Care Campaign update: Attorneys can earn Care Commitment badge for pro bono work

The State Bar of Texas has launched the “Care Campaign” to help lawyers make pro bono an integral part of their legal practice. Lawyers who perform a certain amount of pro bono can now earn the Care Commitment badge, which will appear by their name on the popular Find a Lawyer page of the State Bar website.

The Campaign is intended to encourage lawyers to perform a base level of pro bono and inspire them to strive toward the State Bar’s aspirational goal of performing at least 50 hours of legal services to the poor each year.

Join your colleagues and make your Care Commitment today by visiting the My Pro Bono tab on your My Bar Page. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Deadline extended for attorney income, hourly rates survey

The deadline to take the 2013 Texas Attorney Survey has been extended to 5 p.m. Friday, April 18.

By participating, Texas attorneys can help ensure they have the most current economic information available. Also, participants will be entered in a drawing to win one of two new iPad Airs.

Reports generated from the survey provide statewide and regional information on current economic trends. The reports feature detailed breakdowns of income and hourly rates by firm size, years of experience, practice area, occupation, race/ethnicity, sex, and metropolitan area.

The survey also includes questions regarding pro bono. This data will be used to highlight how Texas attorneys are doing their part to help low-income residents.

The survey is anonymous, and the process is secure. Email addresses will be used for the iPad Air drawing and will then be deleted and not associated with attorneys’ responses.

 

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What You Really Need To Do Leading Up To The Bar Exam

The following is a guest post by Roberto "R.C." Rondero de Mosier:

Hey, 3Ls! Who’s excited about the Bar Exam?...Anyone?

With finals just around the corner at every Texas law school, and July just a couple of months past that, it’s easy to hit that point in your law-school career when you just want to curl up into a ball. Let’s be honest, it’s a daunting time.

The bar exam is the final hurdle in your law student career, as it represents the big payoff from 3-5 years of continuous effort. It is no wonder that people put enormous amounts of pressure on themselves leading up to those big three days—July 29-31.

When confronted with this pressure, and for the month of April, I notice people deal with the pressure in on one of two ways:

Fight – They get on the ball, pick a review course, and get hardcore about studying for the bar.

Flight – They avoid talking about it, hang out at the bar, and put off choosing a review course.

Let’s be frank, regardless of which category you are in, until your first day of a bar review course, it’s a zero-sum game for everyone. While the bar exam is certainly overwhelming, and not easy, it can be beaten with a steady diet of consistent preparation. Give the bar exam two months of your respect and you are in a great place to succeed.

So let’s talk about what you really have coming at you. What is really worth thinking about before the exam:

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75th anniversary timeline highlights State Bar of Texas history

On April 19, 1939, Texas Gov. Wilbert Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel signed the State Bar Act, which created the State Bar of Texas.

To help mark the occasion of our 75th anniversary, we’ve created an interactive timeline at texasbar.com/75.

From the formation of the first bar association in Texas in April 1868 to the State Bar of Texas’s move to a Prime Partner bank in November 2013, the timeline features a variety of facts from State Bar history.

The State Bar Act of 1939 created a unified State Bar, governed its operations and responsibilities, and mandated that all attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas be members. For a quick refresher on the act, you can read this story in the April Texas Bar Journal

Civil Rights Summit: A roundup of Texas Bar Blog coverage

Pictured: Attorneys David Boies, center, and Theodore Olson, right, discuss their joint effort in arguing against California's Proposition 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court during "Gay Marriage: A Civil Right?", a panel moderated by John Avlon, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, at the Civil Rights Summit on Tuesday. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly, courtesy of LBJ Foundation)

The LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit wrapped up Thursday after three days of panel discussions and speeches about the history and future of civil rights.

The Texas Bar Blog covered many of the activities, and you can find links to the stories below.

The event was held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In June, the State Bar of Texas 2014 Annual Meeting will also commemorate the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act with speeches from Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed the legislation, and LBJ Presidential Library director Mark Updegrove, among others.

Visit texasbar.com/annualmeeting for more information.

