by Sally Pretorius
This year is such a great year for the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). We are halfway through the bar year and young lawyers are accomplishing so much across the great state of Texas. As a transplant Dallas-ite, I am very proud to call Dallas home and proud of everything that the Dallas Young Lawyers Association and the Dallas Bar Association does and stands for.
TYLA is a leader in young lawyer affiliates across the nation through the American Bar Association and in creating projects that make a huge impact on the community. TYLA advances the profession by providing guidance and mentorship to young attorneys and by serving as the public service arm of the State Bar of Texas. This year, Dallas is well represented among the TYLA Executive Committee, as five out of eight of us hail from Dallas—talk about a powerhouse!
Keep reading for an overview of some of our major projects this year.
Under the guidance of the TYLA leaders and board of directors, TYLA has launched two successful podcasts that are free to the public: Young Gunners, which is a series focusing on basic legal components and issues, and Shero, which features intimate conversations with female leaders in the legal community with the goal of helping mentor young female attorneys.
TYLA is in the filming process of re-invigorating an existing project called Junior Judges, now renamed The Choice, which is a curriculum designed to help children make the right choices in tough situations they will likely encounter in their childhood and adolescent years. The Choice will partner with two San Antonio Cinema Major high school students who will help us update the project with topics such as sexting and online safety.
TYLA is also using the brainchild of the Dallas Young Lawyers Association and incorporating a program that focuses on compassion fatigue (also known as secondary post traumatic stress disorder), which can affect attorneys and others who help people exposed to stressful situations cope with their experiences and find solutions. TYLA has scheduled numerous “wellness panels” throughout the state that help educate lawyers on related issues. TYLA has also created a guide to help attorneys cope with compassion fatigue and find ways to prevent burnout, especially in highly emotional areas of law.
Lastly, thanks to a generous grant by the Texas Bar Foundation, TYLA is in the production phase of a project called Proud to be An American, which focuses on educating K-12 students about the rights and responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen. A special part of this project will be personalized videos from a variety of people—some longtime U.S. citizens, some newer citizens, and some in the process of becoming citizens. TYLA will use this project as a way to unify existing projects that focus on the rights of U.S. citizens such as I Was The First, American Juror, and They Had a Dream Too.
As you can see, TYLA is hard at work creating projects that help advance and educate the legal profession and serve the community. If you have any interest in any of these projects, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone.
Sally Pretorius, an associate at KoonsFuller in Dallas, is the 2018-2019 president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. All licensed Texas attorneys age 36 or younger or in their first five years of practice, regardless of age, are members of TYLA. For more information, go to tyla.org.