State Bar Director Spotlight
Alison W. Colvin
Interview by Eric Quitugua
Photo courtesy of Alison W. Colvin
Position: Partner, Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer in Brownsville
Board Member: District 12 since 2017
After graduating from college with a theater degree, I moved with friends to Los Angeles to try and make it in Hollywood.
For a few years I acted in independent films and in a sketch comedy troupe. One day while waiting tables, I looked around at my coworkers—each one trying to make it—and decided I wanted more. At the time, the law seemed the closest thing to acting, so I started studying for the LSAT.
I began as a medical malpractice defense lawyer in Houston.
When I moved to the Rio Grande Valley, I began defending against personal injury claims arising out of car and trucking accidents, as well as workplace and products liability. I particularly enjoy the medical side of my personal injury practice: studying new and interesting topics and meeting different people with unique stories and specialties. I also take family law cases, and this allows me to help clients make the right decisions for their families during difficult times in their lives. I really love being in a position to help at a critical moment.
I am constantly identifying new goals.
One goal I set early in my career was to bring in a new client all on my own. I wanted to prove my worth. My “aha!” moment came when I learned that my first new client was actually referred to me by a long-standing one, and I realized I really didn’t need to prove anything. If I listened well, gave quality counsel, and put in the time, my work would speak for itself.
Take the time to sit and listen to your clients, your mentors, and your family.
You can miss many things if you are only in a hurry to accomplish your “to-do” list.
When I was a young associate I was asked by a partner to join the council for the Women and the Law section.
I enjoyed it and eventually became the section chair. Then with the support of my section, in 2013, I became the medium-sized section representative. Four years later, I ran for District 12 director and am now in the second year of my term. Over these 10 years, I’ve been amazed to learn how much the State Bar of Texas does for its members and the public. It inspires me and makes me proud to be a Texas attorney. I love that I get to give back in this way and serve our state.
I see a real need for my generation of attorneys to take pride in their profession and be vocal.
The years after the Texas Young Lawyers Association can be lonely, and attorneys’ energy and involvement seem to drop off. Not many take active roles or step into leadership. I want to encourage them to do so.
I am extremely honored to have now been elected twice to the board.
I feel as though I have grown up on the State Bar Board of Directors and have established lifelong friendships across the state. I am also excited about being the chair of the New Director’s Orientation at the Annual Meeting this year. I hope to provide insight to the new directors on the issues currently facing the bar and their importance.
One of the greatest challenges to being a director is facing criticism when your decisions don’t please everyone.
While it’s impossible to make every attorney happy, it is important to listen with an open mind to each opinion and give careful consideration.
Make use of the many communications the State Bar of Texas sends: read the emails, sign up for the CLEs, and watch the board meetings that are filmed and accessible online. Many resources have gone into these. Join a section, and then consider joining the council for that section. Attend the Annual Meeting. We want to hear from you.TBJ