by David M. Gonzalez

This week the Austin Young Lawyer’s Association bestowed Kristin Etter with the prestigious 2010 President’s Award for her work and community outreach in prison re-entry.

In conjunction with the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, and the Austin Bar Association, the young lawyer divisions of the state and local bar (lawyers 36 years old or younger) are commonly known as the “public service arm” of the profession.  TYLA and AYLA work to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public.

Very few criminal defense lawyers have been elected to the Board of Directors of AYLA where Kristin has served this past year. In bestowing her award, Austin Young Lawyers Association President Christopher Popov explained why Kristin Etter brought a needed perspective to the local bar. Kristin proposed, wrote, and managed the publication of the Reentry Resource Guide for people who have had contact with the Texas Criminal Justice System. Although she was on maternity leave, Kristin saw the project through completion, and then shortly after her return to work, presented the Resource Guide at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH).

Since that time, Kristin has been approached by probation officers, community activities, and re-entry caseworkers to deliver her presentation to other groups in the Austin community. Kristin has also been asked to enlarge the scope of the program to the entire State of Texas and will be working with the Texas Young Lawyers Association this year.

A testament to her humility, Kristin failed to tell anybody that she won this award; we learned about it from another lawyer days later.

Congratulations to Kristin for being recognized for her outstanding work for the Austin bar and central Texas community.

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