Posted inNewsPeopleTexas Bar JournalWork-Life Balance

Seeking attorneys with hobbies

A mom who writes and performs spoken-word pieces to audiences around Austin. A Houston man who photographs polar bears and lions from just a dozen feet away. A Dallas cancer survivor who sailed around the world. A Woodlands grandfather who swims with great white sharks.

All of these people have been profiled as lawyers with fascinating hobbies in the Texas Bar Journal. But we know there are even more attorneys out there who relax after a long day or stressful week by creating art, banging on drums, hiking in nature, or looking for thrills.

It’s all part of finding that seemingly elusive but important work-life balance. By sharing these stories through our In Recess column, the Texas Bar Journal hopes to show that attorneys are dynamic individuals and to inspire other lawyers to unwind and express themselves. So, we’re wondering:

  • Are you a Texas attorney who has an unusual hobby?
  • Or is your hobby rather common (like golfing or running) but you spend impressive amounts of time doing it or you have been recognized with certain awards or honors?
  • Do you know any lawyers who spend their free time doing something interesting?

Give us a heads’ up by responding in the comments field below, emailing us at, or filling out a form at If you’re a good fit, one of our editors might reach out to you for an interview.

Posted inGuest BlogLaw Practice Management

Grow your practice by not marketing everything you do

To maintain a thriving practice, lawyers must constantly find ways to grow and expand their client base. In an effort to cast a wider net, especially when work is slow, many expand their list of practice areas.

But in today’s world, many people want to work with a specialist, and these clients expect their legal counsel to know more and more about an increasingly narrow area of law. One of the main ways to consistently bring in new business is to use a niche approach to organizing your marketing efforts and making effective use of your most valuable resource: your nonbillable time. Continue Reading

Posted inAccess to JusticeLocal BarsPro BonoVeterans

Dallas volunteer attorneys host 11 free legal clinics in September

The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) will hold 11 free legal clinics in September, providing consultation in civil matters to Dallas County residents who meet certain financial guidelines. Applicants are asked to bring proof of income, identification, and legal papers with them to the clinic. Schedules and locations are as follows: Continue Reading

Posted inMember BenefitsMember Benefits and ServicesMember Discount Program

Member discounts and deals on electronics

Before summer ends, take advantage of hot deals on electronics with Beneplace. Save on desktops, laptops, tablets and more for the entire family. With these great deals, you’ll be ready for school, work and play all year long!

Shop Dell to find the best value on the perfect PC for you! Buy with ease through your employee purchase program. Systems are built exclusively for EPP members. Or save on Lenovo’s entire product line, including ThinkPad and IdeaPad laptops, and IdeaCentre desktop. Shop today and start saving!
Continue Reading

Posted inCLENews

Texas paralegal CLE event next month

The State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division is hosting its annual three-day CLE event September 28-30 at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk.

The Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar—this year dubbed TAPS on Track: Journey to Excellence—is a three day conference for paralegals that includes up to 14 hours of continuing legal education, networking events, and professional development opportunities.

Continue Reading

Posted inGavel AwardsNewsPeopleSpecial Event

Veteran Texas newswoman wins freedom of information award

Wanda Garner Cash, a veteran Texas newswoman and educator who has long fought for the public’s right to know, will receive the 2016 James Madison Award presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

The award is given to individuals who demonstrate outstanding commitment to upholding the principles of the First Amendment and open government.

Cash will receive the honor on Sept. 8 during the FOIFT’s annual Bernard and Audre Rapoport State Conference in Austin. The State Bar of Texas’s 2016 Texas Gavel Awards, which honor journalism that deepens the understanding of the legal system, also will be awarded at the conference.

Continue Reading

Posted inLaw Firms and Legal DepartmentsNews

Munsch Hardt attorneys help raise thousands for Houston charity


Two Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr shareholders Tom Barber and Cliff Harrison were among a group of Houston-area businessmen who raised $13,825 in one hour for a local charity this month.

The group—the Houston chapter of 100 Men Who Give a Damn—held its kick-off event August 11 where three charities pitched the 86 businessmen gathered on why they should donate to their cause.

Making It Better, which helps disadvantaged children in the Houston area through educational and support services, collected the more than $13,000.

Continue Reading

Posted inAmerican Bar AssociationConferenceTLAP

Panel: Legal profession must face mental health, substance abuse issues


Raul Ayala, Bree Buchanan, and Terry L. Harrell (from left) present a workshop on mental health and substance abuse issues in the legal profession during the National Conference of Bar Presidents annual meeting in San Francisco.

A groundbreaking 2016 study on substance abuse and mental health problems among licensed attorneys is a call to action and a reminder that more must be done to remove the stigma that keeps people from seeking help. That was the message from panelists August 5 at a session during the National Conference of Bar Presidents annual meeting in San Francisco.

The study, by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, found that lawyers’ rates of substance abuse and mental health issues far surpass those of other professions and the general public—and that newer lawyers are struggling the most. (Click here for a Texas Bar Journal story on the study.)

The problems are too big for one state to solve alone, said Terry L. Harrell, chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and executive director of the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. “It’s going to take every area of the bar working at this if we are going to make significant cultural change,” she said.

Continue Reading

Posted inEducationLaw Firms and Legal DepartmentsLaw SchoolsNewsPro Bono

Baylor Law School hosting clinic to help young lawyers open firms

Young lawyers interested in opening their own law firms can get useful guidance at a two-day workshop at Baylor Law School August 18-19.

Legal Mapmaker™, 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.

Continue Reading

Posted inDiversityLaw SchoolsLocal BarsNews

Austin Bar Foundation, LGBT Bar Association award scholarships to law students

The Austin Bar Foundation and Austin LGBT Bar Association awarded two law students with $5,000 scholarships in recognition of their commitment to LGBT legal issues.

Anya Morgan, a third-year student at the University of Texas School of Law, and Luis A. Medina Jr., a 2016 graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, were the first recipients of the scholarships, which the Austin Bar Foundation administered and the Austin LGBT Bar Association fundraised money for.

“Selection committee members were impressed with Anya and Luis’s stellar academic qualifications, as well as their obvious commitment to advancing LGBT equality,” Austin LGBT Bar Association Treasurer Daniel Collins said in a statement. “They are tremendously talented and have bright legal careers ahead of them.”

Continue Reading