News From Around The Bar

TOJI hires new director, embarks on sixth cohort

Rebeca HuddleThe Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator, or TOJI, has a new director and is building on its successes as it prepares to accept its sixth cohort of attorneys. Joshua Weaver, an attorney and entrepreneur, took the helm of the State Bar of Texas program, which expands access to justice opportunities by helping Texas lawyers build sustainable law practices that serve low- and modest-income Texans. Weaver began work on November 3. Since TOJI’s inception in 2017, 69 lawyers have completed its holistic business incubation program. Those lawyers have gone on to create 72 solo and small law firms designed to help bridge the justice gap and serve Texans who would otherwise struggle to find representation in today’s legal market. “Improving access to justice is fundamental to maintaining the rule of law,” Weaver said. “As attorneys, we are called to a life of service: Service to each other, to the bar, and to the people within our communities. I am honored and delighted to serve through this special program as we work to improve access to justice for all Texans.” Weaver earned his J.D. in 2015 from Baylor Law School, where he then worked with faculty to help create Legal Mapmaker, a program that trains attorneys on how to build sustainable firms focused on access to justice issues. He also is the founder of Weaver Innovations, a technology and professional business development firm. Attorneys can learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting and following @TXOJI_a2j on social media.

State Bar of Texas Women and the Law Section now accepting submissions for the Texas Law Student Writing Competition

The State Bar of Texas Women and the Law Section is accepting submissions from current Texas law students for the 2021 Texas Law Student Writing Competition. Students entering the competition should submit an essay of 2,500 words or less on a topic that identifies and analyzes a legal challenge for women in Texas and/or the United States based on recent news reports. Submissions are due February 28 and should be emailed to Women and the Law Section Chair Teresa Schiller at with the subject line “WAL Student Writing Competition.” For more information on the section, go to

State Bar committees seek nominations for pro bono awards

The State Bar of Texas Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee and State Bar of Texas Legal Services to the Poor in Criminal Matters Committee are seeking nominations for pro bono awards. Forms to nominate deserving individuals, groups, or entities that perform exceptional work in legal services to the poor are available at Nominations are due by 5 p.m. CST February 26. Recipients of the Pro Bono Excellence Awards and Indigent Defense Awards will be notified in May. For more information about the awards, contact the State Bar of Texas Legal Access Division at or 800-204-2222, ext. 1855.

Dallas Bar Association presents distinguished service awards

The Dallas Bar Association presented its annual awards to Dallas attorneys. Recipients were recognized for their work with the bar and the legal profession. The winners: Lewis Sifford, of Sifford, Anderson & Co., the Morris Harrell Professionalism Award, presented by the DBA and Texas Center for Legal Ethics; Karen D. McCloud, the Kim Askew Distinguished Service Award, awarded posthumously; Al Ellis, of Sommerman, McCaffity, Quesada & Geisler, the Home Project Judge Hartman Award; Lisa Tomiko Blackburn, of Blackburn Law, the Karen McCloud Outstanding Minority Attorney Award; Martha “Marty” Crandall Coleman, of FisherBroyles, the Al Ellis Community Service Award; Paul Stafford, of Stafford Law Firm and chair of the DBA Tort & Insurance Practice Section, the Cathy Maher Special Section Award; and Gabriel Reyes, of the Law Office of Gabriel Reyes, and Leroy Street, of Street & Rudy, the Jo Anna Moreland Outstanding Committee Award. For more information, go to

New podcast highlights the work of well-being advocates

The Path to Well-Being in Law podcast, launched in August 2020, highlights the exceptional work people have done in the well-being space. Hosted by Bree Buchanan and Chris Newbold, co-chairs of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, the podcast is designed to focus on the growing base of well-being advocates. Each episode features conversation with recognized well-being pioneers from all sectors, including legal employers, judges, law schools, regulators, bar associations, state well-being task forces and commissions, professional liability carriers, lawyer assistance programs, and wellness thought leaders. The podcast has more than five episodes available and can be listened to at as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, and Stitcher. For more information on the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, go to TBJ


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