News From Around The Bar
July/August 2022

Christopher V. Popov sworn in as new
Houston Bar Association president

Chris PopovChristopher V. Popov, of Vinson & Elkins, took office as president of the Houston Bar Association during the HBA Annual Dinner on May 19. Popov’s goals for the year include elevating civil discourse affecting society, promoting wellness resources, and amplifying services provided by HBA affiliates such as the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, the Houston Lawyer Referral Service, and the Dispute Resolution Center. “We’re living in a bizarre age of misinformation and political polarization. I see an important role for lawyers to lead us back to reverence for civic responsibility and respect for the rule of law,” Popov said in a press release. For more information about the Houston Bar Association, go to

Texas Access to Justice Foundation creates
new fellowship to serve veterans

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, which provides grant funding for civil legal aid in Texas, announced the creation of the Terry O. Tottenham Veterans Justice Fellowship. The fellowship honors veteran, current TAJF Secretary, and former State Bar of Texas President Terry O. Tottenham, who is of counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright in Austin. The new fellowship will be a priority for one of the annually selected, TAJF-sponsored Equal Justice Work Fellows to help address the legal needs of veterans. Each year a Veterans Justice Fellow will be selected ensuring that lawyers are routinely placed to address the pressing legal issues facing veterans throughout Texas. “Veterans deserve access to our civil justice system as they struggle with legal needs affecting their health, housing, and financial security,” said Deborah Hankinson, chair of the TAJF board of directors, in a press release. “Terry Tottenham is an exceptional lawyer who served in the U.S. Marines, and we’re honored to create this fellowship in recognition of his tireless efforts to serve those who have served.” Tottenham joined the TAJF Board of Directors in 2013. In 2010, while president of the State Bar of Texas, he formed the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans program, which was based on a program originally created by the Houston Bar Association in 2008. This model is now followed by many other states to provide pro bono civil legal assistance to veterans and their families who otherwise cannot afford legal services. Allen Martin, an Abilene native and a graduating third-year student at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, has been selected as the inaugural Tottenham Veterans Justice Fellow. Martin’s fellowship seeks to mitigate veteran homelessness in rural Central Texas by implementing a medical-legal partnership at a VA clinic to meet legal needs related to housing, discharge upgrades, and financial and family stability. Martin will begin his two-year fellowship in September at the Texas Legal Services Center in Austin. For more information about the TAJF, go to

Legislative Policy Subcommittee scheduled
to meet in August

The State Bar Legislative Policy Subcommittee is tentatively scheduled to meet during the week of August 22-26, 2022, to discuss all legislative proposals that have been properly submitted for consideration by the committee. To read the proposals, for details on the meeting date and location, or for instructions on how to provide comments to the committee, go to or contact the State Bar Governmental Relations Department at or 1-800-204-2222, ext. 6826.

Jason P. Nance named new dean of
SMU Dedman School of Law

Jason P. Nance, an education policy and law scholar who studies inequalities in public education, has been named the Judge James Noel Dean of SMU Dedman School of Law. Nance comes from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he served as associate dean for research and faculty development and was a professor of law. He will begin his new role at SMU on August 10. “I am thrilled and honored to be named the incoming dean of the Dedman School of Law,” Nance said in a press release. “Dedman Law is an impressive law school with a talented faculty and staff, supported by a committed, energetic alumni base.” Nance earned a B.A. in history and teaching from Brigham Young University. He earned a Ph.D. in education policy and administration from The Ohio State University and earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. Nance succeeds current Dedman Law Dean Jennifer M. Collins, who will become president of Rhodes College in Memphis on July 1. “We look forward to welcoming Dean Nance to Dedman School of Law,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner in a press release. “His early public education experience combined with a distinguished legal career and passion for education equity issues bring talents that will be valuable on many levels at SMU.” For more information about SMU Dedman School of Law, go to

Texas Bar Foundation Donates $6,000
to Tarrant County Nonprofit

The Texas Bar Foundation’s donation to Alliance For Children will help facilitate the presentation of a new training course—Behavioral Characteristics of Sex Offenders—for staff and partners. The course will be led by Michael L. Bourke, a former chief psychologist for the U.S. Marshals Service. “Alliance For Children’s board, staff and partners are grateful to the Texas Bar Foundation for its commitment to communities across Texas,” Julie Evans, Alliance For Children’s chief executive officer, said in a press release. “While we long for a day that child sexual abuse is eliminated, advanced training on the psychological and behavioral characteristics of sex offenders is a valuable tool for the child abuse professionals in Tarrant County towards our collective goal of protecting children and seeking justice.” For more information, go to


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