although this wasn’t the year I planned for, it has definitely proven to be a successful and amazing one. I am grateful for the experience of seeing the power of young attorneys—how much we have to offer and how we can rise to any occasion. Here’s to all the uncommon leaders out there.


Texas Young Lawyers Association


TYLA in Action

Texas Young Lawyers Association directors Michael Ritter, Ashley Hymel, Sara Giddings, and Jay Forester attended the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Mountain West States Regional Summit on April 4-7 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

National Trial Competition Committee members worked diligently to put on a successful competition in partnership with the American College of Trial Lawyers on March 27-30 in San Antonio.

On April 11, TYLA, the State Bar of Texas, and the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program hosted a panel at Texas Tech University School of Law to discuss compassion fatigue and attorney wellness.

Members of the 2018-2019 Leadership SBOT class donated bikes to the Johnny Mitchell Club, the Galveston branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston.

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