Bulletin. January Tarrant County Bar Foundation Celebrates 15 Years of Service ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMUNITY SERVICES

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1 Bulletin January 2012 Tarrant County Bar Foundation Celebrates 15 Years of Service NICA Back to School Roundup Healing the Wounds Will Clinics They Had a Dream, Too Pro-bono Bootcamp Cowtown 10K COMMUNITY SERVICES Carter BloodCare Elder Law Handbook LegalLine National Adoption Day People s Law School COMMUNITY SERVICES Tarrant Area Food Bank Trinity Habitat for Humanity ACCESS TO JUSTICE Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Pro-bono legal services and clinics in adoption, consumer, divorce, disability, employment, bankruptcy, foreclosure, landlord/tenant, and wills-&-directives law Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans Pro-bono legal services in monthly legal clinics and participation in Veteran activites and organizations

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3 Tarrant County Bar Association Phone: (817) Fax: (817) Website: Officers President...Robert E. Aldrich, Jr. President-Elect...J. Benjamin Barlow Vice President...Ann L. Diamond Secretary-Treasurer... Michael J. Henry Elected Directors Lisa Callaghan Christie Glenn Karmen Johnson Rachel Moore Robert G. West Daniel A. White Appointed Directors Walker Friedman David Keltner Immediate Past President W. Bradley Parker FORT WORTH-TARRANT COUNTY YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCIATION Laura Docker, President EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Patricia Graham, PLS, CLAS EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS STATE BAR OF TEXAS DIRECTORS Mark G. Daniel Judge Jo Ann Reyes ABA DELEGATE Judge David Evans BAR BULLETIN Roger Simon, Editor Tanya Pierce, Assistant Editor Pat Leake, PLS, CLAS, Staff Editor The Tarrant County Bar Bulletin is a monthly publication of the Tarrant County Bar Association. Articles, photos, and events for the calendar, suggestions, or comments should be directed to 1315 Calhoun Street, Fort Worth, Texas Deadline for submission is the 20th day of the month, two months before the date of the issue (e.g. April 20th for the June issue). Items for publication may be sent by fax to or to in Word format. Articles published in the Bar Bulletin do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Tarrant County Bar Association, its officers, or the Board of Directors. Calendar listings, classifieds, advertisements, and feature articles should not be considered an endorsement of any service, product, program, seminar, or event. by Robert E. Aldrich, Jr. Greetings: Gee, it is now 2012, and most of us have a lot of memories for With record heat, drought, and wildfires, it was not a normal year. The U. S. suffered natural disasters of massive proportions floods, earthquakes where earthquakes weren t known in the past, and a hurricane up the east coast. It was a very unusual year, to say the least. My term is now half over, but the best is yet to come. In January, the Tarrant County Bar Foundation will celebrate fifteen years of service. The Foundation and the Association are closely connected, aiding each other to provide service to the community and to attorneys. Pages 4, 5, and 7 of this issue of the Bulletin are dedicated to the Foundation and its services. Get updated on what there is to offer and how TCBA links with community services. Congratulations, Food Drive Committee, on a job well done. You met your goal, and then some. February will open the registration for Bench Bar Conference XIX Best of the West, Part Deuce. Last year s conference was fantastic excellent CLE, golf, and activities in the beautiful setting of Possum Kingdom Lake. Well, we re doing it again Part Deuce. The committee, which has been meeting monthly, has a lot of good ideas for CLE and activities. If you haven t attended a BBC, this one should be on your calendar for April 13-15, It is the annual event at which attorneys and the judiciary can mix and mingle in a casual setting, which is invaluable to your law practice. So many times, attorneys look at the law very impersonally, but the law is administered by people, and knowing these people is part of knowing the law. March will be a great month, with the annual Blood Drive on Thursday, March 22, the Foundation s annual Tarrant Tortfeasors show on Saturday, March 24, and the annual People s Law School on Saturday, March 31. Save your blood donation for the Blood Drive you can t give blood for 52 days before your next donation. Giving blood is a quick and easy way to donate. Last year was the first Tarrant Tortfeasors show, and it was greeted with some skepticism with amateur attorney performers, what kind of show was it going to be? It was hilarious great entertainment, professionally done, that spoofed our profession with a lot of humor. Some skits reminded the audience of real-life events