Editor’s Note: In this blog series, we are getting to know the members of the Texas Young Lawyers Association Board of Directors. TYLA, commonly called the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas, works to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All TYLA programs are accomplished through the volunteer efforts of its board and committee members, with the cooperation of local affiliate young lawyers associations. Learn more at tyla.org.

Name: Michael J. Ritter

Firm: 4th Court of Appeals (San Antonio)

Area of Law You Practice: Civil Appellate Law, Criminal Appellate Law

Position Held in TYLA: Secretary

How did you get involved in bar service? I was spending too much time watching Netflix. I was able to get involved easily by going to local affiliate happy hours and CLE lunches and asking others how to get involved in bar service.

What is your favorite TYLA project and why? “And Justice for All” (see http://tylajusticeforall.com/) is a website resource dedicated to information about wrongful convictions, which can threaten the legitimacy of any justice system. Most people don’t know you can buy an “And Justice for All” license plate that funds pro bono legal services.

What tips can you give to other attorneys to manage stress? When the anxiety and panic sets in, I take three to 10 deep breaths. It temporarily gets my mind off of whatever is causing me stress and allows me to revisit the matter in a calmer state of mind.

What do you do in your spare time? I spend time with my family and friends and play Smash Brothers and Skyrim VR.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? The weekend before Halloween each year, I participate in a “Thriller” flash mob.

Anything else that you wish to share? Getting involved in bar or community service does not mean you have to give up all your free time. Even small efforts to help others can go a long way and connect you to other lawyers and your community. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to get involved in bar or community service.