TYLA Project

TYLA Project

TYLA CLE Roadshows: Refreshing Approach to Providing State Bar of Texas CLE in Smaller Communities
By:  Victor A. Flores

McAllen is known as the City of Palms. Although local residents round up to approximately 136,000, many Winter Texans (retirees escaping northern snow storms) also retreat to McAllen to enjoy the tropical climate, golf courses, and Spanish culture.  It’s a great place to live.

However, for many practicing attorneys in the area (approximately 1,200), the distance from McAllen to San Antonio (the closest major metropolitan area) is about a 4.5-hour drive, each way.  For “Valley” attorneys attempting to attend State Bar of Texas CLE seminars and conferences, the long drive often deters many from attending these live events.

In addressing this issue, the State Bar of Texas (SBOT) and Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) set a goal to bring affordable, high-quality CLE programming to places other than just the state’s largest cities. A product of this initiative was the creation of a TYLA/State Bar of Texas Government Law Section CLE Roadshow.

On February 17, attorneys from McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, and other South Texas cities attended the half-day CLE (3.75 MCLE credit hours, .75 ethics) hosted at the McAllen Convention Center. The program was FREE for all TYLA and SBOT Government Law Section members; other attendees were only charged $50.

Through the support of several key sponsors (including Kittleman Thomas, PLLC; Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP; and Guerra, Leeds, Sabo & Hernandez, PLLC), speakers from Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin flew down to tropical South Texas and shared their time and expertise with local attorneys.

The legal topics presented applied to young and experienced attorneys, including: Texas Tort Claims Act (Mike Shaunessy, McGinnis Lochridge); Summary of Overtime and Other Wage Rights (Jay Forester, Lee & Braziel, LLP); Handling Your First Trial Appeal (Ray Thomas, Kittleman Thomas, PLLC); Contracting with Governmental Entities (Ray Rike, Ellis County/District Attorney); Government Law Case Law Update (Ryan Henry, Law Offices of Ryan Henry, PLLC); and Transitioning In/Out of Government Law (Hon. Andrew Dornburg, Fort Bend County).

Following the CLE, Jones Galligan Key & Lozano, LLP sponsored a networking event. Attendees and speakers gathered at a restaurant, Callejon de Los Milagros, to discuss other topics such as work-life balance and professional development. Several attorneys shared some rather interesting war stories. It was a great informal mentoring opportunity for many of those attending the CLE.

Overall it was encouraging to see different organizations and law firms from across the state collaborate on such an amazing outreach initiative.

TYLA is committed to presenting more CLE Roadshow events across Texas. If you are practicing in a community that finds it difficult to access State Bar of Texas-sponsored CLE activities, please reach out to your TYLA district director or local affiliate and inquire how you can help facilitate a CLE Roadshow in your area. 

Victor Flores is an assistant city attorney with the City of McAllen – City Attorney’s Office. He is the TYLA/ABA YLD District 25 representative, representing Central and South Texas. He can be reached by email at vflores@mcallen.net.

Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.

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