State Bar of Texas educational initiative launched in classrooms In August, Williamson County attorneys Lisa Richardson, Wendi Lester-Boyd, and Stacey Mathews hosted a session of the State Bar of Texas project I was the first. Vote for Me! for more than 400 first- through fifth-grade students. Launched in July and inspired in part by Lisa M. Tatum’s election as the first African American State Bar of Texas president, I was the first. Vote for Me! is a multimedia project that works to inform students about a series of historic leaders who were firsts, from Susan B. Anthony and Sam Houston to Cesar Chavez and Barack Obama. After students are introduced to each character by way of a colorful animation, they cast a vote for the “first” they believe a fictional school should be named for. The project, which also features a corresponding book, incorporates lessons in reading, math, citizenship, and voting and aligns with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards for elementary students. Attorneys who are interested in leading a classroom session can go to texasbar.com/iwasthefirst to learn more. Above, from left to right: Lisa Richardson; Mya Mercer, principal of Old Town Elementary, Round Rock ISD; and Wendi Lester-Boyd. UT Law School hosts food drive Students at the University of Texas Law School collected 1,778 pounds of food for Caritas of Austin during a September drive in conjunction with the school’s Society Week. Caritas provides a service continuum for those experiencing poverty. Texas Equal Justice Works fellow class announced The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, in partnership with Equal Justice Works, selected four new members to its 2013 class of fellows. Awarded for demonstrating innovative legal project proposals that will serve communities in need of legal assistance, fellowships last for two years. The Texas Equal Justice Works Fellow Class of 2013 includes: Peter McGraw of Corpus Christi, Amanda Pfeiffer of Houston, Stephanie Truong of Sugar Land, and Emily Schools of Abilene. Attorney general names 2013 Assistant Attorneys General of the Year for the Child Support Division Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recognized 10 assistant attorneys general for their outstanding work in the Child Support Division. Those named Assistant Attorneys General of the Year were Arturo Alvarez of Austin, Dana Clarke and Sean Cook of Arlington, Tracy Fleck of Longview, Rebecca Foster of Kyle, Shelly Marshall of Lubbock, Jana McGowan of Hondo, Norma Ortiz of McAllen, Victoria Sanchez of Houston, and William Brent Stephens of El Paso. Texas Indigent Defense Commission introduces caseload study Criminal defense lawyers are invited to participate in a weighted caseload study sponsored by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. The research will provide policymakers with new tools for managing and funding public defense services. During the study, a select group of attorneys will be asked to track their time on court-appointed cases. Experts will review the data to consider whether spending more or less time in some areas is necessary to achieve a sufficient quality of defense. The experts will then recommend standards for the average amount of time court-appointed attorneys should spend to deliver high-quality counsel in different types of cases. To learn more, go to texaswcl.tamu.edu.
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