Join us for our most popular and inspiring event! 2011 Pathfinders Luncheon
The Travis County Women Lawyers‘ Association is pleased to announce the 2011 Pathfinders. This year we are honoring Laura Fowler, founder of The Fowler Law Firm PC, preeminent oil and gas litigator, Becky Miller, the Honorable Lora Livingston, and former Texas Supreme Court Justice, Harriet O‘Neill.
Each year TCWLA recognizes women in our community who have used their law degrees in ways that inspire the rest of us. These four successful women continue to work in and for our legal community.
We look forward to listening to and learning from these four ac- complished women. Please join us on Wednesday, January 19 at Car- melo‘s restaurant (504 E. 5th Street) at 11:45 AM to honor our 2011 Pathfinders. Please feel free to arrive early to greet one another and network before lunch is served.
From Your President Amanda Taylor
Twas three We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
￼￼￼￼I love the crisp, refreshing start of a new year. We are filled with hope, de- termination, ambition, and clarity of mind. Our outlook for the upcoming months is unwaveringly positive. Nothing will hold us back this year! Then, without fail, some- where along the way usually on the first of those breezy spring days when a patio cocktail sounds so nice – our goals be- come a little, well, shall we say ― muddled. We know this will happen in May, but we forge ahead anyway in January. That is the simple beauty of the human spirit.
This year, let‘s try to keep that positive, determined outlook go- ing for as long as possible. Here are two ways that TCWLA can help you do that: First, make time to attend the Pathfinders Luncheon on January 19 at Carmellos. At this luncheon you will hear the personal stories of four amazing female attorneys who have forged a path to success. Let them in- spire and teach you ways to succeed on your own journey. Second, get more involved in TCWLA in 2011 than you have been before. TCWLA offers the opportunity to form an amazing network of friends and con- tacts who understand your work/life balance and who can help you along the way. Having this type of network can help you stay on track to meet all those goals you‘ve just set— whether you find a TCWLA running buddy or someone to call about trusts and estates. The first step is remembering to re- new your member- ship in 2011 when your dues are up. Beyond that, think about whether you might like serve on our Board. We will have some positions open for seats beginning in June, so take the time between now and then to consider if that is something you would like to do, and feel free to ask me about this potential service if you have any questions.
Happy New Year!
Amanda Taylor 2010-2011
Raise a Glass! Good News from Bar Members
￼Davis & Wilkerson would like to announce that TCWLA member, Katy Merrill Andre has just been elected shareholder in recognition of her exemplary work with the firm‘s clients. Andre typically represents business owners, individuals and insurance companies, defending them against lawsuits ranging from personal injury and premises liability matters, to general and professional liability issues. Since joining the firm six years ago, Katy has exceeded expectations,‖ said Shareholder David Wright, who has witnessed Andre first hand as her co -counsel on various legal matters. She has done everything we have asked her to and left a trail of extremely satisfied clients.
Andre was pleased with the news, crediting the firm and its attorneys for creating an environment to succeed. I have been so fortunate to work with someone like David Wright and the many other shareholders at the firm,‖ said Andre. They have been extremely supportive not only of my work on behalf of clients, but also with organizations outside the firm, such as Volunteer Legal Services, Texas Association of Defense Counsel and DRI — The Voice of the Defense Bar. I have been able to cull my experience as a trial lawyer while remaining involved in my community and raising a family. I look forward to growing my practice now as a shareholder in the firm.‖ For more on Andre, visit her biography at http:// www.dwlaw.com/ attorneys/katy-merrill- andre.html
Meet Your 2011 Pathfinders
Former Texas Supreme Cour Justice, Harriet O’Neill
Former Justice Harriet O’Neill was elected to the Texas Supreme Court in 1998 and re-elected to a second term in 2004. O’Neill’s judi- cial career began in 1992, when she was elected to the 152nd District Court in Houston. In 1995, Governor George W. Bush appointed her to the 14th Court of Appeals, and she won election to that seat in 1996. She left the court of appeals with a 91 percent approval rating, the highest rat- ing on her nine- member court. She was appointed by then-U.S. Attorney General Gonzales to serve on the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women. She has a special interest in improving our court system for children and families in foster care and spearheaded the creation in 2007 of the Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families.
In the 10 years before assuming the bench, Harriet O’Neill practiced law in Houston, concentrating in complex business and commercial litigation. She practiced with the firms of Porter & Clements and Morris & Campbell, and then opened her own office. Now she is be- ginning a private practice in Travis County and settling in Austin with her husband and three children.
Laura Fowler is one of the state’s preeminent experts in school and real estate law. Currently Ms. Fowler is the founder and leader of the Fowler Law Firm, P.C., a firm of sixteen attorneys carrying for- ward the tradition of excellence established in Austin by its predecessors, Judge Robert Lee Penn, I.D. Fowler and James Malcolm “Mac” Harris more than one hundred years ago. Laura Fowler entered Baylor Law School with a full scholarship at a time when there were few women in the law school. In her first year of law school she was recruited by the U.S. Navy to serve as one of its first fe- male JAG officers at a time when numbers of female com- missioned officers were limited by federal law. Laura traveled the world aboard a combat vessel, where she found herself at times the lone woman and lawyer aboard a ship with more than three thousand navy and marine corps personnel.
