Editor’s note: State Bar President Tom Vick sent the following message to members on Thursday.
On Tuesday, President-elect Joe K. Longley and State Bar staff conducted the public hearing in Austin on the proposed 2018-2019 State Bar budget, which was published in the March issue of the Texas Bar Journal. The State Bar continues to welcome your questions and feedback on the proposed budget.
If you would like a copy of the budget summary or to submit comments or questions, please contact the State Bar finance division director at (800) 204-2222, ext. 1481, or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more on the proposed budget, and how it supports the State Bar’s strategic plan and mission, in Executive Director Trey Apffel’s informative column in the March Bar Journal.
The State Bar Board of Directors plans to vote on April 27 to submit the proposed budget to the Texas Supreme Court for approval in May.
As I reported in December, the proposed 2018-2019 State Bar general fund budget reduces overall spending by 5 percent compared with the current budget while adding additional money in reserves—all without reducing member services. I again want to commend Executive Director Apffel, his staff, and the State Bar board’s Budget Committee, led by President-elect Longley, for developing a fiscally responsible budget that I am proud to support.
General Counsel Search Update
The State Bar of Texas General Counsel Search Committee met Tuesday and Wednesday in Austin and interviewed six candidates for the general counsel position. After considerable discussion Wednesday, the committee decided to gather more information on the candidates and continue deliberations at a future meeting before making this important decision.
As I previously reported, the State Bar board voted unanimously in January to approve the hiring of a general counsel, a statutory position under the State Bar Act. The General Counsel Search Committee reviewed responses to an RFP and selected six Texas lawyers to interview out of 12 respondents. The committee will make a recommendation to the board of directors, which elects the general counsel by a majority vote.
If you have any questions or comments on the search process, please contact Amy Turner, the State Bar’s human resources director, at (512) 427-1708.
Remember to vote in State Bar, TYLA races
Also, remember to cast your ballot in the 2018 election for State Bar and Texas Young Lawyers Association presidents-elect and district directors. Voting started Monday and continues through 5 p.m. CT on May 1.
You can vote by paper ballot, electronic ballot, or online at texasbar.com/election. That webpage is also your source for election information, including brochures produced by the State Bar and TYLA president-elect candidates and biographies of candidates in all races.
Typically, voter turnout is less than 30 percent in State Bar races, which means most Texas lawyers are passing up the chance to influence who represents them on the State Bar board as officers and directors. Your right to vote is important. I encourage you to exercise it this year.
Tom Vick, President
State Bar of Texas