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State Bar President-elect Randy Sorrels honored by South Texas College of Law Houston

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 15:00

State Bar President-elect Randy Sorrels speaks after receiving the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from South Texas College of Law Houston on October 19 in Houston.

South Texas College of Law Houston named State Bar of Texas President-elect Randy Sorrels the recipient of its 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award on October 19 in Houston.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in the community, the legal profession, and at South Texas College of Law Houston. Sorrels graduated in the top five of his class in 1987, was a member of the National Mock Trial Program, and served on the South Texas Law Review. He is the managing partner in Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz in Houston and serves on the law school’s board of directors.

The law school’s 19 legal clinics, named the Randall O. Sorrells Legal Clinics, connect clients with law students who can help to address their legal needs while under the guidance of law school professors.

Sorrels has also been honored by the law school’s alumni association with the inaugural Public Service Award and the law school’s highest honor, the Dean’s Medal, in 2006.

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 2: Claire Brown

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 14:00

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Claire Brown is from Houston and is a 2L at Texas A&M University School of Law. She is on the Texas A&M Law Review, vice president of the student organization 12th Law Man, and a student ambassador. Brown plans on practicing public interest law.

What kind of pro bono do you do and how long have you been doing it?
My pro bono work has been with two different organizations: the Tarrant County Bar Association, or TCBA, and the Community Revitalization Project, or CRP. I began working at TCBA in October of my 1L year and continue to do so. Most of the work at TCBA consists of doing intake for their Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans clinics that are held once a month. I started my work with CRP the summer after my 1L year as a volunteer intern. I did a variety of projects related to community development, low-income communities, and nonprofit organizations. I also learned about and participated in some of community outreach efforts. I currently help with community education.

Why is pro bono important to you?
Prior to law school, I worked with refugees, the homeless, and veterans and saw how unfair the world can be to people who do not deserve to be treated badly. I want to help those people because they have so much good to contribute to society if only society would let them. Pro bono work changes people’s lives and I like being a part of that. I know it might sound cliché, but ultimately I want to make a difference in the world—at its core that is what pro bono does, one little step at a time.

What have you learned from doing pro bono?
I can honestly say that most of the practical things I know about the legal profession and being a lawyer I learned from doing pro bono. I came into law school knowing next to nothing about the practice of law or its different areas, but through pro bono, I have been exposed to most of the major types of law, which has helped me to gain a better understanding of what I want to do. I have also met many great lawyers through pro bono who have taught me how to interact better with people on a personal level and also that lawyers are not the scary, intimidating people I thought they were—they are real people too.

What would you say to a fellow student who is thinking about doing pro bono for the first time?
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from doing pro bono. Law school is busy, but there’s always something you can stop wasting time on to make room for pro bono. It gives you skills early on that your classmates do not have, and it is a great way to network.

Share one of your favorite pro bono success stories.
I recently had the opportunity to assist with a wills clinic held at a local domestic violence center. Obviously no one wants to think about needing a will, especially young people with families, but the women who came to the clinic were strong enough to realize that it was something they needed to have just in case. Being able to help them with the process and see the relief they felt when they knew their families would be taken care of no matter what happens really made me feel like I was doing something right.

Texas Rep. Oscar Longoria honored with Texas Access to Justice award

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:42

Chief of Staff Lee Loya accepted the Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award from Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman on behalf of Rep. Oscar Longoria at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin on October 18. Photo by Eric Quitugua

The Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas Access to Justice Foundation honored Texas Rep. Oscar Longoria with the Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award at a luncheon in Austin on October 18.  He was recognized for his contributions during the 85th Texas Legislature.

“As an attorney, Rep. Longoria understands that legal aid is essential for the economically disadvantaged and that having a lawyer can make all the difference in a time of need,” Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman said in a press release. “We’re truly thankful for all the hard work he has put into championing legal aid for all Texans.”

The Legislative Hero Award program was launched by the commission and foundation in 2010 to recognize people who have advanced access to justice in Texas, either through appropriating funds or other substantive activities that provide legal aid.

“I believe in making a strong impact on underprivileged Texans who need legal services,” Rep. Longoria said in a press release. “I hope to continue to create viable solutions and foster legislation that will positively affect not only the Rio Grande Valley, but all our Texas families and communities.”

Legal aid organizations funded by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation help more than 150,000 low-income Texas families yearly—only about 10 percent of the civil legal needs of low-income and poor Texans are met due to a lack of resources.

Sterling: Happy Texas Paralegal Day!

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:14


Editor’s note: Stephanie R. Sterling, the 2018-2019 president of the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, issued the following message today for Texas Paralegal Day.

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the founding of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas on October 23, 1981.

It was the first such action by any state bar in the entire United States. The Paralegal Division was instrumental in having October 23 declared Texas Paralegal Day beginning many years before; however, it wasn’t until 2009 that it became official permanently. 

It was on January 9, 2009, that the State of Texas with the help of Senator Kirk Watson made Texas Paralegal Day permanent, with Senate Proclamation No. 1144.

Proclamation No. 1144 states, in part,

Paralegals are vital resources to their firms, performing valuable services for and under the direction of an attorney, and their work requires a thorough knowledge of legal concepts and facts… Through their exceptional talents and expertise, paralegals provide valuable services that contribute significantly to the efficient functioning of the judicial system in the Lone Star State and they are indeed worthy of special recognition.”

I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to each of you who have tirelessly given their time and talents to grow this profession by setting set high standards through education and ethics, voluntary certification, and volunteerism.

I am thankful for my career and for all of my colleagues—past, present, and future. It is truly all your hard work and dedication to this profession that has made it what it is today and is the reason that we are recognized on this day.

Happy Texas Paralegal Day and thank you for being a PD member!

Stephanie R. Sterling, TBLS-BCP
President 2018-2019

Stephanie R. Sterling is a paralegal with the law firm of DuBois, Bryant & Campbell, LLP in Austin and is board certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Sterling is the current Paralegal Division president and is a past president of Capital Area Paralegal Association (CAPA).

