Posted inLaw Practice ManagementNewsTechnologyUncategorizedVideos

Chicago Bar Association offers technology, practice management videos

The Chicago Bar Association is adding to its collection of Law Practice Management and Technology How To videos and making them accessible to everyone.

Currently more than 100 on-demand videos can be watched and or accessed through the CBA’s video library. Each video is one hour or less in length and hosted on Vimeo, which is mobile friendly and offers rewind and fast forward capabilities. Topics include cloud computing, communication, eFiling, firm management, and more.

For more information and to be added to the email list to be notified about the release of new videos, contact Catherine Sanders Reach.

Posted inNewsPeoplePro Bono

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 3: Hannah Cramer

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Hannah Cramer is a Plano native and is currently a 3L at St. Mary’s University School of Law. She is the student coordinator for the pro bono program, site coordinator for the ID Recovery program, vice chair of the board of advocates, president of the Public Interest Law Foundation, and a staff writer for the Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review for Race and Social Justice.

What kind of pro bono do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I participate in most of the law school’s pro bono workshops and am frequently at the ID Recovery program. I have been volunteering with ID Recovery since the fall of my 1L year. Law students, under the supervision of our pro bono director, go to Haven for Hope every Friday and conduct intakes with clients who are experiencing homelessness.

Why is pro bono important to you?
It’s important for me to use my knowledge and resources to help individuals who do not have the same resources and pro bono work allows me to do this. Also, selfishly, I feel really good when I’ve helped someone who wouldn’t otherwise receive services.

What have you learned from doing pro bono?
By doing pro bono, I have learned a lot about interacting with clients and how to be a professional advocate. Many of the clients at ID Recovery are going through a very tough part of their life, and serving them has taught me how to be a compassionate advocate while maintaining professionalism.

What would you say to a fellow student who is thinking about doing pro bono for the first time?
If a fellow law student asked me about doing pro bono for the first time, I would tell them it is the best choice I made at law school. You will receive real-world experience, network with local attorneys, and learn more than you could ever learn by sitting in the classroom. Pro bono is the perfect way to see what you’ve read about in casebooks in real life.

Share one of your favorite pro bono success stories.
My favorite pro bono success story is about one of my clients at ID Recovery. This client had an intellectual disability and I was nervous that he wouldn’t be able to follow-up the following week to receive his documents. I conducted his intake and then worried about him all week and whether he would remember to come back. He came back next week and was able to get his ID! For most people this doesn’t mean much, but for this client that meant he could access his food stamps, and hopefully find permanent housing.

Posted inNewsPeoplePro Bono

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 3: Brooke Hendricks-Green

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Brooke Hendricks-Green is from Odessa and works in the Ector County Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the Pro Bono Advisory Board for Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas.

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Posted inSponsored Content

Sponsored Content: Smokeball’s “Season of Giving”: Practice Management Software Company Continues Dedicated Efforts for Charity

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Smokeball kicked off a new charity initiative for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children.  Smokeball is a practice management software company based in Chicago and Sydney dedicated to building software solutions for small law firms that result in less stress and more success.  Smokeball is also dedicated to working in the community and raising money for great legal causes.  In fact, one of the company’s core values states, “Caring is Not Optional.”
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Posted inNewsPeople

State Bar President-elect Randy Sorrels honored by South Texas College of Law Houston

State Bar President-elect Randy Sorrels speaks after receiving the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from South Texas College of Law Houston on October 19 in Houston.

South Texas College of Law Houston named State Bar of Texas President-elect Randy Sorrels the recipient of its 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award on October 19 in Houston.

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Posted inNewsparalegalsPeoplePro Bono

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 2: Claire Brown

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Claire Brown is from Houston and is a 2L at Texas A&M University School of Law. She is on the Texas A&M Law Review, vice president of the student organization 12th Law Man, and a student ambassador. Brown plans on practicing public interest law.

What kind of pro bono do you do and how long have you been doing it?
My pro bono work has been with two different organizations: the Tarrant County Bar Association, or TCBA, and the Community Revitalization Project, or CRP. I began working at TCBA in October of my 1L year and continue to do so. Most of the work at TCBA consists of doing intake for their Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans clinics that are held once a month. I started my work with CRP the summer after my 1L year as a volunteer intern. I did a variety of projects related to community development, low-income communities, and nonprofit organizations. I also learned about and participated in some of community outreach efforts. I currently help with community education.