in the practice of law, and it was all presented in great fun. The community has always received People s Law School as a way to learn things about the law in a huge variety of topics. If you are interested in teaching a class, please contact Committee Chair Brett Miller here at my firm, Gardner Aldrich. April will bring the spring, with new leaves on the trees and flowers blooming. It also brings the Bench Bar Conference and the FW-TCYLA Spring Fiesta. May is the month in which we honor outstanding members for their dedication and contributions to the association and to the community. The annual Law Day Dinner and Blackstone Award Ceremony will be on Thursday, May 3, Please keep that evening open to come and celebrate national Law Day No Courts No Justice No Freedom. June will close out the term for the TCBA officers and board. Keep in mind that those who serve are attorneys just like you. They have volunteered their time to manage your association. The election for the new term officers and board will be in April, so please support those who have volunteered to run by casting your vote. Voting is part of your membership privilege. It is like voting for your local, state, and national representatives it is a freedom on which our country was founded. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Robert TCBA Bulletin January

4 The Tarrant County Bar Foundation is celebrating its 15th year of service to Tarrant County. More accurately, the legal community of Tarrant County is celebrating the 15th year of service to Tarrant County through the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. The Foundation and its staff, board, and officers can serve the community only through the generous donations and efforts of the Tarrant County legal community. A little history Tarrant County Bar Association past presidents clearly remember what it was like before the TCBA had its own Bar Center. For many years, bar presidents passed the records of the Association from office to office. In 1995, the Association leased a small office in the Oil & Gas Building. Then, in 1996, TCBA President Louis Sturns was faced with the task of finding a new space for the growing bar association, as its current space was too small and another tenant wanted the space to expand its offices. Within 30 days, the current location at 1315 Calhoun was found and leased, and the bar staff moved in everything over one weekend. Thus began the history of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. TCBA President Walter Fortney appointed a committee to incorporate and organize the Foundation. At the committee s first meeting, Tom Law was elected as the Foundation s first chair. To secure the Foundation s nonprofit charitable status, Mr. Law led the organization through the maze of IRS and other governmental requirements. Following his lead, Chair Sam Rosen secured financing for the bar center, and the Foundation purchased it on April 1, In 2004, Chair Chuck Noteboom lead the campaign to enhance the building through the Century Club, and, in 2005, the exterior renovation was completed. Once Chair Dee Kelly took the gavel, and with his continued dedication to the community, the Tarrant County Bar Foundation Celebrates 15 Years of Service YOU ARE INVITED TO THE FOUNDATION S ANNUAL MEETING ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2012, AT 5:30 P.M., TARRANT COUNTY BAR CENTER Foundation undertook a renovation campaign that provided funds to further enhance the building from the inside to the parking lot. The current board is proud to announce that, through fellowships and generous donations, the current balance of the renovation loan is only $72,690. That amount will be reduced through new fellowships and donations directed to that purpose. Over the years, the Foundation strived to grow its endowment fund through its fellowship program, and it was able to provide grants for community-service programs to the TCBA and other entities. Recently, the Foundation has taken a new avenue to expand its ability to better serve the community and to become the leader of providing various community-service programs and projects to the Tarrant County community. The Foundation will provide the funds and TCBA will provide the volunteers to continue the many projects listed on this month s Bulletin cover. Because the Foundation is a non-profit charitable entity, the legal community can make to it taxdeductible donations for a specific project or projects or for the Foundation s general grant fund. The Foundation hopes that its new annual fundraiser, Tarrant Tortfeasors, will provide funds sufficient to expand community services without the need for multiple campaigns throughout the year. That can be accomplished only with the generosity of Tarrant County lawyers and law firms. Below are short descriptions of some of the current programs and projects that are supported by the Foundation. Tarrant County Bar Association