Posted inAccess to JusticePro BonoState Bar

Vick: Attorney volunteers needed at the border

Tom Vick

Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick sent the following message to members on Thursday.

I am writing with a quick update on the recent events occurring on our southern border. Although the Trump administration signed an executive order to end family separations, the need for volunteer attorneys remains strong—particularly Spanish-speaking immigration lawyers.

Whenever we have had manmade or natural disasters in this state, Texas lawyers have risen to the occasion to help those who cannot help themselves. I have found the only impediment is not knowing how to help. Below are resources for you to get involved and make a difference.

On Monday, the Austin Bar Association will offer training on how to help families separated at the border. The in-person CLE session titled Responding to Zero-Tolerance: Credible Fear and Immigration Bond Hearing Training is sold out, but the Austin Bar will live-stream the training on Periscope for all who wish to watch and learn more. For more details on how to download Periscope and watch, click here.

The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)—a joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association—is requesting volunteers who are fluent in Spanish and have some background in immigration law. For more information, go here.

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Posted inState Bar

Vick: State Bar board hires firm for transparency review, elects general counsel

Tom Vick

Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick sent the following update to members on Thursday.

I am writing to update you on yesterday’s State Bar of Texas Board of Directors meeting in Houston that precedes our 2018 Annual Meeting. We have two days of informative CLE sessions starting today. Learn more at texasbar.com/annualmeeting.

Transparency efforts

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve hiring an independent advisory firm, Weaver, to complete an examination of the State Bar’s transparency efforts and to make recommendations for improvement.The findings will be reported to the board and shared publicly.

The board voted unanimously in April to request proposals from qualified firms to conduct a thorough, independent review of transparency at the bar. The Audit and Finance Committee recommended Weaver to the board out of four responses to the RFP.

This is the latest in a series of transparency improvements at the State Bar in recent months, including the launch of the Our Finances webpage and the videotaping of board meetings, which can be found here. Video from yesterday’s meeting will be posted by next week.  Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The Bar

State Bar of Texas board elects Ross Fischer as general counsel

Fischer

Fischer

The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday to elect Ross Fischer of Austin as general counsel to the board.

Fischer is an attorney with the Gober Group who specializes in legislative and campaign law, professional ethics, and government integrity matters. His clients include elected officials, candidates, trade associations, political committees, local governments, municipalities, and corporations.

Click here to read the full news release.

Posted inAccess to JusticeCLEEducationLocal Bars

Austin Bar Association offers training on how to help families separated at the border

The Austin Bar Association is hosting a training for attorneys who want to help families separated upon entering the United States.

The training, titled Responding to Zero-Tolerance: Credible Fear and Immigration Bond Hearing Training, will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, June 25 at the Austin Bar office. The in-person training is sold out, has more than 100 attorneys already signed up and a growing waitlist, said Nancy Gray, director of communications for the Austin Bar.

Due to the enormous demand, the course will be live streamed on Periscope. If you would like to watch remotely, prepare by downloading Periscope to your mobile device, creating a Periscope account, and following the Austin Bar at @austinbarassociation.

Click here for instructions on how to sign up for Periscope. The training will also be videotaped and available at austinbar.org after the training has been completed.

The training will be taught by University of Texas School of Law immigration clinic professors Barbara Hines, Denise Gilman, and Elissa Steglich.

Posted inAnnual MeetingCLEEducationEthics

TCLE previews new subscription-based CLE program at Annual Meeting

Texas Center for Legal Ethics announced its plans for State Bar of Texas 2018 Annual Meeting where attendees can earn CLE and preview the center’s newest ethics CLE subscription-based program launching later this Fall.

The subscription program aims to provide new and current TCLE members with an intuitive online resource to access continuing education courses on-demand, as well as TCLE’s vast library of ethics and professionalism resources. The center will preview the program during Annual Meeting exhibition hours at Booth 107.

To read the full news release, go here.

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Posted inAccess to JusticeEducationJury

State Bar of Texas’ Jury Service Committee seeks juror feedback

The State Bar of Texas’ Jury Service Committee is seeking feedback from people summoned to jury duty about their experiences.

The committee has created an online survey designed to elicit a more thorough understanding of the juror experience regardless of court or county or whether or not the individual ended up serving on a jury. The committee hopes the information collected will result in recommendations to improve the jury service system where possible.

The survey can be found at texasbar.com/jurysurvey.

The State Bar of Texas Jury Service Committee concerns itself with improving the manner in which jurors are treated within the judicial process and developing and implementing programs to ensure broad citizen participation and support for the jury service system.

Posted inAbout The BarState BarTexas Supreme Court

Vick: Supreme Court approves changes to State Bar election process

Tom Vick

Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick sent the following message to members on Thursday. 

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Texas amended Article IV of the State Bar Rules to implement changes to the bar’s election process designed to ensure fairness and a level playing field among all candidates.

The rules changes, which were approved by the State Bar Board of Directors in January, update election procedures for president-elect and district directors and define a six-month period when candidates who are seeking election by petition may collect signatures. The amended rules also require the State Bar board to nominate president-elect candidates in September, instead of the following January as traditionally has been done. Taken together, these changes ensure the campaign periods are equivalent for president-elect candidates whether they are nominated by the board or certified through petition. Continue Reading

Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: 8 Legal Tech Tips for Law Office Administrators

It’s no secret that office administrators at law firms wear many different hats. One responsibility that often does not receive the attention it deserves (at least not until there’s an emergency) is managing technology effectively at one’s law office.

Below are eight technology tips for law office administrators, shared by an ex-office administrator who has since joined our team at GlobalMac IT. These tips came from a discussion centered around this question: “If you were speaking to a new office administrator, and giving them tips about technology, what are the things you knew when you left that you wished you had known when you started?”
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