Editor’s note: The following message was sent to all members on February 5, 2021.
This message includes updated information related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other State Bar of Texas information. We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Supreme Court of Texas Emergency Order
The Supreme Court of Texas issued its 34th Emergency Order of the pandemic. The order mirrors federal regulations to extend to March 31 protections for certain tenants facing eviction proceedings.
MCLE Deadlines Extended
We understand the pandemic has made it difficult for some attorneys to complete their MCLE requirements on time. In response, the State Bar of Texas MCLE Department granted several extensions. Below are the current extensions offered. Attorneys with the following birth months:
- December—granted a 60-day extension with a final deadline of February 28.
- January—granted a 60-day extension with a final deadline of March 31.
- February—granted a 60-day extension with a final deadline of April 30.
The MCLE department continues to review compliance deadlines due to the pandemic. Please contact the department at 800-204-2222, ext. 1806, or email@example.com with questions about the extensions or MCLE compliance requirements.
Rules Vote 2021 Underway
Texas lawyers are being called upon to exercise their right of self-governance by voting on proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Voting started Monday and will continue until 5 p.m. CST on March 4 by paper and electronic ballot. (Please note that mailed ballots must be received by the deadline.)
Sign up now to participate in the final public forum webinar to learn more about the rules vote. It will be held at 1 p.m. CST on February 9. Register here.
The forum includes a one-hour CLE presentation on the proposed disciplinary rule amendments (approved for one hour of MCLE ethics credit) featuring members of the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda and its counsel, followed by a live forum where attendees can ask questions and provide comments regarding the proposed amendments.
If you can’t make it to the live event, TexasBarCLE has the January 5 rules vote forum available for free replay and MCLE ethics credit. Learn more here.
For more information about the proposals, go to texasbar.com/rulesvote and read the January and February issues of the Texas Bar Journal.
New Pro Bono Opportunity Portal
The State Bar of Texas has partnered with Paladin, a justice technology company, to create the Pro Bono Opportunity Portal at pbtx.joinpaladin.com. The free online portal provides a centralized location for volunteer lawyers, law students, and legal professionals to search and sign up for pro bono opportunities to assist low-income Texans with their legal needs. The portal also empowers legal service organizations to manage and track pro bono interest and engagement in real time.
The State Bar is providing the portal as part of its mission to support the administration of the legal system, assure all citizens equal access to justice, and enable its members to better serve their clients and the public. For more information about pro bono resources, visit probonotexas.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take Care of Yourselves
In this challenging time, it’s important to take care of yourselves. We invite you to take advantage of the well-being resources for remote living collected by the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program and to attend TLAP’s monthly Remote Well-Being Wednesday program that will be held at noon CST on February 24. The topic is First Generation Lawyer Challenges and Tools. The panelists are:
- Carlos Calderon, clinical teaching fellow at South Texas College of Law Houston
- David Grenardo, professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law
- Rudy Metayer, Pflugerville city council member and attorney
State Bar of Texas
Resources to Keep You Informed: The State Bar of Texas continues to update texasbar.com/coronavirus with the latest resources and information to help you stay informed of the changes affecting our profession. You can also sign up for the State Bar’s Daily News Briefing at texasbar.com/dailynews to receive the latest legal news updates in your inbox every weekday.