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 2: Julie K. Sherman

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:00

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Julie K. Sherman is a paralegal at Cantey Hanger in Fort Worth. She is a past winner of the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s Liberty Bell Award, the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association’s Liberty Bell Award, and 2013 State Bar of Texas Exceptional Pro Bono Service Award—Paralegal Division. Sherman is a past Tarrant County Bar Association Paralegal of the Year and Fort Worth Paralegal Association, or FWPA, Paralegal of the Year. She is a past president of FWPA. Sherman is a board-certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

What kind of pro bono do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I am currently the Tarrant Volunteer Attorney Services, or TVAS, co-chair. TVAS is one of the two pro bono communities under the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. I have been a member of the TVAS committee for six years. TVAS puts on family law, estate planning, and general advice clinics with facilities such as the Gatehouse, True Worth Place, the Morris Foundation Women’s & Children Center, Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, and Northside Inter-Community Agency, Inc. Prior to my involvement with TVAS, I participated for over 10 years in wills clinics, divorce clinics, and other pro bono events with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, or LANWT, the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, and the Fort Worth Paralegal Association.

Why is pro bono important to you?
I have been blessed in my life. I have a wonderful family and a career I love. I have been a paralegal with Cantey Hanger for 22 years and they are supportive of my pro bono work. Pro bono is my way of giving back to my community and those who are less fortunate. Through pro bono volunteering, I have been given the opportunity to meet and help some extraordinary and gracious people. I have also had the opportunity to meet and work with a great number of amazing and caring attorneys and paralegals.

What have you learned from doing pro bono?
I have learned that no matter what your skill set, education, or experience, everyone has the ability to help someone in need. I have also learned that I get just as much, if not more, out of helping people than the people I am helping.

What would you say to an attorney who is thinking about doing pro bono for the first time?
Don’t wait, there is a lot of need out there. Over 13 percent of Tarrant County residents are below poverty level. You have the ability to help someone that is truly in need of help. It only takes a few hours and you can change someone’s life forever. There is no better feeling than that of helping others.

Share one of your favorite pro bono success stories.
It is hard to pick just one, but one of my favorite stories is that of a woman whose husband had left her and their children 30 years earlier. She had no idea where he was. As a single mother, she had been busy working two jobs and raising their children, then their grandchildren. One day a friend of hers gave her a flyer about a pro bono event. That pro bono clinic gave her the ability to finalize something that had been weighing on her for 30 years. I will never forget how excited and grateful she was.

KoonsFuller attorney leads pro bono case to help woman get conservatorship of children

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 16:00

Eight years ago, Katy Hayes, of Kingwood, lost all of her limbs due to a group A streptococcal, or GAS, infection following the home birth of her third child. Last year, Hayes filed for divorce from her husband, and after mediation with her former attorney, her ex-husband was awarded temporary conservatorship of their children. KoonsFuller Managing Shareholder Sherri Evans saw Hayes’ need for adequate counsel in the matter, and KoonsFuller associate Jordan Turk took on the case pro bono. Turk was able to settle the case without going to trial and obtained primary conservatorship of the children for Hayes. The Texas Bar Journal sat down with Elizabeth Lampert, where we discussed the background of Hayes’ medical battles, the ongoing legal battles after her divorce, and Turk’s work in helping Hayes get conservatorship of her child.

Can you give me some of the background on the case?
In 2010, Katy Hayes lost all of her limbs to a catastrophic infection—invasive group A streptococcal disease, or GAS—following the home birth of her third child. Since Hayes’ journey navigating this disease began, the Kingwood community has come together to help her and her family—from sending her to Boston for two years where she was to receive arm transplants, which ultimately failed, to providing her with a van.

In 2017, Hayes filed for divorce. Prior to Jordan Turk taking on the case pro bono, Hayes had gone to mediation on temporary orders with her previous attorney, which resulted in her ex-husband being awarded temporary conservatorship of their children.

How did this case come to your attention?
Sherri Evans knew of Hayes and from local Kingwood acquaintances heard of her divorce and custody challenges with the ex-husband’s attempts to take the kids away.

Can you give me some details of the case?
Prior to Turk taking on the case pro bono, Hayes had gone to mediation on temporary orders with her previous attorney, which resulted in her ex-husband being awarded primary conservatorship of their children. Turk was able to settle the case for Hayes without going to trial, resulting in Hayes obtaining primary conservatorship of her children, keeping the house, and her vehicle.

What made this case a particularly important one to take on pro bono?
Since February 14, 2010, when doctors determined Hayes had been infected with GAS, she has overcome tremendous obstacles, beating all odds. This case was important to show that being physically disabled does not prevent you from being an effective parent. Hayes never let her disability define who she was as a mother. Above all, she loves her kids, and KoonsFuller just needed to channel that into positive advocacy for Hayes.

What serves as your motivation to do pro bono—for this case—and in general?
We established the KoonsFuller Family Law Foundation this year. We are awarding the North Texas area and Houston nonprofit organizations grants totaling $200,000 at our 40th anniversary events in November. That $200,000 is in addition to the firm’s “everyday” fiscal charitable contributions. Our dedication to charitable contributions, in addition to our heavy involvement in charitable activities, leadership roles, pro bono, etc., is important to the firm.

Kingwood native Evans felt especially compelled to offer the firm’s services pro bono to Katy with Turk taking the lead.

What would you say to someone who hasn’t done pro bono but is considering it for the first time?
Don’t be scared. Don’t worry about not having time to do it—you will make time. You will be able to give the gift of comfort, of empowerment, to your client. This is one of the reasons why you went to law school. You get to make an indelible mark on someone’s life. Contact your local bar association and they will point you in the right direction. There is an entire community of attorneys who will make themselves available to assist you.

Now, just get out and do it.

