Posted inGuest BlogState BarTexas Lawyers' Assistance ProgramTLAP

Stories of Recovery: Finding a “life worth living”

Editor’s note: TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance abuse or mental health issues. Call TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) or find more information at

My name is _____________. I am almost 60 years old, eight years clean in NA, and this is my first time in recovery. I thought I was okay despite a lifetime of using drugs, inner desperation, and outer chaos. I did not think I was an addict because I had not lost my job, home, or children. I had not yet learned that every hit, drink, or whatever I took led me further away from who I really was. I had had two marriages that lasted over a decade each and two children that I helped raise from birth in active addiction until they were about 10 and 12 years old. My life was use, work, use, live, use, travel, use, raise kids, use, do bad stuff, use until I could not any more. Energy, love, and motivation were gone. Life was purely mechanical. I could not live anymore in the masks I wore to get through the day.
Continue Reading

Posted inLaw Day

State Bar of Texas announces 2019 winners of Law Day contests

The State Bar announced the winners of the annual Law Day editorial, photography, and poster contests this month.

Law Day is celebrated annually across the country on May 1 to honor the rule of law and underscore how the legal process contributes to the freedoms that all Americans share. The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association celebrate the importance of law and its impact on our nation and local communities by hosting the K-12th grade statewide editorial, photo, and poster contests based on the American Bar Association Law Day yearly theme. Local bars and young lawyer affiliates are encouraged to hold local contests and submit their first-place winners in each category to the State Bar for the statewide contest.

This year’s theme, “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society,” encouraged students to reflect on how today’s society is impacted by freedom of speech and freedom of the press and what role these tenants of our society play in our representative government. The winners of the State Bar contests, who creatively interpreted the national theme, will be recognized at the Texas Law Center May 1.
Continue Reading

Posted inAccess to JusticeIOLTANewsPro Bono

MidSouth Bank joins Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s Prime Partner Bank program

MidSouth Bank has partnered with the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s Prime Partner Bank program. As part of the program, MidSouth Bank will voluntarily pay higher interest rates for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts, or IOLTA.

“Many Texans face serious legal issues, such as escaping situations of domestic violence or avoiding foreclosure, and simply do not have the resources to hire an attorney,” said Richard L. Tate, chair of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation Board of Directors, in a press release. “By paying higher interest rates on IOLTA accounts, MidSouth Bank is helping ensure that low-income Texans have access to lifesaving civil legal services.”

Continue Reading

Posted inNewsTexas Bar Journal

Texas Bar Journal announces 2019 Short Story Contest winners

Thank you to the 29 writers who submitted entries to the Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest this year.

Author names were removed from entries before being submitted to judges in order to keep the contest fair and impartial. Two panels of judges faced the challenging task of selecting the winners, and for each round the same evaluation form was used for consistency. Ten entries advanced to the final round, which was judged by Pamela Buchmeyer of Dallas and Jupiter, Florida; Mike Farris of Dallas; last year’s winner, Rosanne Gordon of Dallas; and last year’s second-place finisher, Ron Uselton of Sherman.

Continue Reading

Posted inAccess to JusticeDiversityState BarU.S. Supreme Court

Apffel: We Will Defend the State Bar of Texas

In March 2019, three Texas lawyers sued the State Bar of Texas claiming that under Janus v. AFSCME (2018), it is unconstitutional for an attorney to be required to join the State Bar of Texas in order to practice law. The plaintiffs also challenge bar programs that they claim exceed the bar’s “core regulatory functions.”

The State Bar of Texas will vigorously defend its existing statutory structure, which was established by the Texas Legislature in aid of the Texas Supreme Court’s inherent authority to regulate the practice of law. Continue Reading

Posted inNews

The State Bar of Texas’ career center offers tips for job seekers

The Texas Bar Career Center provides tips for new lawyers and those attorneys seeking a new career on its webpage,

In addition to being a resource for jobs, the career center also features helpful tips and offers users the option to upload anonymous résumés to be found by recruiters and employers. Job seekers can also set alerts so that they will be notified when jobs they are interested in have been posted.

Continue Reading

Posted inCLENews

TexasBarCLE honors outstanding volunteers

Four attorneys were honored for their exceptional contributions in 2018 to the State Bar of Texas’ continuing legal education efforts.

Mark Murray

TexasBarCLE gave Standing Ovation Awards to Joe R. Anderson, of Burns Anderson Jury & Brenner in Austin; John C. Grace, of the Lubbock City Attorney’s Office; Mark T. Murray, of Stevenson & Murray in Houston; and Kristal C. Thompson, of Langley & Banack in San Antonio.

Continue Reading

Posted inNewsTexas Opportunity & Justice Incubator

TOJI accepting applications for 5th cohort

The Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator, or TOJI, is accepting applications for its fifth cohort, which begins in July.

TOJI is a State Bar of Texas program that helps attorneys build solo law practices that serve low- and modest-income Texans. Participants receive training, coaching, and resources to move their businesses forward and meet the legal needs of underserved populations. Continue Reading

Posted inAccess to JusticeNewsSpecial Event

ABA seeks attorney volunteers to help along Southern Border

The American Bar Association is seeking licensed attorney volunteers to help with two projects to assist asylum-seekers and immigrant children along Texas’ southern border with Mexico.

The ABA’s Commission on Immigration is leading week-long volunteer trips each month from April to October to direct-service projects along the Texas-Mexico border. Volunteers will work at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Harlingen. Volunteers for this effort are not required to have immigration law experience or speak Spanish to participate. Volunteers will meet with adult immigrants and asylum-seekers at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos and provide assistance with applications for relief. Details and how to volunteer can be found here.

Continue Reading