Quarterly Community Outreach Program
After a successful start last year, TCWLA will continue collecting items each month at the membership meetings to donate to local charities assisting women and children in Travis County. Each quarter, we will choose a new charity. For the months of September, October, and November, we will be accepting donations of nonperishable foods for the Capital Area Food Bank. The mission of the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger. In its 25th year of service, the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB) currently provides food and grocery products to 370 Partner Agencies in 21 Central Texas counties. In 2005, CAFB distributed more than 15 million pounds of food. The CAFB service area covers 21,600 square miles in Central Texas. Please bring your donations to the September 20 membership meeting to be a part of the solution to ending hunger in Central Texas.
￼￼FROM THE PRESIDENT
I am honored to serve as President of the Travis County Women Lawyers’Association for this 2006-2007 Bar year. I look forward to the exciting programs and initiatives that we have planned this year and hope to see you all at our many wonderful events.
I joined TCWLA as a law student at The University of Texas and have benefited from my membership ever since. As a law student, TCWLA gave me a peek into the warm and welcoming community of women lawyers that I aspired to join. Demystifying the once- intimidating world of practicing lawyers and establishing a foothold in the Austin legal community gave me confidence and direction that was helpful in landing my first job out of law school at Winstead Sechrest & Minick.
For almost seven years, I practiced corporate/securities law at Winstead and served on the TCWLA Board for five of those years. As a practicing attorney, TCWLA was a terrific source of close friendships, client and lawyer referrals, free CLE, and fulfilling community outreach opportunities.
In March, I left Winstead and the practice of law for a new career in legal recruiting. I am now Managing Director of the Austin office of Kinney Recruiting, where all of the recruiters are former large firm attorneys. Counseling, matchmaking, helping people with major life decisions – I am loving it. Without TCWLA and especially the inspiration I always glean from our annual Pathfinders panel every January, I may not have made this career leap. As a legal recruiter, my TCWLA membership and Board service keeps me rooted in the legal community and connected to the networks, education and community service that feed both career and soul.
As for feeding the body, TCWLA to the rescue, yet again! This is about fitness, not our great catered lunch meetings. I have been looking forward to getting back into shape after the birth of my kids (2 1⁄2 and 1-year-old), but stringent billable hour requirements and lack of opportunity are no longer an excuse not to do so. Starting in October, we will be gathering on the hike and bike trail at the Mo-Pac Bridge to walk together every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. We should have lots of fun talking and seeing people’s babies, if nothing else. This is part of our Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure “training” too. The race is on November 5th, so mark your calendars. The major Komen Foundation initiative that we are kicking off this year is a wonderful pro bono project created by Portia Bosse, our Past- President. This program will link TCWLA members (with support from UT Law students from the Center for Public Interest) with breast cancer patients and their families who need pro bono legal services. We will be announcing more information about this project at our September 20th meeting.
Our September 20th meeting will also be good for an hour of CLE Ethics credit. Nickie Freedman, founder of Legally Large consulting group, will address the daily ethics issues facing you and your staff. Nickie has also been kind enough to donate a valuable door prize – one hour of ethics training for staff or attorneys, worth $500. Thank you, Nickie! Don’t forget to bring your business card for the drawing. Please also note that our membership meetings this year will be starting at 11:45 instead of noon. This extra fifteen minutes will give us more time to network and make announcements before the program begins around noon.
Also in the spirit of fostering more member interaction, networking, friendship, you name it….. We are excited to announce the launch of the TCWLA List Server! Laurie Higginbotham, our President-Elect, has gotten this off the ground and distributed the user agreement to you last week. If you’d like to join, please sign the agreement and send it back to Laurie.
We are working toward having several longer CLE programs to supplement our traditional Day in Federal Court offering. One of these programs is our “Everything Your Family & Friends Expect You to Know” seminar on November 2nd. I direly need to attend this seminar because as big dollar M&A attorney, I wasn’t much use to my friends and family when they had basic questions about tickets, leases and wills, that’s for sure.
Thank you to several women for your guidance, leadership and friendship: Portia Bosse, Tracy Henry, Conny Kohler Ruthven, and Mina Brees. We have several friends and members who are moving on, having babies, changing jobs or careers. We would love to hear from you and the rest of our members and past-members so that we can share your news and photos in our newsletter. We are looking for a new Website Chair and a Historian to join our Board, so let me know if you are interested.