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 1: Asha Brown

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 14:00

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Asha Brown, a Bakersfield, California, native and a 3L at Baylor Law School, will graduate on November 10. She is a student ambassador who is involved in myriad activities including Diversity in Law, Black Law Student Association, American Association of Justice Mock Trial Competition Team, Battle of the Expert Mock Trial Competition team, Public Interest Legal Society-Adoption Day, Baylor Academy of the Advocate in St. Andrews, Baylor Law & Wills Trust clinic, Veterans clinic, Juvenile clinic, and Municipal Court clinic. Brown plans on practicing criminal law and has secured a clerkship with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from 2019 to 2020.

What kind of pro bono do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I have been working with the free veterans legal clinic that is part of Baylor Law School’s clinic program for two years. I have also been part of the Wills and Estate Planning clinic for two years. My role has been to help first responders whose income is under 200 percent of the federal poverty limit who wish to have a last will and testament, power of attorney, etc. I have done legal advice online a few times where people in the community submit legal questions and we, as law students, work with lawyers to do research and solve their problems for them. Since I received my bar card three months ago, I have worked in the juvenile clinic representing juveniles for their first appearance hearings. Also, these past few months, I have been working to represent indigent criminal defendants in municipal court.

Why is pro bono important to you?
Pro bono is important because it is the foundation of my love for the legal system. Growing up, I started to realize how many aspects of your life have legal consequences. However, many people cannot afford counsel and they are taken advantage of and that is not what the legal system should be about. I believe that people should not be taken advantage of because they don’t know any better. Further, I don’t believe anyone should miss out on the important things in life, like making sure you have a will, just because you can’t afford an attorney.

What have you learned from doing pro bono?
I have learned how blessed I am and how much I have to give to the world. I grew up poor and disadvantaged. I knew very little about how the world operated outside the neighborhood I lived in. However, I continued my education and have always strived to learn more—and now that I have the knowledge, I feel that it is my duty to impart that knowledge to those who are less fortunate. I have also learned that there is not enough pro bono out in the world and there should be more.

What would you say to a fellow student who is thinking about doing pro bono for the first time?
I would tell him or her that this is a great opportunity to learn about the law, about helping real people, and about appreciating something bigger. Being in law school you sometimes lose sight of the realness of the law when your mind is enthralled in reading 50-year-old cases and you don’t have clients. However, doing pro bono work will remind you why you came to law school in the first place and help keep your eyes on the purpose throughout your journey.

Bree Buchanan retiring; new Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program director named

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 10:16

Bree Buchanan

Bree Buchanan, a national leader in the movement to address substance abuse and mental health issues in the legal profession, is retiring October 31 as director of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program (TLAP) of the State Bar of Texas. Staff attorney Chris Ritter will succeed her as director of the program.

Buchanan will continue as chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and as co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.

“It’s been such an honor and a highlight of my career to serve the members of our profession, both those who are courageously seeking help for themselves and those who are compassionately seeking help for others,” Buchanan said.

Chris Ritter

Ritter said he is excited to take on the role of director. Before joining the TLAP staff in 2014, he was an assistant district attorney as well as a partner in two prominent civil litigation law firms.

“TLAP means the world to me,” Ritter said. “You can’t find a more important cause for the legal world, and it is a personal passion of mine as an attorney in recovery. I am very grateful to have this opportunity.”

Read the full news release.

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 1: Elizabeth “Heidi” Bloch

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 10:00

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Elizabeth “Heidi” Bloch is a partner in Husch Blackwell in Austin. She represents clients before state and federal courts in all aspects of appellate practice.

What kind of pro bono do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve been doing various types of pro bono work for three decades. The legal work has primarily been representing folks who have been denied Social Security benefits, but I recently branched out into helping veterans with appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran’s Claims, which is very rewarding. I’m glad to say I’m 4-for-4 on those appeals. I’ve acted as a mentor to first-time pro bono attorneys who need a little assistance and encouragement. I’ve also served for many years on the board for Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas (vlsoct.org), which has given me the opportunity to see things from the inside, such as the tireless dedication of lawyers and administrators who do pro bono work 24/7, the generosity of the small army of volunteer lawyers in our community, and the extraordinary administrative effort required to reach out to clients who need services and match them up with someone who can help.

Why is pro bono important to you?
As lawyers, we benefit from a legal system that is too complicated for our paying clients to navigate themselves. We owe it back to the system and to our community to help those who cannot afford our services. On a more basic level, it’s the right thing to do.

What have you learned from doing pro bono?
That with some reach, and perhaps a mentor, you can get out of your comfort zone and tackle a legal matter that you might not have taken otherwise; that there are deserving and grateful people in our community who need our help; that access to justice has support at high levels, but is constantly under attack and at risk of being underfunded.

What would you say to an attorney who is thinking about doing pro bono for the first time?
Don’t hesitate! You may get opportunities that you wouldn’t get in your practice such as court appearances, direct client contact, interaction with judges, etc. There are appellate opportunities that might get you your first oral argument. Feel free to ask for a mentor to walk you through your first case. It is truly rewarding.

Share one of your favorite pro bono success stories.
I still have a thank-you card and a homemade necklace from a Social Security client from long ago. How many thank-you cards do we get from clients?

Discounts on everyday items

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 08:00

Find offers on sunglasses, fragrances, headphones, and other great everyday items on your Member Benefit Program. Check out the Retail, Health & Wellness, and Electronics pages for more info.

  • Sunski Sunglasses — Sunski shades are always polarized, light-years from ordinary, and backed by a forever warranty. Take 25% off your order.
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  • Glasses.com — State Bar of Texas members receive an extra 20% off orders of $100 or more on all brands on the site. Each order includes free shipping, free CR-39 Plus lenses, and Glasses.com’s 100% satisfaction guarantee.
  • BURST Oral CareState Bar of Texas members get $40 in savings, plus free shipping, on BURST Oral Care items. BURST offers affordable, high-quality products.
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Current offers provided by Beneplace.

For more information on other discounts you’re eligible for as a member of the State Bar of Texas, visit texasbar.com/benefits.

Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange
The Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange is a multi-carrier private exchange designed for State Bar of Texas members and their staff and dependents. Available to both individuals and employer groups, the exchange offers a wide range of health insurance choices and more.

State Bar of Texas – Benefits & Services

Guest blog: I am living proof that learning CPR can save lives

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 16:25

By Ricardo Garcia-Moreno

Rolando Ramirez, left, was the waiter who performed CPR on Ricardo Garcia-Moreno, helping save his life on February 4, 2018.

 

I was lying on a stretcher, unable to talk or move as I went into full cardiac arrest the afternoon of February 4, 2018. My heart had stopped beating for approximately 20 minutes, and I was not breathing when emergency medical personnel loaded me into an ambulance. As I faded in and out of life over the next few hours, all I could think about were my wife, Ana; and our two sons, Emilio, 7, and Adrian, 5; and how the boys would grow up without their dad if I died that Super Bowl Sunday.

But my will to survive—and the determination of several strangers who knew cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR—kept me alive so I can be here today with my family.

I was enjoying time with Ana and her family at a restaurant that February afternoon in Las Vegas. We were having a great time eating, having drinks, and watching the Super Bowl, and then I told my wife that I was feeling dizzy. Less than a minute later, I lost consciousness and my head fell like a load of bricks on the table.

My sister-in-law saw the blank stare on my face and lunged over the table to help me, yelling for others to call 911. The wait staff came over and helped lower me to the floor, where a waiter, Rolando Ramirez, began administering CPR. Ramirez happened to be a trained doctor from Cuba who had administered CPR to more than a dozen people during his tenure at the restaurant.

A doctor who was having lunch rushed over to help, and then another medically trained person. Together, the three of them kept my heart pumping through CPR for 15-20 minutes until the ambulance arrived. My heart had to be defibrillated five times—four times in the ambulance alone.

I regained consciousness in the ambulance and remembered hearing sirens and wearing an oxygen mask. I mistakenly thought I had been run over while walking on the Vegas Strip. But then I remembered we had been in a restaurant having dinner. I couldn’t figure out when and how we left the restaurant and how I had been hit by a car. Nothing made sense.

Ricard Garcia-Moreno, left, was eating dinner with his wife, Ana, and family when he suffered a heart attack in the restaurant. Rolando Ramirez, middle, performed CPR on the attorney. Ramirez was a doctor in Cuba and has relied on his experiences to administer CPR to more than a dozen people at the restaurant.

48 hours

In the emergency room, two nurses were prepping me for an angiogram. I thought I was paralyzed because I could hear them clearly talking about me, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t open my eyes and I couldn’t talk. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had been sedated and intubated. I thought I was dying. I thought my soul was detaching from my body, and I felt helpless.

And then I became angry and thought to myself that I was going to fight to wake up. I was not going to leave my family behind.  I lost consciousness again.

I regained consciousness 48 hours after arriving at the hospital. As it turns out, I spent a full week in the hospital recovering from the ordeal and from a surgery to implant a defibrillator in my chest once the cardiologists figured out the reason why I had gone into cardiac arrest.

Evangelist of CPR

Unbeknownst to me, I had a genetic heart condition called Brugada syndrome, which is characterized by abnormal electrocardiogram, or ECG, findings and an increased risk of sudden cardiac death. I also learned that this condition had killed my maternal grandfather when he was about my age (48). For years, my family and I erroneously thought that he had died from a massive heart attack.

I believe it’s a miracle that I survived. God was looking after me and sent a lot of angels— including the Good Samaritans at the restaurant, the paramedics, and the hospital staff—to help me survive. If they hadn’t been there, I would not be here today.

I am living proof that learning CPR can save lives.

The experience has changed my life in a number of ways. For one, I now evangelize the importance of learning CPR. With the support of Haynes and Boone, I helped arrange CPR training classes in October and November at the firm’s Houston office. About 60 employees will get certified during the classes. I hope other Haynes and Boone offices will follow suit.

I know God has a purpose for me—foremost, to be a good husband and father and help raise my boys to be good men. And, if along the way I can help or be a positive influence to others in their lives somehow, including by telling my story to others and encouraging them to take a CPR class, then I am fulfilling that purpose.

I plan to issue a challenge to Houston-area law firms to host CPR classes in February in conjunction with American Heart Month. I have also been invited to speak to other companies, such as BP, where I will be kicking off its health and wellness campaign in Houston on November 7. I am happy to speak to groups as an ambassador for this cause.

Bystander behavior

According to the American Heart Association, or AMA, hundreds of thousands of Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest each year outside of the hospital—most in their own homes. About 90 percent of these incidents are fatal.

Appropriate bystander behavior can triple the chances of survival. However, CPR rates among bystanders are bleak. In Houston, for example, only 51 percent of people who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest receive CPR from bystanders. Houston has the best rate among Texas’ big cities, while Dallas has the worst rate, at 33 percent.

The AMA hopes to educate Texans about the importance of knowing CPR and symptoms of a heart attack with activities like Heart Walks, which are taking place around the nation through November. More than 30 Haynes and Boone employees participated in a Heart Walk in downtown Dallas in September.

This post was originally published on the Haynes and Boone blog and has been edited and republished with permission.

Ricardo Garcia-Moreno is a partner in Haynes and Boone and practices corporate law with an emphasis on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, energy, securities law compliance, and corporate governance. He has more than 22 years of experience representing U.S., European, and Latin American clients in domestic and international transactions involving mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, investments, joint ventures, and capital markets transactions.

 

 

 

 

 

TYLA launches Shero podcast

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 10:30

The Texas Young Lawyers Association, or TYLA, launched the Shero podcast, its first foray into podcasting, with the first episode dropping on October 3.

The Shero podcast is inspired by the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers’ Continuing the Conversation and features discussions with female attorneys who have served as an inspiration, or shero, for women practicing law.

