Baili B. Rhodes 2017-10-19 03:48:20
Grateful to Serve I love the month of November. With it comes the smell of pumpkin pie, excitement for the holiday season, and time spent contemplating the things for which we are thankful. With two small children, my husband and I find ourselves spending more time explaining what it means to be “thankful” and “fortunate.” Those conversations have given me the opportunity to be a bit introspective and to recognize the number of things I have to be thankful for this fall. I am beyond grateful for my support system: friends, firm, and family, especially my husband who provides constant support even while we both balance busy professional lives. I am also grateful for the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of attorneys dedicated to service. In the wake of what can only be called a tumultuous fall, I am grateful for the individuals I interact with through the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the State Bar of Texas. In them, I see a group of servant leaders dedicated to their communities and their profession. I am encouraged to work with different individuals to fulfill the mission of the State Bar—“to support the administration of the legal system, assure all citizens equal access to justice, foster high standards of ethical conduct for lawyers, enable its members to better serve their clients and the public, educate the public about the rule of law, and promote diversity in the administration of justice and the practice of law.” TYLA takes the mission statement to heart and spends the year developing projects and programming to fulfill each element. One of my goals for this year is to give TYLA board members the opportunity to make a direct impact on the communities where we conduct our board meetings. In September, the TYLA board meeting was held in Lubbock. When they were not sitting in the board meeting, TYLA directors presented What Do Lawyers Do? to a group of students at Texas Tech University School of Law, attended a networking event with law students, and volunteered at the Children’s Home of Lubbock. The kids who reside at the home have not always had the most uplifting interactions with the court system. While we spent the afternoon playing tug of war, volleyball, and basketball with the residents, I hope that we also provided a positive impression of lawyers. The TYLA Serving the Underserved Committee is planning similar activities for each of the TYLA quarterly board meetings this year. I also had the privilege of spending time with the 10th LeadershipSBOT class at the end of September. The group of emerging leaders was selected based on their demonstrated commitment to service to the profession and diversity in culture, ethnicity, geography, and area of practice. During the course of the year, the LeadershipSBOT participants will have the opportunity to learn from leaders in the profession and to develop their own public service project. It is refreshing to see these rising stars looking for new and innovative ways to make an impact. I hope every member of the State Bar (not just the young lawyers) will spend this month being grateful for the opportunity to serve. I encourage you to read the State Bar’s mission statement and consider how you are fulfilling it. If you are interested in having a TYLA project presented in your community, please reach out to me or your local TYLA director. We would be grateful for the opportunity to serve. BAILI B. RHODES President, Texas Young Lawyers Association
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