Why is pro bono important to you?
Prior to law school, I worked with refugees, the homeless, and veterans and saw how unfair the world can be to people who do not deserve to be treated badly. I want to help those people because they have so much good to contribute to society if only society would let them. Pro bono work changes people’s lives and I like being a part of that. I know it might sound cliché, but ultimately I want to make a difference in the world—at its core that is what pro bono does, one little step at a time.

What have you learned from doing pro bono?
I can honestly say that most of the practical things I know about the legal profession and being a lawyer I learned from doing pro bono. I came into law school knowing next to nothing about the practice of law or its different areas, but through pro bono, I have been exposed to most of the major types of law, which has helped me to gain a better understanding of what I want to do. I have also met many great lawyers through pro bono who have taught me how to interact better with people on a personal level and also that lawyers are not the scary, intimidating people I thought they were—they are real people too.

What would you say to a fellow student who is thinking about doing pro bono for the first time?
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from doing pro bono. Law school is busy, but there’s always something you can stop wasting time on to make room for pro bono. It gives you skills early on that your classmates do not have, and it is a great way to network.

Share one of your favorite pro bono success stories.
I recently had the opportunity to assist with a wills clinic held at a local domestic violence center. Obviously no one wants to think about needing a will, especially young people with families, but the women who came to the clinic were strong enough to realize that it was something they needed to have just in case. Being able to help them with the process and see the relief they felt when they knew their families would be taken care of no matter what happens really made me feel like I was doing something right.

Posted inNews

Texas Rep. Oscar Longoria honored with Texas Access to Justice award

Chief of Staff Lee Loya accepted the Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award from Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman on behalf of Rep. Oscar Longoria at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin on October 18. Photo by Eric Quitugua

The Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas Access to Justice Foundation honored Texas Rep. Oscar Longoria with the Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero Award at a luncheon in Austin on October 18.  He was recognized for his contributions during the 85th Texas Legislature.

“As an attorney, Rep. Longoria understands that legal aid is essential for the economically disadvantaged and that having a lawyer can make all the difference in a time of need,” Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman said in a press release. “We’re truly thankful for all the hard work he has put into championing legal aid for all Texans.”

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Posted inGuest BlogSpecial EventState Bar

Sterling: Happy Texas Paralegal Day!


Editor’s note: Stephanie R. Sterling, the 2018-2019 president of the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, issued the following message today for Texas Paralegal Day.

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the founding of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas on October 23, 1981.

It was the first such action by any state bar in the entire United States. The Paralegal Division was instrumental in having October 23 declared Texas Paralegal Day beginning many years before; however, it wasn’t until 2009 that it became official permanently.  Continue Reading

Posted inNewsparalegalsPeoplePro Bono

Pro Bono Spotlight Day 2: Julie K. Sherman

The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (October 21-27). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system. During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers.

Julie K. Sherman is a paralegal at Cantey Hanger in Fort Worth. She is a past winner of the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s Liberty Bell Award, the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association’s Liberty Bell Award, and 2013 State Bar of Texas Exceptional Pro Bono Service Award—Paralegal Division. Sherman is a past Tarrant County Bar Association Paralegal of the Year and Fort Worth Paralegal Association, or FWPA, Paralegal of the Year. She is a past president of FWPA. Sherman is a board-certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Posted inNewsPeoplePro Bono

KoonsFuller attorney leads pro bono case to help woman get conservatorship of children

Eight years ago, Katy Hayes, of Kingwood, lost all of her limbs due to a group A streptococcal, or GAS, infection following the home birth of her third child. Last year, Hayes filed for divorce from her husband, and after mediation with her former attorney, her ex-husband was awarded temporary conservatorship of their children. KoonsFuller Managing Shareholder Sherri Evans saw Hayes’ need for adequate counsel in the matter, and KoonsFuller associate Jordan Turk took on the case pro bono. Turk was able to settle the case without going to trial and obtained primary conservatorship of the children for Hayes. The Texas Bar Journal sat down with Elizabeth Lampert, where we discussed the background of Hayes’ medical battles, the ongoing legal battles after her divorce, and Turk’s work in helping Hayes get conservatorship of her child.

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