“This podcast is meant to serve as a platform for these sheroes to share their experiences and their advice on a broader spectrum and allow for other female attorneys to be inspired by their advice and experiences,” said TYLA President Sally Pretorius in her TYLA President’s Page column in the November 2018 issue of the Texas Bar Journal.

The first episode took an in-depth look at what a shero is and featured Pretorius, TYLA Immediate Past President Baili Rhodes, TYLA Vice President Britney Harrison, and TYLA Chair-elect Courtney Barksdale Perez. The panel discussed their personal sheroes and some of the challenges they have faced as female attorneys.

The newest episode, released October 17, is a discussion with retired Justice Linda Yañez, the first Latina on the Texas Court of Appeals. She served on the 13th Court of Appeals in El Paso from 1993 to 2010.

The podcast can currently be downloaded on iTunes. For more information about TYLA, go to tyla.org.

DBA honors legal news reporting at Stephen Philbin Awards

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 14:30

The Dallas Bar Association hosted its 35th annual Stephen Philbin Awards at the Belo Mansion on October 12, honoring the best legal news reporting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Photo courtesy of the Dallas Bar Association

The Dallas Bar Association hosted its 35th annual Stephen Philbin Awards at the Belo Mansion on October 12, honoring the best legal news reporting in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The awards focus on journalism that shows educational value, accuracy, and resourcefulness, as well as the reporter’s initiative in pursuing the story and the story’s role in public debate.

This year’s grand prize winner was the NBC 5 investigative team: Scott Friedman, Eva Parks, Jack Douglas, Jose Sanchez, Mark Ginther (no longer with NBC 5), and Frank Heinz, whose report, “Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Taxpayers Taken for a Ride,” exposed corruption and financial mismanagement inside Dallas County Schools. The agency is funded by taxpayers and transports more than 75,000 children to school daily. The 18-month investigation by NBC 5 led to corrective actions including the reorganization of school busing in Dallas.

“‘Big Buses’ demonstrated what investigative journalism should be—it was timely, thorough, and informative,” the judges said in a press release.

Additional winners:

  • Suburban/Specialty Article: Joshua C. Johnson, of the Focus Daily News, for his article “Lancaster ISD Police Officer Sparks Dialogue On Perception, Understanding”
  • Series/Investigative Article:Tanya Eiserer, Michael Botsford, and Martin Doporto, of WFAA-TV, for “Deadly Consequences”
  • Breaking News: Eric Griffey and Jeff Prince, of Fort Worth Weekly, for their article “Flamed Out”
  • Feature Article: Bruce Tomaso and Allen Pusey, of The Texas Law Book, for their article“‘Wake Up the Pope’—The Historic Jury Verdict Against a Priestly Pedophile that Shook the Catholic Church”
  • Visual/Multi-Media Story: WFAA-TV’s Jason Whitely, Mark Smith, and Taylor Lumsden for “What Went Wrong in Waco”
  • Student Publication: Kyle Cotton, of The Shorthorn at the University of Texas at Arlington, for his article “Firefighters file civil service lawsuit against the city”

The Stephen Philbin Awards were established in 1983 in honor of the late Stephen Philbin, who was a member of the DBA and a leading authority on media law.

Winners in each category received a $1,000. Grand prize winners take home a $1,750 cash award. Each are chosen by a panel of judges, including Lisa A. Rich, associate professor of law at Texas A&M University School of law, and Cheryl Wattley, professor of law at UNT Dallas College of Law.

New scam targets attorney through online member directory

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:00

A Texas attorney, who recently relocated to Missouri, was contacted by a scammer seeking the attorney’s bank information. The scammer sought the information in the guise of a method of payment for the attorney to act in the settlement of a defaulted loan.

The attorney was contacted from a Gmail account belonging to “James D Templeton,” who claimed to be from Springdale, Arkansas, and that he was owed $685,000 from his friend, “Dennis Robert,” allegedly of Houston.

In an email, dated September 14, 2018, Templeton stated he had a two-year agreement with Robert to the repayment of a loan of $685,000 at a 7.5 percent interest rate. The “loan agreement promissory note” copy that Templeton sent to the attorney noted the same figure but with an interest rate of 5 percent. The “loan” repayment deadline was set for a two-year period beginning March 12, 2015, and ending March 12, 2017.

Templeton provided the attorney with a street address for his location in Arkansas, however, a search for that address turned up with no one of the name “James” living in that location, and a Google search for a “James D Templeton” in Arkansas also turned up no results. The home phone number provided by Templeton corresponded to a landline with the area code and prefix for a location in Blair, Oklahoma. Templeton also provided the attorney with an additional contact number because he said he was “presently away on a business trip.” That number’s area code and prefix corresponded to a landline in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The attorney was also provided with a driver’s license and Social Security card for a James Templeton. Upon doing research, the attorney found a James Templeton in Arkansas matching the license.

On October 2, 2018, Templeton left a voicemail for the attorney, and the attorney noted the caller spoke with a “foreign accent” that was definitely not an Arkansas accent. The attorney said in an email that research he had done for a James Templeton in Arkansas indicated Templeton had only lived in Arkansas. The number corresponding to the voice message was different than the previous two numbers, but again the area code and prefix corresponded to a location in Vancouver.

In an email from October 3, 2018, Templeton requested that the attorney “send me a scanned copy of the [documents] with your bank information on how I can send you the retainer.” Templeton also complained in the email that he had hoped they would have progressed farther in the matter before his return to town.

The attorney, suspicious of the situation from the start, mailed his retainer letter to the address listed on the driver’s license of James D Templeton that was provided to him. The letter was returned by the Postal Service as undeliverable, at which point the attorney confronted the scammer asking for an explanation. The attorney never received any further communication from the scammer.

A search of the Blair phone number on Google turned up an Instagram account with the phone number listed in the biographical information. Opening the page led to a profile for an Instagram user in Bangladesh with Bengali script in use. The account is private but has a biography that reads (when translated) “Manager 9+ years For the Financial program. Need Extra Cash? invest $500=Earn$10,500. Text’Money’ to [number].” The profile picture for the account appears to have been stolen from a celebrity account.