Carter BloodCare The TCBA hosts an annual blood drive at the Tarrant County Bar Center. The by Mike Sheehan, Chair Association is proud of its member participation each year. In the past two years, the committee has secured door-prize donations, which have enhanced participation with an extra incentive. The expenses of the drive are underwritten by the Foundation, and, in 2011, the Foundation was proud to give a $2,000 contribution to Carter BloodCare. Elder Law Handbook This community service has been well received since its inception in the late 1990s. The Association is currently on its 4th edition, with a 2009 supplement. Many service organizations have taken boxes of the handbooks to help the elderly, and the Association mails a handbook to each citizen who requests a copy. Local newspapers have postings in their publications for citizens to request copies. Each year, committee members spend many long hours keeping the publication as up-todate as possible. The costs of publishing and distribution are underwritten by the Foundation. LegalLine This bi-monthly service to the committee offers free legal advice by telephone. On the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, citizens with legal concerns may call from 6 to 8 p.m. and speak with volunteer attorneys. Many people are helped with the advice that they get; others are given information so that they may contact an attorney or agency for representation. For many years, law-firm sponsorships have covered LegalLine s expenses, but during the past year, the Foundation has undertaken to underwrite the expenses. National Adoption Day The Association has sponsored or cosponsored National Adoption Day since its Tarrant County inception in Since then, hundreds of foster children have been adopted. Attorneys who agree to take a case for presentation to the Court during National Adoption Day attend a free training workshop. The project s aim is to speed up the adoption process for families and to 4 January 2012 TCBA Bulletin

5 call attention to the many children in foster care who are waiting for the stability of a permanent home. Each year, at the Association s Annual Holiday Party, members are asked to bring a stuffed teddy bear or a book for the Bears & Books project to donate to the Family Law Courts, so that they may provide a bear or a book to each child who is adopted. People s Law School This annual community service, which began in 2005, takes place on a Saturday in the spring of each year. Volunteer attorneys offer to the community various courses that cover a variety of legal subjects. The Association coordinates with the Texas Wesleyan School of Law to use the school s classrooms and conference halls for people to attend the courses of their choice. Expenses are underwritten by the Foundation. Over the years, the local community has received this service very well. Tarrant Area Food Bank For many, the Association has sponsored a canned-food drive to aid in the collection of food and monies for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. The 2010 drive netted $5,000 to the Bank, and the 2011 drive has surpassed that goal with $6,000 in donations. Trinity Habitat for Humanity The 2012 home will be the 9th home for which the association has partnered with the Foundation, the United Methodist Church, and the Trinity Habitat for Humanity to build. The Foundation offers the opportunity for Association members to make tax-deductible donations that will help with the financial needs of each build, and, over the course of several build days, the Association furnishes labor and food at the building site. To their recipients, these houses are more than homes they are sanctuaries, places where their children can play and grow up. Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers NICA Christmas Gifts Each Christmas season, FW-TCYLA works with the Northside Inter-Community Agency, Inc., to see that approximately 60 children in need are adopted and to provide them with Christmas gifts. YLA members generously donate both wish and need gifts, so that the children will have something special under the tree on Christmas morning. These presents are given to the families at an FW-TCYLA-hosted Christmas party that includes food, crafts for children, and pictures with Santa Claus. Back to School Roundup During the spring and throughout the summer, FW-TCYLA raises funds, through the Back to School Roundup, to sponsor school supplies for Tarrant County children. The Roundup is a community-wide event each August, and it costs just $25 to provide a full school year's worth of supplies to a student. FW-TCYLA also helps preregister students to attend the Roundup and provides opportunities for attorneys to volunteer at the event. Each year, the Back to School Roundup provides school supplies for over 10,000 Tarrant County children. Healing the Wounds: A Guide to Navigating the Legal System After Abuse This is a program