STATE BAR DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT MARCH 2023
Mary L. Scott
Interview by Will Korn
Photo courtesy of Mary L. Scott
Hometown: Jefferson City, Missouri
Position: Of counsel to Leboeuf Law in Dallas
Board Member: District 6, Place 3 since 2020
I have been fortunate to chair the Litigation and Contracts subcommittee during my second and third years as a director. During this time, the State Bar of Texas was faced with the McDonald v. Firth litigation. Working with the State Bar’s leadership, in-house and outside counsel, and the subcommittee on the McDonald litigation and assisting in guiding the State Bar to very satisfactory results in that case and in other miscellaneous matters, have been extremely gratifying.
I find it fulfilling to be part of a group of lawyers, bar staff, and public members who genuinely care about the lawyers in Texas and who work tirelessly to address issues affecting these lawyers. Everyone I have met on State Bar business has been dedicated, passionate, and zealous in looking out for the best interests of State Bar members and working toward the goal of making the personal and professional lives of Texas lawyers better. Consequently, we get useful things done, which is no mean feat given our varied backgrounds, religious beliefs, cultures, political views, and other differences. It is very satisfying.
I have made friends with numerous excellent lawyers across the state. These largely are lawyers I would never have met, but for my service as a State Bar director. They are a great resource for advice and counsel, referrals, and just a chat when I need a friend.
Our role is a role of service to the members of the State Bar, our legal system, and the public in its interaction with our legal system. Everything we do is directed toward helping the State Bar continually “do better” in all its endeavors. With that in mind, a State Bar director must commit! The director must commit to show up and be present at board of directors meetings, committee meetings, and State Bar events and functions. Really listen—listen to the lawyers the director represents from his or her district, listen to the other directors, and listen to the State Bar staff—and follow through on undertakings and assignments.
Young lawyers should begin building their network by joining the local and specialty bar associations, including the young lawyer bar associations, so they can get out and meet people in person. I recommend joining the bar association sections and committees that will put them in touch with business litigators or employment lawyers; volunteering for committees and projects relating to trial practice, business litigation, and employment law; and attending CLEs in these practice areas. Young lawyers who work at firms should seek out the more experienced lawyers who handle cases in their preferred areas of practice. They should develop relationships with these folks and find mentors who can help them get the kind of opportunities and experiences they need to succeed in their practice. Every person they encounter may end up as a client of some kind or other later in their career. These young lawyers and law students should start now toward establishing their reputation as a quality lawyer and quality person. I also advise them to be respectful and always civil.
I like to have dinner with my husband and relax with a good movie or book and spend time with family and friends. We enjoy sailing and playing board and other games with our family, and I like to cook new recipes and meals influenced by flavors from other parts of the world. We love to watch both college and pro football, but when our teams lose, it really is not that relaxing. TBJ