The attorney filed a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and notified the State Bar of Texas of the email address used by the scammer.

Cases involving bank fraud are investigated by the Secret Service. If you are targeted, contact an office in your area. Internet fraud should be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

If a scam has targeted you or your firm, please leave a comment below describing the scenario or tactics the scammer used.

Sponsored Content: 2018 Clio Cloud Conference Highlights

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 23:01

The 2018 Clio Cloud Conference was an incredible event. With powerful keynotes, helpful educational sessions, and a big announcement that’s set to change the course of the legal tech industry, this just might have been the most exciting Clio Cloud Conference yet.

This year, it was all about experience—creating a better experience for your clients, having a better experience managing your law firm, and of course, having an amazing experience at the Clio Cloud Conference.

Read on for more highlights from this year’s conference—and to see where we’re headed for 2019!

An incredible opening keynote from Jack Newton

As always, Clio CEO and Co-founder Jack Newton opened the conference with a rousing keynote speech packed with plenty of exciting news from Clio.

This year featured an especially big announcement: The introduction of Clio as a client experience platform and the acquisition of Lexicata by Clio, signaling the creation of a new product category in legal tech focused on delivering a solution that addresses the needs of the end-to-end client experience.

Clio will be evolving Lexicata into a more advanced client engagement platform called Clio Grow, coming early 2019.

Jack also spoke about:

  • The release of the 2018 Legal Trends Report
  • New feature releases from Clio this year
  • Why disruption means unlocking more market demand for all in the legal space

See more highlights from Jack’s keynote here.

Insights from the 2018 Legal Trends Report

Clio’s COO, George Psiharis, gave an insightful overview of the findings from this year’s Legal Trends Report at the conference.

Released at the Clio Cloud Conference, the 2018 Legal Trends Report is the most in-depth report to date. With aggregated and anonymized data from tens of thousands of legal professionals in the US, supported by extensive survey research, lawyers can expect a rich, actionable analysis of today’s legal consumer: Learn what makes them hire, what makes them recommend your services, and how they want to communicate with their lawyer.

Download your copy of the 2018 Legal Trends Report now!

Celebrating the amazing work of Clio customers at the Reisman Awards

Every year, we’re incredibly inspired by the amazing stories submitted by Clio customers to the Reisman Awards. With extraordinary stories from over 200 applicants, the selection process was difficult, but we were proud to announce our 2018 Reisman Award Winners at the conference this year:

  • Best New Law Firm: Morgan & Cumbas
  • Best Growth Story: Burd Law Group
  • Legal Innovation: Modern Law
  • Community Champion: Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand

Watch their stories here.

That’s not all—read the full list of conference highlights to see the winner of our Launch//Code contest, hear about our amazing keynote speakers, see what additions were made during customer delight week, and much more!

Read the full list of 2018 Clio Cloud Conference highlights.

The Honorable John Frank Onion Jr.

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 12:00

The Honorable John Frank “Jack” Onion Jr., former presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals who died in September at 93, was one of the longest serving, prolific, and consequential judges in the history of the state of Texas. But “honorable” was not just Judge Onion’s title. It captured his character, his work, and his essence for more than five decades of public service.

Those of us who had the honor of working with him as judges—and as lawyers appearing before him—are better judges and lawyers because of Judge Onion the man and his lengthy service to the people of Texas.

John F. Onion Jr.

After graduating from law school in 1950, Judge Onion entered public service. It was a family tradition: His grandfather, J.F. Onion, had been a member of the Texas Legislature; his father, John F. “Pete” Onion, had been a longtime Bexar County district judge. After serving as an assistant district attorney and justice of the peace, Onion was elected district judge, where he served for 10 years.

In 1966, Judge Onion was elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Texas’ highest court for criminal cases. In 1971, with a constitutional amendment that made the office of the presiding judge of the court an elected position, Onion became the first presiding judge of the court who was elected by the voters. He was elected to and served two more terms before retiring in December 1988.

But his service to the state of Texas did not end upon his “retirement.” Onion continued to sit as a visiting judge in courts around the state.

In 1994, Judge Onion sat as the trial judge in the official misconduct case of Kay Bailey Hutchison, then state treasurer. On the first day of trial, when he declined the prosecutor’s request to make pretrial rulings on whether certain evidence was legally obtained, the prosecution then declined to proceed with the trial. The trial abruptly ended with a directed verdict rendered by the court and an acquittal by the jury. Legal experts opined on whether Onion had acted properly in declining to rule on the evidence prior to trial. Describing Judge Onion as “a very fine judge,” one commentator observed, “No one knows the law here better than Judge Onion.”

For many years Judge Onion sat by designation on the 3rd Court of Appeals, the intermediate appellate court sitting in Austin and covering 24 counties in central Texas. I often sat on panels with him. Judge Onion was the consummate appellate judge. He was collegial but principled and independent. He recognized the dignity of judges, lawyers, and litigants alike. Long entrusted with safeguarding the criminal justice system, he resisted the occupational hazards of a system of partisan election of judges. He was a stalwart protector of the independence of the judiciary.

Often when I entered his chambers, Judge Onion was hidden behind mounds of law books, briefs, volumes of trial records, and stacks of legal pads containing his own handwritten notes and drafts of opinions written in longhand. He was always available to share his vast knowledge of the law and to exchange ideas. He was a true student of the law, always weighing and evaluating the views of judges and lawyers, and scrupulously scouring the record. Lawyers knew he was devoted to the record and they could rely upon him to read—and rely upon—the record in every case. (At oral argument, with a twinkle in his eye directed to the lawyer addressing the court, his knowledge of the record informed the foundation of his questions.)

Likewise, his opinions exhibited a vast knowledge of the law—not to show off his knowledge but to protect the integrity of the system and to do justice. It was important for him to get it right and to make certain the decision-making process was informed, transparent, and honest.

