2019 Texas Minority Counsel Program
The Texas Minority Counsel Program was held November 6-8, 2019 at the Four Seasons in Irving. The event, put on by the State Bar's Office of Minority Affairs, featured a golf tournament, spa day, and day of service; CLEs on various pertinent topics, including a General Counsel panel, tackling imposter syndrome, and transforming the criminal justice system. Attendees heard from powerhouse speakers, including Brittany K. Barnett of the Buried Alive Project and Adam Foss of Prosecutor Impact. At the TMCP Awards Presentation, AALS members Honorable Carolyn Wright and Chevazz Brown were honored as the Lifetime Achievement Awardee and Trailblazer Awardee, respectively. TMCP 2020 will be held October 28-30, 2020 at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol. AALS members will receive a $25 discount on registration.
2019 Dallas Area Meet & Greet
On October 30, 2019, the Dallas based firm Thompson & Knight, LLP opened its doors to the AALS and catered to leaders from some of the most prestigious organizations in the city including the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), the J.L. Turner Legal Association, the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association, and the AALS council members. There were about 50 attendees, with about 40 students from the BLSAs of Texas A&M, Southern Methodist University, and the University of North Texas. The event was co-hosted by the J.L. Turner Legal Association, with a generous venue sponsorship from Thompson & Knight. This dynamic event afforded the AALS the opportunity to promote the organization and encourage membership. Harrison Smith, a representative of the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association, and Koi Spurlock, J.L. Turner Legal Association President-Elect, briefly introduced their respective organizations. A special thanks to AALS Council Members Paul Stafford and Tamika Jones Abendroth for coordinating the event.
2019 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting - Austin, TX
2019 Texas African American Lawyers Summit & Awards
The 4th Annual State Bar of Texas African American Lawyers Section Summit & Awards Luncheon (SBOT AALS Summit & Awards) was held on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, 1901 Main Street, Dallas, Texas 75201, from 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. The SBOT AALS Summit & Awards is a premier professional development and networking event, with CLE modules (MCLE: 6 hours, with 2 hours of Ethics included) and presentations designed for a variety of practitioners in various practice areas, with particular focus on issues relevant to the African-American community. Thompson & Knight LLP, Winstead PC, COFFEE, Inc. (Communities Organized For Fairness Equity & Empowerment), and UNT Dallas College of Law were sponsors of the event.
Through the AALS Awards, the AALS Summit also provided a unique opportunity for the State Bar of Texas and the African American Lawyers Section to honor those who have distinguished themselves in the profession. This year, the SBOT AALS Award recipients were:
• Wesley Terrell (AT&T), recipient of the AALS Trailblazer Award, which recognizes an outstanding attorney who – through professional and personal determination, specific action, and unwavering commitment - has promoted the interests of justice in the legal profession and the pursuit of issues relevant to African-American Lawyers in Texas in a manner that is both unique to the advancement of the endeavor and beneficial to others.
• Judge Tonya Parker (116th District Court, Dallas County, Texas), recipient of the AALS Distinguished Jurist Award, which recognizes an outstanding jurist who – through the administration justice – is worthy of particular distinction, and who serves as an exemplar to the legal profession generally and to African-American Lawyers in Texas specifically.
• Rhonda Hunter (Past-President of the J.L. Turner Legal Association, and the first African-American President of the Dallas Bar Association in 2004), recipient of the AALS Outstanding Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding individual who – through personal and professional commitment and accomplishment – is worthy of recognition for one or more accomplishments that have upheld the ideals of the legal profession, promoted the interests of justice, and served as an exemplar to African-American Lawyers in Texas.