presented by the FW-TCYLA to The Ladder Alliance, which is non-profit organization whose mission is to empower women victims of domestic violence and other at-risk women to become selfsufficient. The program is designed to explain how to navigate the legal system through a divorce from or protective orders against the abusers. The event includes a dinner provided by the FW-TCYLA, followed by a video produced by FW-TCYLA, and attorney volunteers then discuss legal services available to women in need, as well as the availability of forms and other resources that can assist them if they choose to proceed without an attorney. Wills Clinic Earlier this year, FW-TCYLA, with the assistance of the local Paralegal Division, co-hosted a Saturday-morning wills clinic at Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. FW-TCYLA provided attorney volunteers to meet with pre-qualified people who would otherwise not have the resources to obtain estate and end-of-life planning services. Those who participated left with complete wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives. This is an initiative that FW-TCYLA hopes to continue on a regular basis in the future. They Had a Dream, Too Earlier this year, TexasYLA produced a moving video, titled "They Had a Dream, Too," that highlights the impact that students had on the civil-rights movement. FW-TCYLA, in conjunction with the Texas Wesleyan School of Law, hosted 75 high-school seniors and treated them to lunch while they watched and discussed this moving film. FW-TCYLA also invited speakers to give local perspectives on the civilrights movement, from local heroes of the 1960s to the status of the movement today, as well as legal and constitutional perspectives. Pro-bono Bootcamp This is a four-hour CLE event that is free to members of FW-TCYLA. The program takes a practical approach to pro-bono education, providing advice and resources on various topics that attorneys who accept pro-bono cases are likely to encounter. This year, a program highlight included a presentation by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation on the increased need for pro-bono services, as well as a presentation by Legal Aid of North West Texas on how attorneys can get involved in pro-bono services. The goal of this program is to inspire attorneys to increase their pro-bono activities. Cowtown 10K Several members of the FW-TCYLA are training to participate in the Cowtown races on February 25, For over 30 years, Fort Worth has provided the Cowtown races in order to promote good health and fitness to the residents of the greater Fort Worth area and beyond. FW-TCYLA members who are not planning to run the race will serve as volunteers for the event on race day. Access to Justice The Foundation supports Access to Justice. Through grants to the Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas and donations made by the TCBA and TCBF members, the Foundation provides funding to help people of low-income status to secure legal assistance. In 2010, the Foundation adopted a new State Bar program called Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans. This program, through volunteer attorneys of the TCBA, has developed a foundation from which to help low-income veterans receive legal advice and legal representation in matters other than veteran claims and services furnished by the U. S. Government. During the first year of the program, 238 deserving veterans received a wide variety of services, including legal continued to page 7 TCBA Bulletin January

6 TARRANT COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION SALUTES ITS CLUB MEMBERS. Adams Lynch & Loftin, P.C. Albert Neely & Kuhlmann LLP Bakutis McCully & Sawyer PC Bank of America Barlow Garsek & Simon, L.L.P. Barrett, Daffin, Frappier, Turner & Engel, LLC Beadles Newman & Lawler, PC Beal Law Firm, The Berenson Firm P.C., The Bishop Payne Harvard & Kaitcer LLP Blaies & Hightower, LLP Blum Firm, The Bodoin, Agnew, Greene & Maxwell, P.C. Bourland & Kirkman, L.L.P. Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C. Brackett & Ellis, P.C. Law Office of Art Brender, The Broude Smith & Jennings PC Brown, Dean, Wiseman, Proctor, Hart & Howell, LLP Bruner & Pappas LLP Law Offices of Suzanne I. Calvert & Associates Cantey Hanger LLP City Attorney s Office-City of Fort Worth Colaneri Firm, P.C., The Curnutt & Hafer, L.L.P. Decker Jones McMackin McClane Hall & Bates, PC Eggleston Flowers & King, LLP Fears/Nachawati PLLC Fillmore Law Firm, L.L.P. Forshey & Prostok, L.L.P. Frac Tech Services, LLC Friedman, Suder & Cooke Gardner Aldrich, LLP Goodrich Postnikoff & Albertson, LLP Griffith, Jay & Michel, LLP Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C. Harrison Steck P.C. Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. Holland Johns & Penny, LLP Law firms, government agencies, law schools, and corporate legal departments with 100% of their attorneys (four or more) qualify for the 100 CLUB. TCBA is proud of the participation of these law firms and other groups in Bar year. For information, contact Membership Director Cindy Rankin at or REHEARSALS have begun FOR THE SKITS. BE A PART OF THIS GREAT SHOW! Mark your calendar for the show on March 24, 2012 For more information, contact director Rik Sehgal at JP Morgan Chase Bank Jackson Walker, L.L.P. Johnston Legal Group, P.C. Jose, Henry, Brantley, MacLean & Alvarado, LLP K & L Gates LLP Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP Kirkley & Berryman, LLP Kobs, Haney & Hundley, LLC Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C. Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, L.L.P. Loe, Warren, Rosenfield, Kaitcer, Hibbs, Windsow, Lawrence & Wolffarth, P.C. McDonald Sanders, P.C. Mellina & Larson, P.C. Moses, Palmer & Howell, L.L.P. Murphy, Mahon, Keffler & Farrier, L.L.P. Noteboom Law Firm Padfield & Stout, LLP Pope, Hardwicke, Christie, Schell, Kelly & Ray, L.L.P. Ross & Matthews, P.C. Second Court of Appeals Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP Smith & Cross, L.L.P. Sproles Woodard LLP Tarrant County Probate Court # 1 Taylor Olson Adkins Sralla & Elam, LLP Texas Wesleyan School of Law Thompson & Knight, LLP Wallach & Andrews, P.C. Watson, Caraway, Midkiff & Luningham, L.L.P. Weaver and Tidwell, L.L.P. Whitaker, Chalk, Swindle & Schwartz, PLLC Whitley Penn, LLP Wilson, White & Doby, LLP Winstead PC The Wolf Law Firm, P.C. 6 January 2012 TCBA Bulletin

7 Foundation - continued from page 5 consultations at the monthly legal clinics, assistance in completing forms, and help with preparing estateplanning documents. Some veterans who qualified financially received full representation at court proceedings concerning family-law matters, misdemeanor-criminal matters, expunctions, orders of nondisclosure, and other civil matters. Most recently, the Foundation has formed a new Access to Justice committee to explore and implement ways for the Tarrant County legal community to better serve the large, general population of Tarrant County citizens who are unable to afford necessary legal services. LAWYER R EFFERAL The Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) Committee met in December to plan advertising for The committee wants to publicize LRIS to the community so that more viable referrals can be made to the member attorneys. It was a great meeting, and the members discussed the changes and future plans for the LRIS. Thanks to all the committee members who attended! LRIS Administrator Carolina Ibarra attended the annual LRIS ABA meeting in October and came back with a great idea! LRIS members may now use the TCBA facilities to meet with their clients (by reservation and based on availability of space) at NO CHARGE! EFFERAL & I & INFORMATION SERVICE UPDATE That s huge! It is a great benefit, available only to LRIS members! Thanks, Carolina! Please contact Cindy or Carolina for more information and room availability. The LRIS ended 2011 with over $50,000 paid to the program in referral fees, and the attorneys made 85% of the net legal fees earned (on fees over $750) on cases that they accepted from the LRIS program. The attorneys receiving the benefit of additional case revenue last quarter include Neal Callaway, David Cook, Todd Durden, Joan Durkin, Margaret Fonvielle, Carlos Galliani, Crystal Gayden, Andrew Gore, Earl Hargrave, Rob Henry, David Jansky, Michael Johnston, Scott McKnight, Caleb Moore, Rick Musal, Joy NeSmith, Dustin Payne, Anthony Pettitt, Will Pruitt, Aleed Rivera, David Robinson, Karen Schroeder, Chad West, and Ty Wilson. If you need clients and more case revenue, join the Tarrant County Bar Association s Lawyer Referral & Information Service. For information on the program, call Cindy at or Note! If you are giving clients the LRIS phone number, please give them , rather than the main number to TCBA. LRIS is under a different telephone system to better service the clients with referrals, so clients must use the in order to receive a referral. The 2012 Transition to Practice Mentor Program is kicking off its new year with a CLE program on Wednesday, January 25. This program will be the first luncheon of the year for the mentors and mentees, who have been paired by the committee for the 2012 year, to meet. There will be an orientation, a review of the program s purpose and goals, a presentation of the scheduled meetings for the year, and a discussion of the commitment needed from both mentors and mentees to make the program a success. The CLE program will feature Judge Bonnie Sudderth presenting the Local Rules (including civil, TRANSITION TO PRACTICE BEGINS NEW 2012 YEAR family, and criminal courts). This topic is especially important to newly licensed attorneys who are beginning their practices, and the mentors are also encouraged to attend and to meet and encourage their mentees at the start of the new year. The Transition to Practice luncheons and CLEs are sponsored by the TCBA. If you know a newer lawyer, licensed three years or fewer, who may be interested in the program, encourage him or her to join TCBA and the program. Or if you are a seasoned attorney who has not participated in the past as a mentor but would like to help with the program, let us know! For more information on the program, contact Cindy Rankin at or DON T FORGET BROWN BAG SEMINAR January 20, 2012 Five Hot Topics and Tips from Judicial VIPs See registration insert in December issue or on website. Bench Bar Conference XIX coming April 13-15, 2012 Watch for February issue with brochure and registration. Best of the West, Part Deuce, will be even better than the first. TCBA Bulletin January