Judge Onion was not a man of few words. He loved words—oral and written—and he loved to share his wisdom with others. He wrote lengthy, well-reasoned opinions. He stood ready to confront difficult legal issues. He resisted simplifying, sidestepping, or mischaracterizing an issue to avoid dealing with the real and difficult issues in a case. He avoided attacking the personal integrity or intellectual acumen of his colleagues or of lawyers.

But neither was he diffident. His judicial voice was vivid and unique. He became known, usually in his many dissents, for his expression of surprise and concern for an opposing view in a majority opinion: “Color me amazed,” he would exclaim. “Color me amazed one more time.” And “Color me amazed again, this time with a shade of deep concern.” “This is not the law, has never been the law, and should never be the law. My color is still amazed.” I can assure you there was a twinkle in his eye.

Judge Onion was the consummate judge. But he was more. My father’s ultimate compliment of a person’s character was to say he was a fine man. An ultimate compliment but one of that generation’s understatements. Judge Onion was humble. He was gentle. He was hardworking. He was jolly, warm, and humorous. He loved a good laugh, a genuine smile. He generously shared words of encouragement. He entered my life, my judicial thinking. Judge Onion was a fine, fine man.

Over his 56 years of service, he served at all levels of judgeships. He served a vital role in the overall administration of Texas’ criminal justice system. He impacted six decades of law and his work continues to inform our system of justice. A man of principle, Judge Onion was a distinguished, prolific, hardworking, humble, and respected jurist.

His life reflects the importance of our courts, what a good judge can do and be, and the long-lasting legacy of a fine judge. His good works live on in opinions he wrote, precedent he created, and generations of excellent lawyers who worked and clerked for him, and appeared before him, all confident that he would listen.
He was a trusted man.

This article was published in the Waco Tribune-Herald and has been edited and reprinted with permission.

Justice Jan P. Patterson is a senior judge of the state of Texas, formerly a justice of the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin and currently a justice in residence at Baylor Law School.

Texas lawyers able to assist North Carolinians recovering from Hurricane Florence

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 15:02

Lawyers across the nation can provide pro bono assistance to North Carolinians in the wake of Hurricane Florence thanks to a recent order of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

After Hurricane Harvey several hundred out-of-state lawyers volunteered their services to residents of this state.

ABA President Bob Carlson reminds lawyers that ABA Free Legal Answers, an online portal that remotely connects low-income individuals with pro bono lawyers, has adapted its North Carolina site to accept out-of-state volunteer registrations. This provides a convenient way for U.S.-licensed attorneys to offer pro bono legal advice to Hurricane Florence survivors from wherever they live. After following the instructions on this link, volunteers can log in and provide answers at their convenience.

Texas lawyers interested in pro bono work within their own state can always volunteer at texaslegalanswers.org, Texas’ ABA Free Legal Answers online portal. Sign up here.

Texas Bar Journal wins 2018 Luminary Award

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 13:30

Texas Bar Journal Managing Editor Patricia McConnico accepts the 2018 Luminary Award for excellence in authored articles from Mike Leme, of Fastcase, during the 2018 NABE Communications Section Workshop.

The Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors received a 2018 Luminary Award for excellence in authored articles from the National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section Workshop, held last week in Omaha, Nebraska.

Each year the workshop brings together bar associations from across the country to network, learn about new industry trends, and recognize their communications and marketing projects from the past year.

The winning article, “Surviving the War Within” (November 2017, Page 700), was authored by current TBJ Board of Editors member and Texas Young Lawyers Association President-elect Victor A. Flores, a U.S. Marine Corps Iraq War veteran who interviewed a panel of veterans about living with post-traumatic stress.

“This article is so timely. While we’ve seen a lot about veterans and PTSD, the topic remains one of acute interest. The most riveting parts of the article were the first-hand quotes by the veterans themselves,” said one of the judges of Flores’ article.

Have you RSVP’d to pro bono week?

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 06:00

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Circuits and is reprinted with permission. 

By Hannah Allison

Texas is RSVP’ing YES to pro bono week this year. How about you?

Not sure what it is? The Celebrate Pro Bono homepage reads, “…this initiative provides an opportunity for legal organizations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the vitally important contributions of America’s lawyers and to recruit and train the many additional volunteers required to meet the growing demand. With the enthusiastic involvement of national, statewide and local partners, from all components of the legal profession, the National Pro Bono Celebration is creating a wave of positive energy about the pro bono movement in this country…”

The year marks the 10th anniversary of National Pro Bono Week, October 22-26. American Bar Association President Bob Carlson is encouraging organizations to plan and participate in events focused on disaster resiliency.

Disaster survivors face countless legal issues—from insurance disputes, FEMA appeals, landlord-tenant disputes, consumer fraud, health and education issues, and so much more. Even before a disaster strikes, communities need legal assistance with disaster preparedness through business continuity planning, securing title documents, meeting insurance needs, and other assistance. How can you get involved in October?

Online Pro Bono Clinic

Following the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas coast, attorneys found an easy way to participate in pro bono by volunteering with Texas’ new online legal advice clinic, Texas Legal Answers. It took just three minutes to sign up for www.TexasLegalAnswers.org, under Volunteer Attorney Registration, and within the first month following the disaster there were Harvey questions hitting the queue. To date, Texas Legal Answers has received 65 direct questions in the natural disaster category with hundreds more coming in that are indirect legal issues that arose following Harvey.

Client surveys are showing feedback like:

“This was a terrific way to get questions answered and it was obvious that whoever answered the question for me was both knowledgeable and compassionate. Thank you so much.”

With an average question taking just 20 minutes for an attorney to answer, you can easily log pro bono hours during pro bono week and empower Texans to receive access to justice anywhere you have internet access. Maybe while you wait for your Frappuccino? Or while you wait for your oil change?

Volunteer attorneys are also benefiting this program:

“I became an attorney to do good—and helping those that need help is a part of that. Texas Legal Answers is a quick and simple way to give back and help without turning away your attention from your existing caseload.”

