Annual Judicial Reception Huge Success!
Each year the TCWLA Judicial Reception is one of our organization’s most well attended and often complimented events. This year was no exception. Members of the bench and the bar shared an evening of good food, good conversation and enjoyed the presentation of the scholarships. The 2010 Mary Pearl Williams Scholarship went to Susannah Volpe and the 2010 Margaret Cooper Scholarship winners were Adriana Rodriguez and Lorrie Cantrell. Special thanks to Cindy Connolly and Julie Street, Activities chair- women on the TCWLA board, for putting together this wonderful event. And special thanks to all our sponsors for making this a truly great night!
From Your President Elizabeth Poole
This month TCWLA will review your nominations for our annual attorney awards. If you have not yet sent in a nomination, you can do so by visiting our website, www.tcwla.org, and by downloading an application. TCWLA began this award program several years ago. At that time, the board noticed that local bar organizations were failing to include women among the ranks of the successful and influential attorneys they recognized. The board felt that women who were equally contributing to the local community were underrepresented in receiving the recognition they deserved. Thus be- gan the annual TCWLA attorney awards.
I had the good fortune to enter law school the first year that female law students outnumbered male students. And from my first law clerking job to my current position, the executive directors and man- aging attorneys under whom I’ve worked have all been women. From my first visit to the uncontested docket as a young lawyer to my first full jury trial, I have practiced be- fore more women judges than men and many of my opposing counsels have been women.
I know that my experience is still unique and that there is much work to be done. But I thought I would take this month to note how far the legal profession has come. More women are managing partners in law firms, more women have started their own practices, and more women are running our local non-profit organizations than ever before. As young women embark on their legal education, they are increasingly taught by female professors.
Let’s celebrate this change. Let’s honor the women who opened the doors for the rest of us, and let’s welcome the newly li- censed attorneys who will continue to shape the changing face of our legal community. Take some time today to honor a woman who has inspired you, whether through her dedication to her commu- nity, to her dedication to her job or her mentorship of less experienced attor- neys. All award recipients will be honored at our annual grants and awards luncheon on May 13 at the Austin Hilton Hotel. We hope you will join us!
Meet Your Board Member Jaclyn Thompson
Jaclyn Thompson is a licensed attorney in both Texas and Michi- gan with several years of legal experience in both the private and public sector. Jaclyn obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University and Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law.
In addition to her legal experience, Jaclyn has worked in higher education for a number of years, previously as a recruiter and admissions counselor for Valparaiso University School of Law and currently as a Law School Account Ex- ecutive for Lex- isNexis. Dedicated to being involved, Jaclyn is on the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association Board and the board of her HOA. She also serves as a chairperson for the Women’s Re- source Fair and a fundraiser for the Leu- kemia & Lymphoma Society. The Women’s Resource
Fair will be held this month on March 27 at the Community Life Center on Lavaca. This annual charitable event provides an array of services to women and children in need, and is hosted in conjunction with the AYLA. Contact Liz Branch or Amanda Taylor to volunteer: branch@branchlawoff ice.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin Lawyers Support Group
Are financial woes keeping you up at night? Come to Texas Lawyer Assistance Program’s (TLAP) confidential monthly meeting on Thursday, February 25, 12:00- 1:00 at 816 Congress, 3rd floor Longhorn Room, to discuss the basics of how to iden- tify causes of financial headaches, make pro- gress towards your financial goals and ad- dress the emotional roadblocks often encountered when facing money issues. For more information call 512-427-1463 or go to http://www.tlap.org.
Color of Justice Paves the Way for a More Diverse Future More TCWLA February Success Stories
Approximately 75 minority students from local Austin high schools, including Lanier, Akins and Austin High, recently had the opportunity to participate in the Color of Justice program, a program started by the National Association of Women Judges to introduce minority students to a diverse group of minority judges, lawyers, and law students whose stories illustrate the many career options available in the law and judiciary. The program was held on February 2nd at UT Law’s Eidman Courtroom.
Travis County Women Lawyers Association was excited to join with the NAWJ and UT Law’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Law, as well as sponsors, Clark Thomas & Winters PC and Winstead PC, to bring this wonderful opportunity to the students. This half-day event featured two panel discussions with speakers sharing their personal experiences and encouraging the students to pursue a career in law. The program inspires minority high school students to consider the law as a career, and to aspire to be a judge as well as a lawyer.
The first panel, titled “The Color of Justice: Making a Difference,” was led by several esteemed judges, including Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the Travis County Civil Court, 419th Judicial District and Judge Eric Shepperd of the Travis County Civil Court, County Court at Law #2. The panel was moderated by Judge Elisabeth Earle of the Travis County Criminal Court, County Court at Law #7.
The second panel, titled “Law as a Career: Preparing the Way” was led by a mix of legal professionals, including Chike Okpara of Clark Thomas & Winters PC, Jana Ortega of the Law Office of Jana Ortega, Norma Cantu a Professor at UT Law and Jessica Kemp at student at the UT Law. Amanda Taylor of Hohmann Taube & Summers and President Elect of TCWLA was the moderator.
Also, as part of the program, UT Law Student, Adriana Rodriguez received a $1,000 “Access to Justice Scholarship” given by the NAWJ for her demonstrated and passionate commitment to the achievement of equality of opportunity and access in the justice system. This scholarship was presented by Judge Orlinda Naranjo.
The program was spearheaded by TCWLA Board Member Elizabeth Branch. TCWLA would like to thank all panel members and sponsors for making this year’s program a true success.