8 Constance Mims Constance Mims, Attorney at Law 1. What is your philosophy about practicing law? Though I did not grow up to be the civil-rights super lawyer I had originally intended to be, I have found a career in family law that is just as fulfilling. In family law, I consistently try to help my clients protect their children and themselves, get financial support, and reach settlements in their cases that benefit them, their spouses, and their children. My philosophy about practicing law is to always remember that my clients are people, not paychecks, and that they have come to me with a problem, and it is my responsibility to help them find a solution. 2. What is your best advice to a new attorney? If any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. 1 Corinthians 8:2. Knowing what you don t know is the first step to being an awesome attorney. The second step is getting those answers in the law. If you practice law this way, you will gain courage and confidence, and you will earn the respect of judges, colleagues, and, not the least of all, your clients. 3. How does your life experience influence your practice? For as long as I can remember, circa L.A. Law, I have wanted to be a lawyer. When I was around twelve years old, I remember daydreaming about winning a big case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after fighting for someone s civil rights. Civil rights meant a lot to me then as well as now. I was born mix-raced. Because my skin color was not the same as my mother s, countless times, right in front of me, strangers asked my mother who she was babysitting for, was she my nanny, etc. That is too much for a child to go through. I also was consistently treated differently than classmates by teachers and teased by classmates about the color of my skin and my parentage. What is even worse, when I was in high school, I was actually discouraged from pursuing a career in law by my school counselor! I would not be discouraged, however. Because of everything I have endured in my lifetime, I have the patience and the courage to tackle any obstacle, which leads to having the ability to think outside the box and provide my clients with real-life practical legal solutions to their problems. Contact information I received my J.D. from Texas Wesleyan School of SPOTLIGHT ON DIVERSITY The Diversity Committee is committed to the inclusion of all people in the legal profession. Through its projects, it strives to enhance employment and economic opportunities for all minority and women attorneys and to promote the involvement of minorities and women in the Tarrant County Bar Association. One diverse member of our Bar is spotlighted each month. If you know of someone who would make a great subject, please contact the chair of the Diversity Committee, Antoinette Bone, at Law in June 2007 and was licensed to practice law in Texas in November I earned my Bachelor of Science in Political Science at Texas Christian University. I practice at the BEAL LAW FIRM, at our principal office, located at 2920 W. Southlake Blvd., Ste 140, Southlake, Texas You may contact me at , you can reach me via facsimile at , or you can check us out at Diversity Committee Presents A One-Hour CLE ATTORNEY ADVERTISING January 18, to 1 p.m. at the Tarrant County Bar Center $25 per person, includes lunch Presenter: Randy Johnston, from the State Bar of Texas, Dallas office. He will speak on the Do s and Don ts of Attorney Advertising. With Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media advertising in our world today, it s important to know the State Bar Rules on advertising. What rules apply to social media? Or do they apply? Is that ad that I have on Facebook legal? Come to the CLE to find out. RSVP to Cindy Rankin at 8 January 2012 TCBA Bulletin

