Sam Houston 2017-04-27 05:50:39
Starting at the End Begin with the end in mind. As an appellate lawyer, my calling card is my writing—I owe much gratitude to my high school English teachers. As I learned to perfect the five-paragraph essay, I picked up a great number of skills that I still employ. It is fitting that my last column in the Texas Bar Journal extends a thank you to all those who have helped me along the way. When I was sworn in as president last June, I remarked that any success I have achieved in life is a function of someone having taken an interest in me. Those words still ring true today. This year has been incredibly rewarding. I learned a lot about everything. The staff at the Texas Law Center is a dedicated group of people who really care about the legal industry and want lawyers to do great things. As I watched the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission process unfold, it became clear to me that we cannot become consumed with our day-to-day work and forget we are members of a self-governing profession. You should be proud of the many contributions lawyers make to society. Not to brag, but the Texas Young Lawyers Association plays an important role as the State Bar’s public service arm. I have also learned about my fellow board members. The folks on the TYLA Board of Directors come from every corner of the state, and each member has a distinct story. Many are first-generation lawyers, which had special significance to those working on one of our signature projects, I Was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too! If you have not seen it yet, you are missing out. We continue to add content to iwasthefirst.tyla.org. We know we are going to inspire the next generation of attorneys who will see that a legal career is possible irrespective of sex, race, or socioeconomic status. I cannot thank the Texas Bar Foundation enough for believing in this initiative and giving us the dollars to make it happen. I also learned more about myself. I have always been a “doer.” But as president, there is just too much to be done and you must delegate. Thankfully, I was blessed to have a talented group of people who care about TYLA’s mission as much as I do. And I cannot forget to say thank you to State Bar staff members Tracy Brown, Bree Trevino, and Michelle Palacios for their work, friendship, and love. Returning to the notion that you must begin with the end in mind, I am so proud of what we have accomplished since June. I had high hopes, but I could not have imagined just how exceptional the year was going to be. We produced projects that serve our three constituent groups: young lawyers, law students, and the public. To supplement law school curriculum, we have provided our members with practical information they can use to advance their careers. And the public has many more resources addressing topics such as divorce and the complex legal and school administrative processes surrounding reports of sexual assault. To paraphrase my good friend, State Bar Assistant Deputy Director KaLyn Laney, we are doing the right things for the right reasons. I sincerely thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president. SAM HOUSTON President, Texas Young Lawyers Association
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