Our Membership Meeting Are So Much More
membership meetings are famous among the Bar as a gathering of some of the most interesting and influential attorneys in the area. Each meeting is an opportunity to spend time with your peers from all different practice areas and legal perspectives. Most meetings have the added value of CLE speakers on interesting and cut- ting edge topics.
Kristine A Huskey, Clinical Professor of Law and the National Security Clinic at UT School of Law shared
her latest work with TCWLA members at our March meeting. After her discussion, the floor was opened for a lively discussion on national security and civil liberties.
In addition to discus- sion on some of the most important issues of our time, members also enjoyed the ca- tered delights of Spoon and Co. Soon, the TCWLA member- ship meetings will be famous for its deli- cious fare as well.
Join us next month, on April 21, when the CLE will be a Supreme Court Update by Kurt Kuhn. Members may brown bag for free. To register for lunch or to bring a nonmember, go to www.tcwla.org.
From Your President Elizabeth Poole
Spring is in the air! I hope you’ve been able to enjoy this warm weather – either over a spring break or at SXSW. TCWLA ushers in this new season with several new events. We were pleased to see so many people at February’s Judicial Reception and were happy to re- turn to our monthly CLE events in March. We enjoyed Kristine Huskey’s presentation on her book Justice at Guantánamo: One Woman’s Odyssey and her Campaign for Human Rights, an account of her experience representing Guantánamo detainees.
We continue our CLE series on April 21, and hope you can join us as Kurt Kuhn gives us an update on the Texas Supreme Court. This is your chance to learn more about what the justices have been up to this year and what changes in the law could affect your practice area.
Please save the date on your calendar for our Annual Grants and Awards Luncheon on May 13. This year we return to the Austin Hil- ton to honor the women attorneys who will receive TCWLA’s attorney awards. We
will also provide $25,000 in grant funding to local non-profit or- ganizations. Come to this event to honor law- yers in our community and leave inspired to make a difference!
Please get involved with our many events. As always, we can use the extra help. I look for- ward to seeing you at our next event!
Remembering Myra McDaniel and Charlye Farris
Women lawyers across the state are grieving the loss of two trailblazing women attorneys who died in February of 2010, Myra McDaniel and Charlye Farris.
Myra McDaniel served as the first African American Secretary of State for Texas and as General Counsel to Governor Mark White. She was an expert in public law, elections, redistricting and govern- mental relations, serving as managing partner at Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan, Keever, and McDaniel in 1995. She served as General Counsel to Austin Community College for years. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Myra was educated at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania and University of Texas Law School. She raised a family and pursued her legal career with the support of her loving husband, Dr. Reuben R.
McDaniel, Jr. Knowing that education is an equalizing key to success, she encouraged all whom she mentored to take full advantage of educational opportunities. Church and community service balanced her legal career. Myra was a leader at St. James Episcopal Church, past
board chair at St. Edward’s University, supported the League of Women Voters, and served on the board of Seton Hospital. In 2006, she was awarded the Sandra Day O’Conner Award for Professional Excellence. The family asks that donations be kindly made to support the St. James Episcopal Church Capital Campaign (include on memo line ―Capital Campaign Fund- Myra McDaniel‖). The depth and breadth of Myra’s influence was evident at her beautiful memorial service. Her quiet but powerful influence throughout the community was apparent from the many diverse faces that filled the church as they came to pay their respects and reflect on the life of this remarkable woman. Her strength, grace and wisdom will be greatly missed.
