State Bar Director Spotlight
Interview by Eric Quitugua
Photo by Paco Casas
Hometown: El Paso
Position: Shareholder in Ray Peña McChristian in El Paso
Board Member: District 17 since 2017
I decided to become a lawyer after I had a summer job with the 8th Court of Appeals in El Paso.
I was tasked with reviewing cases for historical significance as part of a history of the court that was being put together by the justices. I got to read old opinions and sift through evidence that was in possession of the court. It was interesting to see the different items that were still there.
My prerequisite for a case is
that there is a factual basis for either the complaint or the defense—also compatibility with the client. We work so closely with our clients, so being able to get along with them is huge.
I thought that it would be good to become involved at the state level to try to help out our district.
El Paso and the western cities are isolated compared with the rest of the state.
I think the most important thing to understand is that we are trying to do what is best for all attorneys.
Many people don’t realize everything that the bar does or what it offers attorneys, and it’s our duty to get the word out.
I think the hardest part is the time commitment.
Luckily, my firm encourages participation with bar associations. The key is to be organized. Lawyers and judges have been helpful when there is a conflict in schedules.
One of the underrated ways the bar serves members is the free online CLE that’s available for anyone.
Also, there is a free life insurance policy available to each member. The free legal research through Casemaker and Fastcase is also a great benefit.
The bar has many benefits that some people are just not aware of.
We have been trying to inform attorneys of everything that is offered by the bar. There’s always room for improvement, but I believe that the bar is always trying to be better in what it offers for attorneys.
I believe we’ve improved the legal profession by increasing the benefits offered to attorneys.
Our profession is very stressful so any little bit helps. Also, the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program is a great service to attorneys who may be struggling with different issues.
There are various ways to get the most out of being in the bar
but looking at the website is the best place to start so you have an idea of everything that the bar has to offer. Serving on a committee is also a great way to become active in the bar and see how much is done by attorneys to help our profession.TBJ