Posted inLaw SchoolsNews

UNT Dallas College of Law announces community lawyering centers

UNT Dallas COL - Community Lawyering Center Announcements for community leaders, law students, and other law practices.

The UNT Dallas College of Law has announced the creation of two new community lawyering centers to provide legal services to underserved communities in Dallas County.

Law students from the school—which opened its doors in fall 2014—will staff the centers alongside supervising attorneys.

The downtown and South Dallas centers are a partnership between the college, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office, and Legal Action Works. The Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center will provide experienced mediators to supervise law students.

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Posted inNewsTexas Bar JournalWork/Life Balance

Texas Bar Journal announces 2016 Short Story Contest winners

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A lawyer struggles to find professional happiness. A juror uses his influence to his advantage. A big-firm partner combats guilt. These are the compelling premises of the well-written and creative first, second, and third place winners of the 2016 Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest.

Thank you to the 40 writers who submitted entries this year. To keep the contest fair and impartial, author names were removed from each entry. Two panels of judges faced the challenging task of selecting the winners, and for each round, the same evaluation form was used for consistency. Ten entries advanced to the final round, which was judged by Mike Farris of Dallas, Amanda Moore of Austin, and Lane D. Thibodeaux of Bryan.

The winner, “Good News, Sunshine,” by Logan Simmons, earned the highest number of points.

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Posted inLocal BarsNews

San Antonio Bar Association names new executive director

A new executive director will take over the helm of the San Antonio Bar Association next month, succeeding the 50-year head of the organization.

SABAedThe association’s board of directors announced Tuesday that D. Larkin Chenault, a 32-year veteran in bar association leadership, will assume his new post on June 1, stepping into the role held by Executive Director Jimmy Allison since 1966.

“It’s both an exciting and bittersweet moment for the San Antonio Bar Association,” San Antonio Bar Association Board President James M. “Marty” Truss said in a press release. “The board and I are delighted to welcome Larkin’s leadership, unparalleled experience, ideas, and strategies to energize our organization. At the same time, Jimmy’s transition brings a layer of sentimental nostalgia to this announcement. You simply cannot replace an icon like Jimmy Allison, but we are confident that in Larkin we have one of the very best bar leaders in the country, and I am confident Larkin will facilitate a smooth transition.”

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Posted inMust-ReadsNewsTexas Bar Journal

Texas Bar Journal’s May must-reads

Our top four picks from the Texas Bar Journal’s May issue, plus Disciplinary Actions and Memorials.


History Revisited
The 1925 all-woman court will be reenacted at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting.
By David A. Furlow and Lynne Liberato

SXSW 2016
Where tech and law collide.
By Lindsay Stafford Mader

Service on the Move
The Texas legal community embraces military spouse attorneys.
By Libby Jamison

For the Good of Your City
How law firm pro bono can impact clients and the community.
By Megan Cooley, Shauna Wright, and Philip Vickers

Posted inEducationLaw DayNews

State Bar of Texas celebrates Law Day with student winners


Students from kindergarten to 12th grade descended upon the State Bar of Texas Monday for the 2016 Law Day celebration.

The young Texans won awards for essays, photography, and posters dedicated to the national day’s theme, “Miranda: More than Words,” marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona and exploring the associated protections and rights afforded to U.S. citizens by the Constitution and safeguarded by the courts.

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Posted inNews

Barbara Jordan Inn of Court applications due May 31

The Barbara Jordan American Inn of Court is now accepting membership applications from any practicing attorney or judge in Travis County and its contiguous counties.

The Barbara Jordan Inn of Court recently received its charter at a ceremony in Austin on April 14. It joins about 24 other American Inns of Court in Texas and dozens more across the country, whose purpose is to provide members with structured gatherings (typically monthly meetings) where they network with other legal professionals, discuss hot legal topics, share advice, and provide mentoring. Although the inns initially prioritized improving members’ trial skills—and do still focus on litigation—these organizations also address ethics, civility, and professionalism in the practice of law.

Applications—which must be received by May 31—should include a letter explaining the applicant’s interest in joining, a resume, and two letters of recommendation (preferably written by members of the legal community). Send applications to

Posted inAccess to JusticeCLELocal BarsPro BonoSpecial Event

Opera about Houston’s first pro bono case doubles as fundraiser

Houston Grand Opera will present the story of the city’s first known pro bono case — the fight of a woman named Emeline — in a three-hour event Tuesday and Wednesday designed to raise money for access to justice efforts.

Emeline was a woman of color born to a freed slave, but when she was enslaved herself, Houston lawyer Peter Gray took up her case in 1847 and argued that Emeline and her sons could not be held as slaves because of her birth to a free woman. A Houston jury of six white men agreed.

“What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline” is a commissioned opera that will be presented as part of a fundraiser to support pro bono legal services of the Houston Bar Association’s Houston Volunteer Lawyers program.

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Posted inJuryTexas Bar Journal

So you received a jury summons—now what?

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared as a Client Page in the April 2012 issue of the Texas Bar Journal. The information included in this column is for educational and informational purposes only. Please consult an attorney regarding specific legal questions.

For most people, a letter from their county clerk’s office containing a summons for jury duty strikes both dread and panic in their hearts. But have no fear—this article will provide you with important and practical information regarding your service as a juror.

Do I have to do jury service?

Yes. One of the greatest honors and privileges we have as Americans and Texans is to serve on a jury. Anne Brabham, jury service manager for Dallas County, describes it this way, “I always tell people to take jury service seriously since it is the one thing our government asks of us.” Many adults will at some point have a legal matter that has the potential for a jury trial. In the event that you ever need a jury to decide your dispute, wouldn’t you want people such as yourself serving as jurors?

What happens if I do not show up to serve?

A summons for jury duty is an official order of the court. Failure to comply can mean harsh penalties ranging from a fine of up to $1,000 to jail time. The reason the potential punishment is so severe is because our system requires the participation from all eligible members of the community. The moral of the story is simple—if you receive a summons for jury duty, show up.

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Posted inNews

February 2016 Texas Bar Exam results released

Congratulations to all those who passed the February 2016 Texas Bar Examination!

state_bar_of_texas_129794Results for the exam were posted Friday afternoon, with the overall pass rate at about 56 percent and the pass rate for first-time exam takers just above 65 percent, according to statistics that were released.

We’ll see you all at the New Lawyers Induction Ceremony on May 23 at 10 a.m. at the Frank Erwin Center.

Visit the Texas Board of Law Examiners website for a full list of those who passed the bar and for a breakdown of statistics.

Check out our Storify of the reactions from those who passed and those who wanted to wish the new lawyers well.