Posted inDiversityNews

Diversity increases at some Austin law firms

Fred Sultan, past chair of the State Bar’s LGBTQ Section; Manuel Escobar, past chair of the bar’s Hispanic Issues Section; Laura Fowler, principal of the Fowler Law Firm; and Rudolph K. Metayer, past president of the Austin Black Lawyers Association on August 10, 2017 at Gardere’s downtown Austin office for the presentation of the Diversity Report Card results.

As Austin continues to grow, the number of minority attorneys increased during the past year at some of the city’s firms, according to a report released August 9.

The Law Firm Diversity Report Card grades the city’s law firms on their hiring, promotion, and retention of attorneys of diverse races, genders, and sexual orientations. The report card, which began in 2011, is a collaboration among the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin, the Austin Back Lawyers Association, the Austin Asian American Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association of Austin, the Austin LGBT Bar Association, and the Travis County Women Lawyers Association. Continue Reading

Posted inCLEConference

Registration under way for annual paralegal CLE event

By Megan Goor

The State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division is hosting its annual three-day CLE event October 4-6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Addison. Early registration has been extended until August 22.

The Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar, or TAPS, is a three-day conference for paralegals that includes up to 14 hours of continuing legal education in a variety of specialties along with networking events and other professional development opportunities. There is an option for one-day or three-day registration. This year’s theme is “TAPS Unmasqued—Knowledge Awaits 2017.” Continue Reading

Posted inGuest Blog

Stories of Recovery: The Problem Was Me

Editor’s note: This post is part of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s Stories of Recovery series. TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance abuse or mental health issues. Call TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) and find more information at

We lawyers are all pretty clever.

We spend our careers trying to distinguish our facts to gain an advantage in a case. At first, chasing that advantage felt exciting but, in time, it began to feel stressful, and I began to need to “take the edge off” those feelings by drinking them away. Now in my eighth year of recovery, I’m convinced that I cannot safely use drugs or alcohol to “take the edge off,” even where others safely can. By enlarging my spiritual life after getting clean and sober, I’ve been so much more joyful, peaceful, and true to myself that I don’t want to use them anymore. Continue Reading

Posted inUncategorized

Two State Bar of Texas leaders find even more in common

2017-18 State Bar of Texas President G. Thomas Vick Jr. (left) and former State Bar president F.R. “Buck” Files Jr.

When G. Thomas Vick Jr. was sworn in as 2017-18 president of the State Bar of Texas on June 23, he cemented an unusual resume he shares with his colleague and peer F. R. “Buck” Files Jr.

Within five years, the two men have each attained the prestigious positions of president of the State Bar of Texas and chair of the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees. The similarities don’t stop there. Of course both are juniors, but they are also very proud to both be Austin College graduates.

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Posted inNews

Second District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Terrie Livingston announces retirement

Second District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Terrie Livingston plans to retire September 8, 2017. Livingston, who has served as a justice since 1994, was appointed as the court’s chief justice in 2010 by former Gov. Rick Perry and reelected in 2012.

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Posted inUncategorized

National task force tackles lawyer well-being in new report

The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being today released a comprehensive report that makes recommendations for improving lawyer well-being, including addressing substance use and mental health issues. Bree Buchanan, director of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, is a co-chair of the task force and a co-author of the report.

The report’s recommendations focus on central themes, including:

  • Eliminating stigma associated with seeking help.
  • Emphasizing that well-being is an indispensable part of a lawyer’s duty of competence.
  • Taking incremental steps to change how lawyers are regulated to instill greater well-being in the profession.

Read the full press release on the report here.

Posted inAbout The BarAmerican Bar AssociationDiversityNews

State Bar of Texas wins national award for diversity program

Accepting the ABA Partnership Award for the Texas Minority Counsel Program, from left, are 2017 TMCP Steering Committee co-chair Jesús Castillón, State Bar of Texas Executive Director Michelle Hunter, State Bar of Texas Office of Minority Affairs director Caren Cheavens, State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick, 2017 TMCP Steering Committee co-chair Aparna Dave, and State Bar of Texas Immediate Past President Frank Stevenson.

The State Bar of Texas today received a national award for one of its signature efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

The Texas Minority Counsel Program (TMCP) received one of three ABA Partnership Awards during an awards ceremony held in conjunction with the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in New York. The ABA Partnership Awards Program salutes bar association projects directed at increasing the participation and advancement of diverse lawyers.

Read the full news release here.

Posted inNewsVeterans

Free legal clinic for veterans in Texas City

Veterans in need of legal help can visit a free clinic on Saturday, August 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic, 9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expwy., Ste. 206, Texas City 77591.

The event will provide veterans or spouses of deceased veterans with one-on-one counsel from a volunteer attorney in any area of law, including, family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate, and tax law, as well as disability and veterans benefits.

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Posted inNewsUncategorized

Legal Mapmaker™ seminar aims to help young lawyers open firms


Young lawyers interested in establishing their own law firms can get guidance at a three-day seminar at Baylor Law School, August 16-18.

Legal Mapmaker™, which is sponsored by Baylor Law School in collaboration with other law schools and the State Bar of Texas, aims to equip new lawyers with the tools to start practices that provide legal services to the public efficiently and affordably.

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