I just returned the other day from the 2005 Texas Bar Leadership Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.
I got to meet and talk with Bar leaders from around the state on a myriad of subjects, including:
1. How to clean up the erroneous perceptions people have of the legal profession. Truly, a couple of bad apples have been seen to spoil the whole bunch.
2. What the Bar can do to further educate the public on the legal system in general.
3. How we can stress to the public the importance of an independent judiciary (current Bar President Eduardo Rodriguez' pet project).
I also was able to meet people from all walks of life, who are taking an active role in the leadership of our profession here in Texas. I went as the Vice President (read:President-Elect) of my local affiliate of the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
TYLA is widely known, and highly touted, as "The Public Service Arm of the State Bar of Texas." The organization is doing some great things for the people of this state, most recently embarking on a campaign to educate the elderly regarding telephone/telemarketer scams. The campaign consists of public service announcements made by famous Texans such as Barbara Bush, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, and Freddy Fender. In the spots, they exhort senior citizens to "Just hang up."
What a great program.
That's not all.
Of interest to young (and even old) lawyers all across the country, is TYLA's "Ten Minute Mentor" program. It's a joint effort of TYLA and TexasBarCle, and consists of ten-minute spots educating lawyers, young and old, in areas of the law they might otherwise not have knowledge of. There's some fantastic resources there, and the program's been getting raves from Illinois, South Carolina, Robert Ambrogi, Jim Calloway, Al Nye, andMyShingle, among many others.
I suppose it's no secret that I'm a "young lawyer." I've yet to determine whether that gives me the right to claim that I'm still young, or just that I'm relatively new at the lawyering gig. I'm gonna go with both.
Anyway, I couldn't possibly say anything better about the Ten Minute Mentor than has already been said, and by bloggers much more widely read than I am. So I'll only say that TYLA wants more.
If you're a Texas lawyer (or a Federal practitioner), and you'd like to contribute 10 minutes of your time to help out your profession, or you've got a topic idea that you'd like to see included, please follow the "Contact Us" link on the Ten Minute Mentor website. I believe you'll be glad you did.
There's more projects and initiatives sponsored by TYLA. If you'd like to know more about them, just hit their website, www.tyla.org.
I can't say enough how proud I am of TYLA as an organization. I'm honored to be a part of it, and I hope to contribute to their already stellar record of public service.
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