Random Profile: Thomas Queen, Austin

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?

Areas of practice: M&A and Corporate Finance

Who is your favorite on-screen or literary attorney, and why? Literary – Mason Hunt, in Martin Clark’s The Legal Limit. We have similar backgrounds!

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Texas Board of Legal Specialization is accepting certification applications for 2012

You can find the specific requirements for each of the 21 specialty areas at the “Get Certified” section of tbls.org. TBLS now offers certification in the area of Criminal Appellate Law. Certification applications are only available until March 5, 2012 and the exam is October 22, 2012.

If you have questions about the TBLS Board Certification program, please contact TBLS at 1-855-277-TBLS or send an e-mail to: tbls@tbls.org.

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas 60th anniversary celebration

The Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas Access to Justice Foundation will present the Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award  to Rep. Jim Pitts on Feb. 24, in Waxahachie. Justice Nathan L. Hecht will make the award presentation at 5:30 p.m. during the 60th Anniversary Celebration and Open House of Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. Please join us for this event.

What: LANWT Turns 60 Celebration: Waxahachie. Special Guests: Justice Nathan L. Hecht will present the Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award to Representative Jim Pitts. The presentation will begin at 5:30 pm.

Where: 110 E. Main Street, Suite 200, Waxahachie

When: Friday, February 24, 2012 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Description: Our journey began 60 years ago, when 11 lawyers decided that legal advice and aid should be available to anyone, regardless of ability to pay. From that vision came Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, the fifth-largest legal services program in the United States. Please join our Chief Executive Officer, staff, attorneys, board members, volunteers and members of the community in celebrating the vision of our founders while learning more about our firm and the work that we do in the Waxahachie and surrounding communities.

Contacts: Jane Fritz, 817-339-5309 or fritzj@lanwt.org.

Click here for more information.

LeadershipSBOT nominations due June 29, 2012

The State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association are looking for 20 Texas lawyers to participate in LeadershipSBOT. This diversity initiative is designed to recruit, train, and retain Texas lawyers for leadership positions in the legal community and the State Bar of Texas. Program participants will be selected to reflect the cultural, ethnic, geographic, and practice area diversity of the state. Nomination forms are due June 29, 2012. For more details read the nomination letter and download the nomination form.

Houston Bar Association's law week fun run

The Houston Bar Association's 27th Annual John J. Eikenburg Law Week Fun Run will be held on Saturday, March 24. The event benefits THE CENTER which is a private non-profit corporation United Way agency. It is dedicated to offering people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to reach their full potential and to contribute to their community.

The event features an 8K run, a one-mile non-competitive children's run, a non-competitive one-mile family walk, and a wheelchair division in the 8K. Please visit www.lawweekfunrun.com for more information.

TYLA names president-elect candidates

TYLA names Shivali Sharma of Texarkana and Kristy Sims Piazza of Plano as President-elect candidates. The attorneys will face one another in an election this spring to become president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). Election results will be announced May 1. The president-elect will serve as TYLA president from June 2013 until June 2014. Read the full press release

Random Profile: Coretta Graham, Corpus Christi

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?

Coretta GrahamBest thing about being a lawyer: freedom to build your own small business.

If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be? the Queen of England.

Culinary talent: sweet potatoe pie.

Pet peeve: people who waste your time.

If you weren't an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? social worker.

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This month in the Texas Bar Journal

This month, the Texas Bar Journal highlights The Unconscious Truth: Physical and Legal Effects of Underage Binge Drinking, a new project from the Texas Young Lawyers Association on the legal consequences and health dangers associated with underage binge drinking. In addition, we also take a look at juvenile law and the juvenile justice system, including an overview of juvenile vs. criminal law, deferred prosecution, and the law concerning underage drinkers stopped for a DWI.

TBJ Board of Editors talk social media, blogging with SMU law students

Students in the Intellectual Property Association at SMU's Dedman School of Law had the opportunity to listen to members of the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors talk about the quickly evolving area of social media, blogging and the law on Tuesday. The board of editors met that morning on the law school campus as guests of Prof. Xuan-Thao Nguyen, who arranged the panel discussion. Board of Editors Chair Michael Smith (second from left) of Marshall blogged about the experience at EDTexweblog.com. He was joined on the panel by (from left) Mitch Smith of Beaumont, John Browning of Dallas (who teaches on the topic at SMU), and Steve Fischer of Rockport. Discussion touched on the recent Troll Tracker litigation, the dos and don'ts of lawyers as bloggers, and ethical considerations of monitoring jurors' social media presence.

Register online for this year's State Bar Annual Meeting in Houston

Online registration is now open for the State Bar's 2012 Annual Meeting. This is your once-a-year opportunity to receive a year’s worth of CLE at the best price in town! Choose the courses best suited to your practice, hear dynamic keynote speakers, and meet exhibitors and sponsors all in one place.

Annual Meeting will be held June 14-15, at the Hilton Americas Houston and George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Please visit www.texasbar.com/annualmeeting for more information and to register online!

Texas Lawyers: Get $200 Off Registration for ABA Techshow 2012

State Bar of Texas members can get $200 off the early bird registration price for ABA TECHSHOW 2012, March 29-31 at the Chicago Hilton. Early bird registration ends February 17.

ABA TECHSHOW presents a great opportunity to learn from and network with peers and legal technologists from around the country.

Receive your discount by using EVENT PROMOTER CODE: EP1215. Gather a group of 10 for even bigger “SuperPass” savings. Register now at www.techshow.com

The Chambers Women in Law Awards unveiled in New York

More than 200 distinguished guests attended Chambers USA's first Women in Law Award ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York last night, Thursday February 2nd.

The ceremony highlights the achievements of women lawyers and diversity of law firms. It is the most comprehensive national awards for women lawyers across the U.S. to date, with lawyers nominated from California to New York, Utah to Oklahoma. The event was well supported by America's leading corporate counsel, who are the driving force for diversity in U.S. law firms.

Sidley Austin landed the prize for Most Innovative Gender Diversity Initiative whilst Morgan Stanley won the award for Most Female-Friendly Company.

Managing Editor Catherine McGregor said: “It's really wonderful to have such support from both law firms and the in-house communities for these awards. We're very happy to have been able to showcase the achievements of so many excellent women lawyers, particularly those in the up and coming category. We look forward to honouring more outstanding women in future years."

View the full list of nominations and winners [PDF]

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Input sought by SOLUTIONS 2012 task force regarding indigent pro se litigants

The Supreme Court of Texas last year created the Supreme Court Task Force on Uniform Forms to develop forms to assist indigent self represented litigants. Its findings have been referred to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. The Court has accepted the State Bar of Texas’ offer to assist with how best to provide our poorest citizens access to the courts.

State Bar President Bob Black has appointed SOLUTIONS 2012, a task force to collect data, information, and recommend potential solutions regarding issues faced by indigent pro se litigants. The task force is co-chaired by Tim Belton of Bellaire, a public member of the State Bar Board of Directors, and Tom Vick of Weatherford, a former board member. The task force will provide a report to the State Bar Board of Directors at its April 13 meeting and to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee at its April 13-14 meeting.

The State Bar invites all who have an interest to join in the discussion to propose the best possible solutions to ensure the administration of justice and public protection under the law.

For more information visit www.texasbar.com/solutions.

To provide input, please leave a comment below.

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