For every question answered during pro bono week, volunteers will receive an entry to win a new Kindle Fire—generously donated by Westlaw—and a Pro Bono Texas swag bag. Can you #Give20Minutes?

Social Media

How about daily social media posts, covering the week of October 22-26? You could focus on how technology can assist in a disaster or ideas on technological preparedness for attorneys and their practice. Whether it is physical space considerations, network and phone backup ideas, or any statewide or national resources that are available to assist with technological needs following a fire, flood, etc., y’all have the resources and knowledge base—share it! Need a starting point for ideas? Check out the ABA’s Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness page here.

If not social media, how about writing a short blog post for the Texas Bar Blog? Again, focusing on the above topics and connecting it to national pro bono week.

Find an Event

Don’t have enough time in the day to plan your kid’s fall soccer schedule, let alone build something for pro bono week? Let someone else do the planning and you can simply show up for a pro bono week event near you. Watch over the coming weeks, as organizations add events to the National Pro Bono Week calendar.

Texas Has Your Back

Already doing pro bono, but looking for some resources to make it a tad easier? Need a mentor for a case that is outside your practice area? Maybe you haven’t dipped your toe in pro bono, but now you are ready? Texas has your back with ProBonoTexas.org. It is a one-stop shop for all things pro bono—including ways to find new pro bono opportunities, a resource library to help you find those answers for Texas Legal Answers, and Westlaw Doc & Form Builder to maximize your efforts when assembling documents for your pro bono clients.

Pro Bono Texas will be pushing out social media posts, giveaways, fun facts, etc. across pro bono week on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for announcements and event highlights from across the state.

Do you know a pro bono rock star or are you yourself a pro bono enthusiast? Give us a shout here!

Hannah Allison is the pro bono programs administrator for the Legal Access Division of the State Bar of Texas and manages Texas Legal Answers. If you have questions or would like to chat about all things pro bono, you may contact her at probonotx@texasbar.com.

Have you RSVP’d to pro bono week?

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 06:00

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Circuits and is reprinted with permission. 

By Hannah Allison

Texas is RSVP’ing YES to pro bono week this year. How about you?

Not sure what it is? The Celebrate Pro Bono homepage reads, “…this initiative provides an opportunity for legal organizations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the vitally important contributions of America’s lawyers and to recruit and train the many additional volunteers required to meet the growing demand. With the enthusiastic involvement of national, statewide and local partners, from all components of the legal profession, the National Pro Bono Celebration is creating a wave of positive energy about the pro bono movement in this country…”

The year marks the 10th anniversary of National Pro Bono Week, October 22-26. American Bar Association President Bob Carlson is encouraging organizations to plan and participate in events focused on disaster resiliency.

Disaster survivors face countless legal issues—from insurance disputes, FEMA appeals, landlord-tenant disputes, consumer fraud, health and education issues, and so much more. Even before a disaster strikes, communities need legal assistance with disaster preparedness through business continuity planning, securing title documents, meeting insurance needs, and other assistance. How can you get involved in October?

Online Pro Bono Clinic

Following the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas coast, attorneys found an easy way to participate in pro bono by volunteering with Texas’ new online legal advice clinic, Texas Legal Answers. It took just three minutes to sign up for www.TexasLegalAnswers.org, under Volunteer Attorney Registration, and within the first month following the disaster there were Harvey questions hitting the queue. To date, Texas Legal Answers has received 65 direct questions in the natural disaster category with hundreds more coming in that are indirect legal issues that arose following Harvey.

Client surveys are showing feedback like:

“This was a terrific way to get questions answered and it was obvious that whoever answered the question for me was both knowledgeable and compassionate. Thank you so much.”

With an average question taking just 20 minutes for an attorney to answer, you can easily log pro bono hours during pro bono week and empower Texans to receive access to justice anywhere you have internet access. Maybe while you wait for your Frappuccino? Or while you wait for your oil change?

Volunteer attorneys are also benefiting this program:

“I became an attorney to do good—and helping those that need help is a part of that. Texas Legal Answers is a quick and simple way to give back and help without turning away your attention from your existing caseload.”

For every question answered during pro bono week, volunteers will receive an entry to win a new Kindle Fire—generously donated by Westlaw—and a Pro Bono Texas swag bag. Can you #Give20Minutes?

Social Media

How about daily social media posts, covering the week of October 22-26? You could focus on how technology can assist in a disaster or ideas on technological preparedness for attorneys and their practice. Whether it is physical space considerations, network and phone backup ideas, or any statewide or national resources that are available to assist with technological needs following a fire, flood, etc., y’all have the resources and knowledge base—share it! Need a starting point for ideas? Check out the ABA’s Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness page here.

If not social media, how about writing a short blog post for the Texas Bar Blog? Again, focusing on the above topics and connecting it to national pro bono week.

Find an Event

Don’t have enough time in the day to plan your kid’s fall soccer schedule, let alone build something for pro bono week? Let someone else do the planning and you can simply show up for a pro bono week event near you. Watch over the coming weeks, as organizations add events to the National Pro Bono Week calendar.

Texas Has Your Back

Already doing pro bono, but looking for some resources to make it a tad easier? Need a mentor for a case that is outside your practice area? Maybe you haven’t dipped your toe in pro bono, but now you are ready? Texas has your back with ProBonoTexas.org. It is a one-stop shop for all things pro bono—including ways to find new pro bono opportunities, a resource library to help you find those answers for Texas Legal Answers, and Westlaw Doc & Form Builder to maximize your efforts when assembling documents for your pro bono clients.

Pro Bono Texas will be pushing out social media posts, giveaways, fun facts, etc. across pro bono week on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for announcements and event highlights from across the state.

Do you know a pro bono rock star or are you yourself a pro bono enthusiast? Give us a shout here!

Hannah Allison is the pro bono programs administrator for the Legal Access Division of the State Bar of Texas and manages Texas Legal Answers. If you have questions or would like to chat about all things pro bono, you may contact her at probonotx@texasbar.com.

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