Inspiring Our Future Leaders

Welcome to the 2020-2021 bar year! We are in the middle of a global pandemic. Leaving the house requires new armor: face masks, sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer if you are lucky enough to find any. For months, we have been in our homes, rationing toilet paper, adjusting to the new morning commute to the living room, and joining myriad Zoom meetings. On top of the pandemic, people are filling the streets across the nation to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, while we still mourn the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

Over the past few weeks, many of my non-black friends and colleagues have turned to me to provide insight and advice on what they can be doing to help change the frequent injustice perpetuated against black Americans in this country. My suggestions are: Listen, speak up and speak out against injustice, and start the dialogue within your firms and organizations. The conversations may be uncomfortable, but they are long overdue. Young lawyers are in a unique position to effectuate change—and now is the time. I will say I am encouraged that people are beginning to speak out more and acknowledge the racial injustice plaguing this nation. People are finally beginning to understand that saying “Black Lives Matter” does not mean other lives do not matter or that other lives matter less. Eliminating racism is not a political issue. It is about equality and humanity.

Over this next year, one of my goals is to inspire young lawyers to become our future leaders. As members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, we exist for all Texans. We are here to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public.

We have some statewide initiatives planned this year including expanding upon the Vote America project. We plan to get voter registration information more widely disseminated and available to the public. By reaching out to younger voters and stressing the importance of voting and the benefits of being a voter, we hope to inspire more citizens to become engaged in the election process. Additionally, inspired by the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association’s e-clinic, we plan to coordinate an evening of answering pro bono questions at texaslegalanswers.com with our TYLA local affiliates. Our goal is to answer all outstanding questions on the website in one night.

We also plan to continue addressing attorney wellness and well-being. We cannot adequately assist our clients if we are not well and not making self-care a priority. TYLA is developing an attorney well-being retreat that will teach attorneys healthy ways to cope with the stress of the practice of law and provide tips for implementing self-care, better nutrition, and other stress-reducing activities.

We have a big year ahead of us, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish together. Let’s get started!

2020-2021 President, Texas Young Lawyers Association

For more information on TYLA, contact them at tyla@texasbar.com or go to tyla.org.


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