The Austin Bar Association was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to start a podcast dedicated to highlighting the value of diversity in leadership positions in the Austin legal community, according to a press release.

The podcast, titled Council of Firsts, is another step toward making the Austin Bar Association a more inclusive and equitable organization. The podcast premiered on April 18 and featured Velva Price, the Austin Bar Association’s first African American female president who currently serves as district clerk for Travis County.

“This podcast is meant to discuss the need for diversity in legal leadership positions, and spans beyond the Austin Bar Association to feature the important firsts in the Austin legal community,” current Austin Bar Association President Amanda Arriaga said in a press release.

The second episode, premiering on April 25, will feature Richard Pena, who was the first Hispanic president of the Austin Bar Association and the first Hispanic president of the State Bar of Texas.

Future episodes will feature Betty Balli Torres, the current executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, who was also the first Latina executive director of that organization and the first Latina to receive the Distinguished Lawyer Award from the Austin Bar Foundation; Gary Schumann, a founder of the LGBT Bar Association and current chair of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce; Gisela Triana, first Latina justice of the 3rd Court of Appeals; and Caroline Hall, president of the Travis County Women Lawyers Association.

The Council of Firsts podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and wherever you get podcasts.

For more information on the Austin Bar Association, go to