YouTube Video Contest Winners Announced

The State Bar of Texas 2010 YouTube video contest awards will be presented April 30 at the Texas Law Center in Austin as part of the statewide Law Day celebration. This year's theme was "The Importance of the Legal System." Participants were asked to create a 30-second video in the style of a public service announcement.

Winner of a $500 scholarship in the under 18 category is Callie Eichner of Dallas for her video, "Lawyers Are Eggcellent!" Eduardo Ruiz-Healy of San Antonio picked up $500 in the 18 or older category for his video, "The American Court System." Robbie Ryan of McKinney received the $500 prize for the People's Choice Award for his video, "Legal-Eze." In addition, Honorable Mentions go to Raphael and Alexandre Chaumette of Sugar Land for their video, "Lawyers in Our Society," and Henry Spellings of Dallas for "A Slam Dunk for Justice." Both videos were in the under 18 category. The Chaumettes won the State Bar YouTube video contest the previous two years in the under 18 category. 

To view the winning videos, visit

Entries in the under 18 and 18 or older categories were judged by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, Austin entertainment lawyer Mike Tolleson, Dallas attorney and State Bar of Texas Entertainment & Sports Law Section Chair D'Lesli Davis, and Houston lawyer and Texas Young Lawyers Association Chair C.E. Rhodes. The People's Choice Award was based on the number of YouTube views at the time entries were submitted to the judges.


Random Profile - James Schull, Benbrook

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Best thing about being a lawyer: Helping clients solve problems

Bet you didn’t know: Ran for State Representative

Most important career lesson: Don’t go it alone.

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Designing Woman

 Ever watch those TV design shows where a group of designers transforms bedrooms into calming sanctuaries? Or kids' rooms into the bestest dream world ever? Or kitchens into those kind of places you only see on TV or in store show rooms? Ever think “That's easy. Add an accent rug here, splash some paint on the wall there, and then maybe top it all off with a wacky vase. Big deal.”?

Well, it is actually a little more difficult than that. Just ask Marilee Kainer. After 10 years spent as a Houston litigator, Kainer has turned her attention to interior design (she still maintains her law license, though, she attends mostly construction law CLEs now). Kainer is now a registered interior designer. Registered means she not only went back to school for another four years to obtain her interior design degree, Kainer worked for two years under another registered professional before taking a rigorous two-day exam. “It was almost harder becoming an interior designer than it was a lawyer,” she quips. But, she’s kinda, sorta serious too. In the process, Kainer had to familiarize herself with design theory as well as building and fire codes (not to mention the Americans with Disabilities Act). Kainer says interior designing is not the same as simply decorating — it’s about making a space visually stunning and making sure it’s safe, to boot.

With her design company, Libertas Interior Design Solutions, Kainer has focused on “aging in place design,” for baby boomers who want to remain in their homes in their older years — as her business name implies, to give them freedom and independence.

Kainer has helped a few attorney friends redesign their offices in the short year that her company has been up and running. She says her experience as an attorney has helped out because she knows the issues — like privacy issues — that attorneys must consider when redesigning their space. “I think that clients appreciate that,” she says.

2010 Law Day Contest Winners

The State Bar of Texas would like to congratulate the 2010 Law Day contest winners! Download a list of the winners (pdf).

The theme for the contest this year was Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, Emerging Challenges.

The first, second, and third-place winners of the statewide contest in each category have been invited to the State Bar of Texas Law Day Luncheon on Friday, April 30, 2010. The luncheon will be hosted by the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association, where awards will be presented to the winners.

Random Profile: Sydney Young, Paris

Sydney YoungFor Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 80,000-plus attorneys, call them, and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Family:  Husband, Gary Young, and two children.

Areas of practice:  Real Estate, Small Estate Planning and Elder care.

Education: Wayland Baptist University, B.A. (English) 1989; Texas Tech School of Law, J.D., 1992.

Pet peeve: People who ask for a To Go Cup and a Refill. My husband and friends do not get my reasoning here.

Culinary talent:  SALADS.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today?  Be ethical. IT MATTERS.

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Texas Access to Justice Commission to hold Gala for Veterans

The Texas Access to Justice Commission is holding a gala next month to raise funds for the provision of civil legal services for veterans. The Texas Access to Justice Foundation will distribute these funds to programs providing civil legal services for veterans in Texas.

The Champions of Justice Gala for Veterans will be held on May 4, 2010 at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin. Individual tickets are available, and sponsorships to reserve tables are also available at different levels. For more information, to download a packet, or to sponsor or donate online, please visit

Texas Minority Attorney Program Comes to Austin and Houston

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to have fun, learn, network, and gain CLE credit. Well, guess what? That opportunity has come and you can be a part of it during the Texas Minority Attorney Program 2010. The one-day seminar and networking event is aimed at minority and women solo and small firm practitioners.

TMAP offers an opportunity to converse with other solo and small firm practitioners about the unique issues you face (law practice management, any one?) while allowing participants a chance to discuss various client development strategies and to network with local judges and other legal professionals. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? We didn’t think so, either. So sign up already.

Still not convinced? Okay, well, we know solos and small firms are always looking for advertising and marketing tips. TMAP’s got it. Solo and small firm practitioners also like to stay out of hot water. TMAP’s got information on that too. Other topics include criminal law issues and a judges’ panel of courtroom dos and don’ts. Did we mention that breakfast and lunch are included? No? Well, they are. If that doesn’t seal the deal, we’re not sure what will.

Two TMAP events are being offered this year:

TMAP has consistently been praised for its practical and relevant information. One past attendee said, “This course consistently offers the best value and biggest bang for the buck of all CLEs in Texas. The speakers were all insightful, informative and inspiring.”

We told you it’s gonna be good. What are you waiting for?

For more information, contact the State Bar Office of Minority Affairs at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1538 or