Thursday June 17, 2010

by David M. Gonzalez

While the next few posts won’t exactly be live coverage from the State Bar of Texas’ Annual Meeting, it’s nice to take a break and reflect on how much has happened.

Last year I applied and was somehow accepted into a problem called LeadershipSBOT, a group of 20 lawyers who spend the year in training and development to take a more active role in the future of the State Bar of Texas. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but the reason I applied is because of the historic underrepresentation of criminal defense lawyers in these types of programs.

Being at the conference reinforced my belief. There are 83,596 lawyers in Texas. Over 10,000 lawyers work in the criminal justice system. About 3,500 are criminal defense lawyers.

I’m not saying that I know every prosecutor or criminal defense lawyer in the State of Texas, but after you’ve been to enough meetings and speaking engagements, you start to recognize the same faces.

Out of the thousands of lawyers here at the annual State Bar meeting, my guess is that there were about 30 criminal defense lawyers.

30.

And if it wasn’t for the LeadershipSBOT program, there would have been 29.  I will be the first to admit: I didn’t think the annual meeting would have anything to offer our practice. I am now the first to admit I was dead wrong. I think there’s a lot more that the State Bar can do to create a larger tent, but as they say, if you want change, you’ve got to be willing to do the work.

The sleeves are rolled up, my friend. I picked up some outstanding new materials that will allow me to serve my clients better and more efficiently than last week. It’s going to be a late night of e-mails to the Firm . . .

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