Ms. Fowler returned to Texas and served as counsel to the Texas Commissioner of Education. She was rapidly recruited into private practice and by the late 80‘s was a named partner in a firm which grew while she was a part of it from a three lawyer firm in Austin, Texas to the largest woman owned law firm in Texas and one of the top one hundred law firms in the State of Texas. As she enters her third decade of law practice, Ms. Fowler’s true passion is in giving back to the Travis County community. She is the publisher and co- author of five books which have been adopted by the graduate level programs of eighteen Texas colleges and universities. The proceeds of all sales of all publications are donated to support Texas students in various ways.
Becky Miller started law school at The University of Texas as a single mother of a two-year- old . After graduating with honors in 1981, she joined Scott, Douglass & McConnico, L.L.P. She was the second female attorney to join the firm.
In 1992, she became the firm‘s managing partner and the first female managing partner of a major Texas law firm. At Scott, Douglass & McConnico, Becky built a career in oil and gas law and has become an expert in the field. Becky has been a Texas Super Lawyer in Energy and Natural Resources Law since 2004 and was named a Texas Lawyer Top Five ―Go-To‖ Lawyer in Oil and Gas in 2008. From 1998 to 1999, Becky served as the first female chair of the State Bar‘s oil and gas section, and from 1988 to 1989, she chaired the gas and mineral law section of the Travis County Bar. Becky, now in semi-retirement, still practices law at Scott Douglass & McConnico on a part-time basis and is an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
The Honorable Lora Livingston
Judge Lora Livingston is a 1982
graduate of the UCLA School of Law. She began her legal career as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow assigned to the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas in Austin, Texas. She continued to work in the area of poverty law until 1988 when she entered private practice with the law firm of Joel B. Bennett, P.C. In 1993, she and S. Gail Parr formed a partnership and opened the law firm of Livingston & Parr.
She was engaged in a general civil litigation practice with an emphasis on family law. In January, 1995, she was sworn in as an Associate Judge for the District Courts of Travis County, Texas. After her successful election, Judge Livingston was sworn in as Judge of the 261st District Court in January, 1999. She is the first African- American woman to serve on a district court in Travis County, Texas. In addition to her professional posts, she has served on numerous Boards of important Austin area community groups, such as Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Capital Area Food Bank, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Area Urban League, and El Buen Samaritano. Her many contributions to pro bono efforts statewide include her service on the board of the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation and appointment by the Texas Supreme Court to serve on the inaugural board of the Texas Access to Justice Commission.
UT CENTER FOR WOMEN IN LAW HOSTS LEADERSHIP BOOT CAMP FOR WOMEN 3Ls AND JUDICIAL CLERKS
Launched in 2009, the Center for Women in Law at The University of Texas School of Law is the premier educational institution dedicated to the success of the entire spectrum of women in law, from first-year law students to the most experienced and accomplished attorneys. Un- der the leadership of Executive Director Linda Bray Chanow, the Center advocates for the advancement of women lawyers into leader- ship positions in the profession.
―Even after decades of pro- gress, women continue to be grossly under-represented in virtually every area of the law,‖ states Chanow.
Women comprise just 16% of law firm equity partners; 15% of law firm governing committees; 6% of law firm managing partners; 19% of Fortune 500 general counsel; and 20% of law school deans. Women attorneys of color occupy even fewer leadership positions, comprising less than two percent of partners in law firms. She notes, ―These distressing percent- ages have remained static for many years, despite the fact that women have constituted nearly 50% of law school graduating classes for two decades.‖
To change this dynamic, the Center will host its sec- ond annual Leadership Boot Camp on February 18th. The Leadership Boot Camp is an all-day training session for 3rd year law stu- dents and judicial clerks. The intense training session focuses on skills that women lawyers tradition- ally learn too late in their careers to have an impact – self-promotion, effective communication, and build- ing internal and external networks.
―The program provides a meaningful opportunity for women at the start of their careers to fine-tune skills with experienced attorneys who understand what it will take for the students to succeed as young lawyers,‖ explains Chanow . This early preparation is in- tended to give women their best chance at success in the legal profession, and is an important component of the Center‘s goal to ad- vance a critical mass of women into positions of influence.
The Center is currently seeking senior level attor- neys to co-lead small group training workshops at the Leadership Boot Camp. The time commitment is 3
hours on the day of the event and a 1 hour training call. For more information, con- tact Linda Chanow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-232-1973.
The Leadership Boot Camp is one of a number of initia- tives being spearheaded by the Center. Other programs include:
A bi-annual Women’s Power Summit on Law and Leadership that brings leading women lawyers together to ex- change ideas and gener- ate solutions to chal- lenges facing women in the legal profession. The 2009 Power Summit cul- minated in the creation of the Austin Manifesto, which calls for concrete steps to tackle the obsta- cles facing women in the profession today.
The Consortium for Ad- vancing Women Lawyers, a platform for leaders from across the country to share knowledge, de- velop relationships, and combine resources that will accelerate efforts to advance women lawyers.
The Center is founded and funded by 40 women. It serves as a national resource to convene leaders, generate ideas, and lead change.