The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors approved the nominations of Chad Baruch of Dallas and Laura Bellegie Sharp of Austin as president-elect candidates at its meeting in McAllen on January 20, 2017. Their bios appear below. Pursuant to the State Bar Act, any member of the bar meeting certain eligibility requirements may run for president-elect by submitting a petition on or before March 1 signed by at least 5 percent of the State Bar membership. The bios of any petition candidates will be featured in the April issue. Texas lawyers will vote for the president-elect and district directors April 3 to May 2. The chosen lawyer will serve as president of the State Bar of Texas from June 2018 to June 2019. The board’s Nominations and Elections Subcommittee recommends president-elect candidates in accordance with a three-year rotating cycle between members in a metropolitan area, nonmetropolitan area, and an open year (this year). Interviews with the candidates will be included in the April issue. For more information, go to texasbar.com/election. Chad Baruch Dallas Chad Baruch is certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. A longtime solo practitioner, Baruch is now a shareholder in Johnston Tobey Baruch in Dallas. Baruch has served as a member of the State Bar Board of Directors and Executive Committee and as chair of the Texas Bar College, Council of Chairs, Consumer and Commercial Law Section, and Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section. A frequent continuing legal education speaker, Baruch received the 2015 State Bar of Texas Gene Cavin Award for lifetime contributions to CLE and the 2016 Texas Bar Foundation Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award for excellence in legal writing and commitment to the profession. The Texas Access to Justice Commission has named him a Pro Bono Champion. Alongside his legal career, Baruch has served as a college and high school head basketball coach and government teacher. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. Laura Bellegie Austin Laura Bellegie Sharp is an AV-rated trial attorney handling all forms of litigation for the Sharp Firm in Austin. Sharp has served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and the State Bar of Texas Insurance Trust Board of Directors and is a current member of the board of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Sharp was a member of the bar’s Court Rules Committee, the Grievance Committee, and the Women in the Profession Committee. She is a Texas Bar Foundation life fellow and a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Sharp was the 2003-2004 president of the Austin Bar Association and held director and officer positions from 1998 to 2003. She is a founding fellow of the Austin Bar Foundation, having served twice as chair, and continues to serve as treasurer. She has been a delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates since 2008, is on the board of the National Conference of Bar Foundations, and is an American Bar Foundation life fellow. Sharp received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and a J.D. from Baylor Law School.
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