YouTube contest winners announced

Lone Star Stories logoThe State Bar of Texas 2011 YouTube video contest awards will be presented May 9 at the Texas Law Center in Austin as part of the statewide Law Day celebration. This year's theme was "The Difference a Lawyer Makes." 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 Ryan Nelson of Dallas for his video, "What's Great About Lawyers." Matthew Crouch, an attorney with the Office of the Texas Attorney General in Austin, picked up a $500 prize in the 18 or older category for his video, "What They Gave." Jacob and Erin Lawler of Georgetown received $500 for the People's Choice Award for their video, "Texas Lawyers: Looking Out For You."

Finalists in the under 18 and 18 or older categories were judged by Dallas entertainment lawyer and film producer Sally Helppie, Left Brain Creative video production company director Cathy Davenport, and San Antonio attorney and Texas Young Lawyers Association officer Alyssa J. Long. The People's Choice Award was based on the number of YouTube views at the time the finalists' videos were submitted for judging.

To view all the entries, visit

Access to Justice Commission Gala to benefit veterans Tuesday night

The Texas Access to Justice Commission will host the Champions of Justice for Veterans Gala featuring keynote speaker Col. David W. Sutherland, special assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Tuesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center in Austin.

The gala will celebrate the Texas Access to Justice Commission's 10-year anniversary and raise funds for civil legal services for low-income Texas veterans and their families.

Texas Veterans Commission grant to help veterans

The Texas Veterans Commission awarded a $95,000 grant to the Texas Legal Services Center (TLSC) to expand its Veterans Legal Hotline for Texas veterans who do not have access to civil legal services. The grant will allow TLSC to increase hotline hours and hire additional staff. Legal services provided to veterans primarily address issues relating to family, employment, housing, consumer, probate, and access to health care and benefits.

For details on State Bar efforts to provide legal help to Texas veterans, please visit our Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans page at


Congratulations to our 2011 Law Day winners!

The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association invited local bar associations and young lawyer affiliates to participate in the statewide Law Day contests.

We had many talented entries this year and are excited to recognize our winners on Monday, May 9, 2011 at the Texas Law Center in Austin. The theme celebrated this year was The Legacy of John Adams, From Boston to Guantanamo.

Click here for the list of winners [pdf].

Chief Justice Jack Pope honored on 98th birthday

Retired Chief Justice Jack PopeThe Texas Legislature honored retired Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jack Pope today on the occasion of his 98th birthday with H.C.R. 9, which detailed Pope's many accomplishments throughout a distinguished judicial career that spanned almost four decades. Pope stood center stage in the House chamber as the resolution was presented. He was flanked by the current justices of the Texas Supreme Court and several former justices. Pope was elected to the Supreme Court in 1964 and was appointed Chief Justice in 1982 before retiring in 1985. Rep. Dan Branch, who clerked for Pope, authored the resolution. Said Branch to Pope: "We have a profound appreciation for your lifelong public service. You have taught so many lawyers and Texans ... We honor you for a life well-lived and hope we're back for a centennial celebration."

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Random Profile: Fernando M. Bustos, Lubbock

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Most important career lesson: As a litigator, credibility is the coin of the realm. It takes a career to earn it, and it can be lost in a moment.

Latest pursuit: Tried snowboarding recently, but that didn't work out too well. I'll stick to skiing.

Best thing about being a lawyer: Helping people in crisis moments of their lives, and helping people resolve disputes — being a peace maker.

Favorite album: Travelling Wilburys.

Favorite music/musician: Sting.

Favorite place to find albums: iTunes.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? A negotiator with the State Department.

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Random Profile: Jan Simpson, Houston

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys 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: I love being a lawyer because I can help solve people’s legal issues.

Most important career lesson: always really listen to the client

What most people don’t know about me: rode a motorcycle and was in a motorcycle club for several years

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TYLA takes part in child abuse prevention rally at Texas Capitol

On April 6, during the "Go Blue Day" rally at the Texas Capitol, Texas Young Lawyers Association President Jennifer Evans Morris (right) discussed TYLA's latest project, "The Little Voice: Recognizing Child Abuse and Your Duty to Report It." Morris joined several lawmakers, including Sen. Carlos Uresti (left), and child advocates who expressed support for child abuse prevention efforts. To watch "The Little Voice" video or public service announcements, click here. To read the accompanying public education brochure, click here. To read a recent Texas Bar Journal article about the project, click here.

Texas attorneys can now request admission as solicitors in the UK

Texas attorneys can now request admission as solicitors in the United Kingdom. The Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority (SRA), which administers lawyer admission to the UK, recently amended its system of recognition for foreign lawyers. The change to the SRA admission requirements required the State Bar of Texas to seek approval for lawyers wanting to apply for admission to the UK. 

The new SRA system required a re-evaluation of the State of Texas as an eligible jurisdiction. A questionnaire was completed and submitted to the SRA for review. The questionnaire covered  admission, discipline, and membership requirements. The survey required a coordinated response from the Texas Board of Law Examiners, Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, and State Bar Membership Department. 

If you have questions about this change, please call the State Bar of Texas Membership Department at (512)427-1383.

Texas Bar Journal: president-elect candidates discuss the issues

The April issue of the Texas Bar Journal asked 2011-2012 State Bar of Texas president-elect candidates Guy Choate of San Angelo and F.R. “Buck” Files, Jr. of Tyler to share their perspectives on issues facing the State Bar of Texas. 

Votes for the State Bar of Texas president-elect can be cast by paper ballot or online from April 1 to May 2, 2011. The deadline to cast ballots is May 2, 2011, at 5 p.m. CST.

Election 2011 - Vote Now

Election 2011 for State Bar and TYLA presidents-elect is underway. Vote online now. Paper ballots were mailed on April 1. The voting deadline is May 2 at 5 p.m. If you do not receive your packet by April 8, please email or call 800-218-4026.