9 A YLA S N A P S H OT As an organization, the Fort Worth Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association (FW-TCYLA) has two primary goals: to serve our attorney membership and to give back to our community. As I look back on the 2011 FW-TCYLA year, I am truly humbled by the outstanding efforts of our members in accomplishing the latter. None of our community-service efforts would have been possible without the strong leadership of our project chairs and numerous volunteers. I extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who gave your time and resources to support the TCYLA and for your commitment to community service. by Laura Docker, President, FW-TCYLA On behalf of the People's Law School Committee, I am pleased to inform you that the annual "People's Law School" event will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in downtown Fort Worth. The People's Law School is conducted by local lawyers and is designed to provide the community with free, basic legal information covering various topics. This year's topics will include family law, criminal matters, property, wills, and elder law. As we approach this year's event, please help spread the word to those who may be interested in attending. Our only limitation is space, so we encourage attendees to preregister by printing and completing the registration form from the Bar's website at Monthly legal clinics are still operating and seeing between 28 to 32 veterans each month. These veterans have needs in a wide range of legal matters and are appreciative of the help that they receive. Even if they do not qualify as low-income, they still have the opportunity to visit with attorneys at the clinic, and, many times, they are given information sufficient to resolve their problems. FORT WORTH-TCYLA CELEBRATES PUBLIC SERVICE Through our golf and softball tournaments, FW-TCYLA raised $8,000 for Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas in Although our fundraising efforts have been outstanding, TCYLA members excelled in our community-outreach efforts as well this year, our members worked with Legal Aid to increase participation by young lawyers in local probono efforts through Celebrate Pro Bono Week. We co-hosted a Saturday morning wills clinic with the Paralegal Division to provide estate planning documents to low-income families. We also hosted a Pro-Bono Bootcamp, a free four-hour CLE designed to provide attorneys with the practical skills necessary to enable them to take on pro-bono cases. Our most popular event of the year was our annual Spring Fiesta held at Joe T. Garcia s. Spring Fiesta is an event designed to raise funds to support our service projects, and this year we exceeded our fundraising goals! We were able to put those funds to work through many of our community service activities, such as providing People s Law School legal-rights education to women affected by abuse and providing civilrights education to high-school seniors. Just this month, we also completed our annual holiday toy drive, in which members of the FW-TCYLA and TCBA provided Christmas-wish presents to 60 underprivileged families from the north side of Fort Worth. These gifts were presented at a Christmas party hosted by the FW- TCYLA, which included food, crafts for children, and pictures with Santa. All of these events require countless hours from volunteers working behind the scenes to make them successful. I am proud to be a part of this group of people so willing to give of themselves in order to allow the FW-TCYLA to continue its mission of serving our community. Of course, none of our successes would be possible without the assistance of the staff at the TCBA bar offices. We are thankful for all that you do for us! This year we are also undertaking a new project in which we will send lawyers to speak to students at local junior-high and high schools. We've already had a request from Ferguson Junior High in Arlington, and we hope to connect with many other schools throughout the year. The Committee believes that this will be a great outreach program for the Bar, as it will both educate young adults in the community and increase the Bar's impact outside of the courtroom. If you have any suggestions for the Committee or either of these programs, please me at aldrich.com or Trisha Graham at Brett F. Miller, Chair TEXAS LAWYERS FOR TEXAS VETERANS--TCBA Chapter For those who qualify financially, their cases are assigned to attorneys, either through the Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas veterans pool or the TCBA pool. This is where we need your help -- we need more attorneys to volunteer to take at least one pro-bono case per year. The case would be in your field of practice, and you would have the opportunity to review it before accepting it. Please help a veteran who has served you and your country by volunteering as a pro-bono attorney in the program! The form is on the TCBA website, in the right-hand pane, by double-clicking volunteer. Or you can Pat Leake at and she will forward you a copy of the form and give you more information. Remember, if you join the Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas veterans pool, you do not have to have professional-liability insurance in order to take a pro-bono case through the program. TCBA Bulletin January

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