Charlye Farris was the first black woman to earn a license to practice law in the State of Texas, and the first woman of any race to actively practice law in Wichita County, Texas. TCWLA honors her with the annual Farris- Cisneros Scholarship, championed by past president Bree Buchanan. Charlye was born to
educators and was a product of public schools. Mr. Farris was the first African- American school superintendent in Texas (Woodland Consolidated School District in Limestone County) and Mrs. Farris was an elementary schoolteacher for 49 years. In 1945, Charlye graduated at age 15 as valedictorian of Booker T. Washington High School (Wichita Falls public schools did not integrate until required by federal courts in 1969). She was 18 when she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Prairie View A&M College. To appease her parents, Charlye took a job teaching third and fourth graders in Stamford but gave it up after a year to pursue her interest in the law. Against all odds, Charlye became an
attorney. When she applied for admission to law school, law was a man’s profession. There were no African- American women licensed to practice law in Texas. And it was very difficult to gain entry into the only law school in Texas that admitted African-Americans: the newly created law school at the Texas State University for Negroes in Houston (renamed Texas Southern University in 1951). Undeterred,
Charyle entered law school at the University of Denver. She transferred to Howard University in Washington D.C. after her first year. During Charlye’s last year in law school at Howard, her civil rights class helped work on Brown v. Board of Education; Thurgood Marshall (later a U.S. Supreme Court Justice), George E. C. Hayes, and James M. Nabrit Jr., practiced their Supreme Court arguments (―dry runs‖) in front of Charlye’s class. In 1953, Charlye graduated from Howard University with a law degree and returned to Texas to take the Bar exam; she was sworn in on November 12, 1953. She endured the indignity of practicing law in the county courthouse which until 1962 had separate restrooms and drinking fountains for white and ―colored‖ people. And Charlye was unable to attend the local bar association’s luncheon meetings because they were held at the Marchman Hotel which excluded African- Americans. On July 7, 1954, members of the Wichita County Bar Association unanimously elected Charlye to serve as Special Wichita County Judge (County Judge Pro- Tem). She became the first African-American to serve as a judge in any capacity in the South
Meet Your Board Member Tracy L. Kasparek
Tracy L. Kasparek has been licensed to practice law in the State of Texas since 2007. Tracy received a BA in Business from Southwestern University and a JD from St. Mary’s School of Law. While attending St. Mary’s Tracy became a published staff writer for The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues. She was also elected to the Student Bar Association, and participated in several community service projects which earned her a Pro Bono Certificate awarded at graduation as well as the Marianist Service to the Community award. A native Austinite, Tracy has made Austin her permanent home. She is an associate attorney of the Thrash Law Firm and focuses on Estate Planning, Pro- bate, Family and Elder/Medicaid Law within the firm. Tracy also serves as an attorney ad litem by appointment of the Travis County Probate Court, and takes on one pro bono case at a time through Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. In addition to serving as Treasurer and board member of TCWLA, she is also currently serving on 3 other boards, which include the AGLCC, AGLPF and her homeowner’s association.
2010 Take Your Daughters to Work Day
This is your opportunity to volunteer on Travis County Women Lawyers Association’s award winning program by serving as a mentor, even if it’s only for one day. TCWLA has scheduled their premier program, ―Take Your Daughters to Work Day‖, on Monday, May 3, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This program reaches out to young girls in the fifth and sixth grades. This year the principal, teachers, and counselors from Zavala Elementary in East Austin will select twenty (20) girls who have good attendance and grades to participate in the program. This will be our 4th year to have a mock trial where the State seeks a protective order on a dating violence claim.
In the past, the TYDTW program has received the following two awards from The Texas State Bar: ―Outstanding Partnership‖ and ―Certificate of Achievement‖.
If you wish to participate in planning the event or helping on the date of this event, please contact the Chair, Judge Orlinda Naranjo, at 854-4023 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always need help with drivers who will pick up and drop off the girls at school and you will be asked to provide a copy of your Drivers License and Proof of Insurance.
Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Workshop
A Complimentary CLE Program by Brown McCarroll LLP & The American Bar Association Health Law Section
Breast Cancer Task Force
Friday, April 16, 2010 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Brown McCarroll LLP 111 Congress Avenue Austin, TX
Out of all women born today, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. Chances are you or someone you know has had some experience with this disease. Cancer patients face a variety of legal problems related to their illness, including healthcare concerns, insurance company refusal to authorize needed treatment, and employment related issues. This seminar will provide information to assist attorneys who do not ordinarily handle cases of this type become aware of practices, procedures, and statutory enactments that will help them to assist clients with legal problems resulting from their illness. Information will also be provided on how attorneys can become advocates for breast cancer patients.
The distinguished panel will address a number of legal issues related to a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, including insurance coverage and ERISA issues, labor and employment issues, public benefits and a comprehensive review of a hypothetical of a patient’s case.
Questions can be directed to Abbey Palagi at the ABA at 312-988-5532 or via email to PalagiA@staff.abanet.org.