Letter From The President Of The State Bar Of Texas

2014-09-19 09:30


To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

Nearly 95,000 members of the State Bar of Texas impact the lives of Texans by protecting the rule of law and ensuring that all citizens have equal access to justice. As president, I value the moments when I’m able to meet attorneys who share the same passion, courage, and perseverance to further our democratic society. But I also enjoy hearing the feedback on how we can improve our profession to make a difference in our communities.

My goal this year is to engage, inform, and inspire our members to greater service and to awareness of the many useful programs the State Bar of Texas offers to members and the general public.

One way we are achieving this goal is by encouraging use of social media and mobile platforms. Members and the general public are able to access the bar’s social media and mobile networks 24/7 to receive up-to-the-minute information on services that can assist them with their daily lives. For more information on how you can connect with the Texas Bar via social media, visit texasbar.com.

The bar offers programs that help attorneys reduce the stress of running a law practice and support them to be more productive, including free legal research through Casemaker and Fastcase, practice tips through the Law Practice Management Program, and new business opportunities through the Lawyer Referral & Information Service.

For the public, the bar offers the Client-Attorney Assistance Program (CAAP), a confidential statewide dispute resolution service that fosters productive dialogue between Texas lawyers and their clients in an effort to help them resolve minor concerns, disagreements, or misunderstandings. For more information regarding CAAP, visit texasbar.com/caap. The bar also provides free pamphlets to the public to help increase their knowledge of how the Texas legal system works. For more information on pamphlets, please visit texasbar.com/pamphlets.

The State Bar’s Law Related Education (LRE) Department offers many resources to support the importance of civic engagement among youth. Created under the leadership of 2013-2014 President Lisa Tatum, I Was the First. Vote for Me! shines light on important historical firsts in Texas and United States history through an interactive curriculum designed to prepare elementary school students for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) assessments. Another web-based State Bar program, Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay!, is designed to help Texas students learn about landmark court decisions. For more information on LRE, visit texaslre.org.

Lawyers of the bar are committed to ensuring equal access to justice for all. The Legal Access Division offers resource materials and helps coordinate legal services programs and pro bono volunteers. Also, the Care Campaign was launched to empower attorneys to nurture the spirit of pro bono service in our state. Visit texasbar.com/legalaccessdivision for more information on pro bono services. 

The Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) continues to cultivate understanding in the community of the legal profession. TYLA’s newest project, Educating Educators, is a resource guide designed to educate teachers and administrators about their rights, responsibilities, and legal obligations. The project What Do Lawyers Do? provides resources to students interested in pursuing law school and allows high school and college students to discuss aspects of the legal field. Visit tyla.org for more information on TYLA projects.

As we work together to improve the administration of justice and to advocate the ideals of integrity and proficiency in our profession, I encourage you to explore the many programs the State Bar has to offer.


Trey Apffel