Induction ceremony welcomes new attorneys to State Bar More than 650 new lawyers were admitted to the State Bar of Texas on May 12 during an induction ceremony in Austin conducted by the Supreme Court of Texas. 2013-2014 State Bar President Lisa Tatum welcomed the new attorneys to the profession, and 2013-2014 Texas Young Lawyers Association President Kristy Blanchard discussed TYLA resources for new attorneys. Eric Gerard, an associate with Hogan Lovells in Houston who was the high scorer on the February 2014 bar exam, told the crowd that being "called to the bar" is an immense privilege. Above: Hundreds of new Texas lawyers celebrate after taking the official oath swearing them into the State Bar of Texas. Houston lawyers consider legal issues in famous operas On Feb. 25, more than 100 attorneys gathered at Norton Rose Fulbright's Houston office for "Justice and Valhalla," a panel discussion on the legal issues within Richard Wagner's four-opera Ring cycle, which the Houston Grand Opera presented in April. "The setting up of contracts and the breaking of them creates a chain reaction of events that carries throughout the four operas," said HGO Assistant Artistic Director Mena Mark Hanna. In the first opera, Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), it is unclear who owns the gold that is stolen from the Rhine River and made into the ring. During the discussion, panelists applied knowledge of ownership of natural resources, contract enforcement, and Wagner's general philosophy. State Bar introduces Care Campaign badge Lawyers who perform a certain amount of pro bono work can now earn a Care Commitment badge, which will appear on their personal "Find a Lawyer" page on the State Bar website. The Care Campaign is intended to encourage lawyers to perform a base level of pro bono work and to inspire them to strive toward the bar's aspirational goal of each attorney performing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services each year. To learn more, go to texasbar.com/carecampaign. Group develops legal guide for young Texans To mark the occasion of Law Day, the Texarkana Young Lawyers Association distributed copies of The Legal Handbook for Young Texans to area high school students. Modeled after a guide by the Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers' Section, the handbook is an extension of other recent initiatives aimed at students. The Texas Young Lawyers Association provided a grant to help fund the cost of printing copies of the handbook, which is also available as a free download on the Texarkana Young Lawyers Association Facebook page and by contacting Shivali.Sharma@txcourts.gov. Court history comes alive in Bastrop A sold-out crowd packed the historic Bastrop Opera House on May 3-4 to watch actors and members of the Bastrop County Bar Association reenact the trial of Jeff Fitzpatrick, who was accused of murdering Lee County Deputy Sheriff Issac Bose Heffington in 1883. During both the Saturday dinner theater performance and the Sunday matinee, the audience found Fitzpatrick to be not guilty, staying true to the case's actual outcome. Above: Members of the Bastrop County Bar Association reenact the trial of Jeff Fitzpatrick. Mary Cranston receives inaugural leadership award The University of Texas School of Law Center for Women in Law presented the first Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Award to Mary Cranston, a retired senior partner and immediate past chair of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, during an awards ceremony and luncheon on April 11 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. The event, which coincided with the center's fifth anniversary, also included a keynote speech by Arianna Huffington, the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group. Attorneys discuss discipline topics at Grievance Symposium State Bar leaders and members met at the Texas Law Center on April 16 for the 2014 Grievance Symposium. An assortment of speakers discussed several current topics surrounding lawyer discipline, including the handling of trust accounts, issues faced by aging attorneys, and a review of the Client-Attorney Assistance Program and the Advertising Review Department.
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