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President Obama remembers LBJ's gifts and flaws, says office of presidency is meant for improving American lives

President Barack Obama, delivering the keynote address of the Civil Rights Summit in Austin on Thursday, steered away from current civil rights concerns and legislative solutions and instead explored the man that was Lyndon Baines Johnson. While the president fell silent on gay marriage, equal pay for women, and immigration reform, he delved into LBJ’s childhood, time in the U.S. Senate, and characteristics as a “master of politics and the legislative process” who made possible the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Going back to LBJ’s early life in the Texas Hill Country, Obama explained that poverty was so common for LBJ’s family that they did not even know it had a name. “President Johnson had known the metallic taste of hunger; the feel of a mother’s calloused hands, rubbed raw from washing and cleaning and holding a household together,” said Obama. “His cousin Ava remembered sweltering days spent on her hands and knees in the cotton fields, with Lyndon whispering beside her, ‘Boy, there’s got to be a better way to make a living than this. There’s got to be a better way.’” LBJ used his determination and ambition to make a better life for himself, and, Obama said, it was this tenacity that benefited him later in life when trying to get Congress to pass the Civil Rights Bill.

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Education: 'The Ultimate Civil Right'

A conversation on education wrapped up the panel sessions Thursday during the LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit in Austin.

U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Margaret Spellings, former U.S. education secretary and president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, answered questions on the state and potential future of the American education system from CBS News reporter Bob Schieffer.

A clip of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, once a Texas teacher, discussing his views on education opened the conversation, much of which focused on policies related to education reform. Both Miller and Spellings assisted with the national implementation of No Child Left Behind, a reauthorization and revision of Johnson’s 1965 Elementary and Secondary Act, under the George W. Bush administration.

 

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Making America better: a look back at the movement that resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Speakers for the Civil Rights Summit panel titled “Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement: Views From the Front Line” stressed the importance of looking to the future. But their recounted experiences of the 1950s and 1960s served as an instrumental reminder to inform the present. Julian Bond, former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, and UN Ambassador Andrew Young—who all played important roles in the civil rights movement—spent the panel reflecting on their past despairs, fears, and victories, as well as their hopes for today’s generations.

Each of the panelists told their story of what it was like as active members of the civil rights movement. Lewis, who grew up in rural Alabama, said that his sharecropper parents had told him not to get into any trouble. But then he heard about the actions of Rosa Parks and listened to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “I saw signs and I didn’t like the signs I saw,” he said. “I got in good trouble, necessary trouble.” Lewis went on to help form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and lead the Bloody Sunday demonstration, all the while maintaining a philosophy of nonviolence, love, and peace. “When I got arrested the first time, I felt free. I felt liberated,” he said, noting that it was the civil rights movement that created the necessary environment to make the Civil Rights Act of 1964 possible. “The March on Washington, I think, was one of the finest hours. It was a sea of humanity.”

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Computer & Technology Section warns of Internet security threat

The State Bar of Texas Computer & Technology Section sent an alert to members Thursday warning about a threat to online security. The alert is posted below along with some helpful links to learn more.

The Computer & Technology Section has learned of a serious threat to security on the Internet.

What’s the problem?
The threat stems from a bug in a low-level software program used on servers. The nickname for this bug is “heartbleed.” The heartbleed bug is in a program known as “openssl” and affects thousands of servers on the Internet that conduct encrypted communications with devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. This problem is independent of operating systems, and affects users of Windows, Apple OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS (to name a few). At this point, most IT administrators are likely fixing the bug on their servers. Even after the bug is fixed, it is still possible that the cryptographic keys that your smartphone/tablet/PC were using with an affected server are compromised and will need replacement. New keys on the server will have to be generated and certified, and that may take several days.

 

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New TYLA project battles substance abuse in youth

A new multimedia project from the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) will educate young people about the dangers and real-life consequences of substance abuse.

Through BSAFE: Battling Substance Abuse For Everyone, TYLA aims to provide resources to those struggling with substance abuse and inform the public about the use and benefits of drug courts. The project includes a three-part DVD and written materials targeted at middle and high school students, their parents, and educators.

For more information, read the news release and the feature in the April Texas Bar Journal

BSAFE: Battling Substance Abuse For Everyone is available at www.tyla.org.