Last year was a huge success for TCWLA and its Foundation. A report on our Annual Awards Luncheon is in this newsletter. We gave grants totaling $16,000 to local non-profits, honored several women attorneys and a law firm, applauded our scholarship recipients, and enlisted more fellows and patrons to the cause of supporting equal access to justice for women, children and families. We continue to set the bar higher and higher, but together we can build on every year’s success with our creativity, enthusiasm, and energy. I am proud to be a part of TCWLA. Please join us as we continue to strengthen the bonds among women attorneys and our communities.
2006 Grants & Awards Luncheon and Raffle — A Record Breaker
The 2006 Travis County Women Lawyers Association and Foundation Luncheon and Raffle held on June 7, 2006 at the Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom was a record breaking event for the two organizations. More than 300 guests attended the luncheon which was 100 more attendees than have ever attended this event. The guests were treated to a video presentation created by luncheon sponsor Res Ipsa honoring the eight grant recipients that included: SafePlace, Capital Area AIDS Legal Project, Center for Child Protection, Family Eldercare, Jane’s Due Process, SAHELI, Texas Civil Rights Project, Women’s Advocacy Project. Grants totaling $16,000 were presented to these very worthy organization – another record-breaking number. Mary Beth Rogers, former Chief of Staff for Governor Ann Richards, professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Executive Director of KLRU – Austin’s public television station, was the speaker for the Luncheon. Ms. Rogers spoke about community service and reminded everyone how important our support is to non-profit organizations and the people who rely on them.
Under the leadership of Laurie Higginbotham and Belinda Howell, the Association and Foundation conducted the first luncheon raffle which offered fantastic prizes and gifts in 8 packages valued at nearly $20,000. Sponsorships totaling more than $16,000 for the luncheon were coordinated by Ann Greenberg. The proceeds from the sale of the raffle and luncheon tickets and sponsorships less the expenses of the luncheon totaled $10,000 a record amount for this event. These funds will be used to award even more grant money to next year’s recipients.
The recipients of the TCWLA’s awards included: Lori Erwin, Sylvia Hardman, Elena Diaz, Cathy Fryer,Patricia McAllister, and Beryl Crowley. Many thanks go out to all of the individuals, law firms and businesses who contributed to the success of the 2006 event.
Meet Your Board: Laura Moriaty
Loves to do
Secretly, Martha Stewart is my idol (except for the securities fraud part and the reputation for being cruel to her staff). I love to cook, bake, sew, garden, shop for antiques, and two-step at the Broken Spoke.
I am very glad to be back in Austin at last— I love this town and have never visited a place I’d rather live. I’m working hard to find ways to get involved in this community as much as possible, and it’s to that end that I’ve joined the board of TCWLA.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP
I went to high school here in Austin, at Johnston High back when it was the Liberal Arts Academy magnet school. At the end of high school, I, like most teenagers, wanted to get as far away from my folks as possible, so I went to college in New Haven, Connecticut at Yale University. After four years in the endless, dreary New Haven winters, I was ready to head somewhere warmer, but still wasn’t ready to come home to Austin, so I went to law school at the University of Virginia. Although most people say that law school is a time in their life they’d rather forget, I loved my law school experience— the people at Virginia were wonderful and Charlottesville is the most beautiful place I’ve ever had the chance to live in.
Since I’m single and don’t have any kids, I’ll devote this section to my parents. Having read the description of my own straight-and-narrow path above, this part will give you an idea of what I was rebelling against. My parents, Sara Clark and Dave Moriaty, met when they were both editors of the Austin Sun (a predecessor of the current Austin Chronicle) in the mid-1970’s. When they met, my father was just back from having founded Rip Off Press in San Francisco (publisher of many underground comics for the San Francisco counter-culture scene of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s), and my mother had recently finished graduate school and a career as a liberal activist in organizations like Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Texas. After I came along, they eventually settled down: my mother became Head of Archives and Manuscripts at the Center for American History at the University of Texas, and my father taught desktop publishing at Austin Community College.