State Bar Responds to Texas Lawyers’ Needs
The State Bar of Texas is continually working to be responsive to members’ needs and concerns. In recent years, the State Bar has expanded member benefits, reduced discretionary spending, and increased transparency in bar governance—all in an effort to better serve Texas lawyers and the public.
I have continued this effort during my year as president by forming task forces and workgroups to address issues important to our members, from safely holding criminal court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic, to pursuing courthouse access badges for lawyers, to ensuring the grievance process remains fair to all parties.
The work continues. At the April meeting of the State Bar Board of Directors, I asked the board to approve an additional working group to address lawyers’ needs related to the pandemic and the winter storm.
I have spoken to many who are struggling since the pandemic hit the legal profession, closing courthouses and creating financial peril for many lawyers. The Workgroup on Texas Lawyer Needs Arising From the 2020 Pandemic and 2021 Winter Storm will work to identify areas where the State Bar can continue or expand efforts to help members consistent with the bar’s statutory purposes.
The Task Force on Public Protection, Grievance Review, and the Client Security Fund continues to study the grievance system and is expected to release its recommendations in June. As part of its work, the task force held two public comment sessions in March and accepted written comments from stakeholders. Thank you to all who came forward with feedback.
Also, lawyers across the state have been gathering virtually for productive conversations about race through the bar’s Together We Dine initiative in partnership with Dallas-based Project Unity. So far we have held events for State Bar districts 1-10, which broadly cover East and Northeast Texas; the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio areas; and much of Central Texas, including Austin. If you practice in districts 11-17—broadly covering South Texas, West Texas, and the Panhandle—or are an out-of-state lawyer licensed in Texas, be on the lookout for your email invitation to this CLE-accredited event. Every Texas lawyer will receive an invitation to a Together We Dine event before my term as president ends in June.
State Bar of Texas
Larry McDougal can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.