State Bar of Texas develops civics education program for Texas teachers and students

The State Bar of Texas has designed an interactive web-based project to assist Texas teachers and middle and high school students in preparing for the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards in the areas of government, history, citizenship and culture.

Civics education is a key component of State Bar of Texas President Bob Black’s initiatives this year, and he is working with the State Bar’s Law-Related Education Department to educate students as a way to help create more responsible citizens who one day will vote, sit on a jury, or become a public servant. Read the press release.

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State Bar of Texas nominates president-elect candidates

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors has approved the nomination of attorneys E. Steve Bolden II of Dallas and Lisa Tatum of San Antonio as candidates for president-elect. Texas attorneys will cast their votes during an election this spring. Election results will be announced May 1. The president-elect will serve as president of the State Bar of Texas from June 2013 until June 2014. Read the press release

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Texas Gavel Awards 2012 call for entries

The Texas Gavel Awards are presented by the State Bar of Texas to recognize journalistic excellence that:

  • Fosters public understanding of the legal system
  • Educates the public about the law, the legal profession, and the judicial branch of government
  • Discloses practices or procedures needing correction in order to improve the practice of law, courts, or justice system

The entry deadline for work produced in 2011 is April 2, 2012. The entry deadline for work produced in 2011 is April 2, 2012. Download the entry form [PDF].

Winners will be recognized at the annual Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas (FOIFT) conference on August 10 in Austin.

Dallas volunteer attorney program hosts free divorce legal clinic for low-income

The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP), a joint initiative of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, will hold a free Divorce Legal Clinic for Dallas County residents who meet certain financial guidelines, on Tuesday, January 24, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Belo Mansion (2101 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201).

Volunteer attorneys will provide free divorce legal assistance for low-income Dallas County residents to assist with their simple uncontested divorces. To qualify for assistance, residents must apply for help and meet certain financial guidelines, including:

  • Must be a Dallas County resident and
  • Must be a legal resident or citizen of the USA and
  • Must have an agreement on property division and a minimal amount of property and
  • Spouse must not contest anything about the divorce and
  • Must be no family violence within the prior two months and
  • Must be able to attend three daytime classes.

The Dallas Bar Association is a professional, voluntary organization of approximately 10,000 Dallas-area attorneys. For more information, go to www.dallasbar.org.

Random Profile: Steven Goldston, Dallas

For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 92,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?

Steven GoldstonMost important career lesson: stay current in law office technology.

Favorite saying/quote: Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Pet peeve: intrusive TSA screenings at airports.

The last movie I saw: J. Edgar.

Hobbies: collect American civil war rifle muskets and WWII lugers.

What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? Change from telephone to smart phone.

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Austin Bar/Austin YLA Kick Off Leadership Academy

The first Austin Bar Association/Austin Young Lawyers Association Leadership Academy kicked off Friday with a daylong retreat held at the Texas Law Center. The 35 members of the leadership academy visited with Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson as well as Texas Sen. Kirk Watson, pictured. "After planning the academy for almost a year, it was wonderful to see it come to fruition with such fantastic speakers and an incredibly impressive inaugural class," says Karin Crump, co-chair of the leadership academy. "I'm thrilled to be a part in what will be a great learning experience for the entire group."

The Leadership Academy is a six-month program designed to assist Austin-area lawyers in making a difference in the legal community and the greater Austin community. "By our very nature, lawyers are leaders," says leadership academy co-chair David Courreges. "We hope that the leaders that comprise this year's class will learn from each other and will work toward a common goal of bettering our community."

Friday's retreat will be followed by a series of six lunch meetings where participants will network with academy presenters, including leaders from federal, state, and local government. The class will culminate with the organization of an optional class project.

Deadline extended for nominations for the Cindi Lazzari Award

The State Bar of Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Section Council is still soliciting nominations for the recipient of the 2011 Cindi Lazzari Artist Advocate Award.

The award is named for the late Cindi Lazzari, a Texas attorney who went far beyond the call of duty in her efforts to protect the rights of artists in the music industry. Each year the Council recognizes an organization or individual working in Texas who has been actively involved in advocating and supporting artist’s rights in the music business. Recipients of the award include Casey Monahan of the Texas Music Office, the SIMS Foundation, Robin Shivers and Nikki Rowling.

Nominees need not necessarily be attorneys. Nominations should be sent by email only to LazzariNominations and should include the following information:

  • the nominee’s name
  • the nominee’s employment (if an individual) and contact information
  • a brief statement (not to exceed 100 words) as to why the nominee should receive the award
  • a short bio of, or background information about, the nominee (if available).

The deadline for nominations has been extended through January 31, 2012.

This month in the Texas Bar Journal

This month, the Texas Bar Journal takes a look at some of the major caselaw and legislative issues that have affected Texas lawyers and specific areas of law in the past year. While not exhaustive, this "year in review" offers an overview of recent events and invites discussion of what is in store for the legal profession in 2012. Let us know what you think of the January issue -- email comments to tbj@texasbar.com

Poverty Law Conference - April 18-20, 2012

This three-day event provides valuable training on poverty law issues affecting low-income and poor Texans.

The conference offers targeted continuing legal education with a specific public interest focus. The conference will feature presentations from some of the most knowledgeable poverty law practitioners and private attorneys in their respective fields.

Get more details at www.texasbar.com.