Baili B. Rhodes 2017-08-23 13:14:31
Never Stop Learning New pencils. Crayons. Notebooks. He has a new backpack with a matching lunchbox and is so full of excitement over meeting his new teacher that he can hardly contain himself. My momma-of-a-kindergartner heart is about to explode. Perhaps it is my own fond memories of the first day of school, but I think I am as excited as he is. I cannot wait to hear about the friends he has made, and the things that he has learned. I have always loved learning, and I hope that I have engendered that same passion for scholarship in my children. One of the things that drove me to a career in the law was my desire to find a profession that required me to continue learning. As attorneys, we are always learning something new, whether it is caselaw developments, updated rules or statutes, or trial strategy. We learn in continuing legal education courses, in the courtroom, and in our offices. When I was planning Texas Young Lawyers Association projects for the 2017-2018 year, I found myself looking for an opportunity to help attorneys learn a new skill. When I thought of skills I wish I had, one came quickly to mind—knowledge of the Spanish language. As I have said too many times, the five years of French I took in high school and college are not helping me much in my practice in Texas. My friends are going to tape my mouth shut if I keep using that joke, but it is true. As the demographics of our state change, so do the needs of our profession. In recognition that I am not the only lawyer in the state who wishes she had some Spanish proficiency, TYLA will develop Spanish for Lawyers. TYLA will work with an instructor to develop curriculum geared toward attorneys. The lessons will be filmed and the videos will be made available through the TYLA website. Spanish for Lawyers will be a beginner level program focused on simple conversation and basic legal terminology. While I recognize that attorneys are unlikely to become fluent from one short course, my goal is that through this program, they will learn to conduct basic conversations in Spanish with clients and witnesses and develop a level of familiarity with written materials. For those who are already familiar with the language, the course will address legal terms that may not have been taught in traditional Spanish classes. We can all be better practitioners of the law if we continue to develop new skills, and I hope you will join me in learning (or improving) your Spanish. For more information about this and other TYLA projects, please go to tyla.org. BAILI B. RHODES President, Texas Young Lawyers Association
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