Dallas Bar Association

Honoring the Profession

We have a number exciting activities and events coming up in April and early May, and I have highlighted these following three because they show the variety of ways our membership can reach the community-at-large. Keep up the good work!

DBA Home Project

For the last 20 years, the Dallas Bar Home Project has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to sponsor the building of an entire house for a Dallas family. This makes the DBA Home Project the longest running “whole house” sponsor of the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, and it has provided housing for at least 70 people during that time. It is quite a testament to our membership that we have been able to establish and maintain this legacy of helping our community.

The Home Project is an offshoot of the Community Involvement Committee, which is co-chaired this year byPaul Herring and Christina McCracken. The Dallas Bar Home Project is co-chaired by David Diaz and Brad Johnson. These lawyers are extremely passionate about their cause, and they are committed to building a great home in 2011 for a great family. This year, they started the build on February 26, 2011. Each Saturday until May 7, 2011, different groups of about 30 lawyers will work together to complete different home-building tasks. I would like to thank David and Brad for their time and efforts organizing and funding the Home Project. I would also thank all of you who have helped so far. This project would not be possible without hundreds of volunteers devoting over a thousand hours. It is an inspiring and fun project and I encourage you to join the work force.

If you would like to participate in the Dallas Bar Home Project, there are a number of ways you can help. First, law firms and DBA sections can sponsor a build day. The DBA Home Project tries to arrange for 2 or 3 groups to sponsor each Saturday of the build. Generally, the sponsors will bring 10-15 lawyers to volunteer for the build and make a donation of $2,000-$5,000. This is an excellent opportunity not only for charity, but to build camaraderie among colleagues in a unique and memorable way. There are still days available for 2011. If your firm or section is interested in sponsoring a build day, please contact Brad Johnson, brad@lbjlaw.com, or David Diaz, ddiaz@kbdtexas.com. Second, individual lawyers and law firms can donate money. The DBA Home Project must raise $60,000 in donations for the home build. Any donation is appreciated, and donations over $100 will be recognized in a special insert in Headnotes. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Teddi Rivas for details at trivas@dallasbar.org.  Third, the DBA Home Project raises money through an online silent auction. The DBA Home Project is still seeking items to auction and would love for you to stop by their website and see what they have up for bid. Please visit the website for details about the project and to shop the silent auction at www.dbahp.com.  

The Home Project Committee will dedicate the home on May 21, 2011. This will be followed by a Wrap Party for DBA Home Project supporters and volunteers on May 25, 2011 to celebrate the successful completion of the build and announce the winners of the silent auction. 

Public Forum—Dallas Mayoral Candidates

A very important and instrumental role of the Dallas Bar Association is carried out by the Public Forum Committee; that is the role of educating the public and our membership on topics involving civics and the judicial system. When this committee schedules an event, we open the doors of the Belo to the community and host a forum. Often, we invite local political candidates to debate or share their platforms. This year is no exception.

On April 26, 2011 at noon, we will be hosting a public forum for the Dallas Mayoral Candidates. This is a big deal. I am very proud of the Public Forum Committee, chaired byAaron Tobin and co-vice-chaired by Wes Alost and Eric Bowers, for their work in bringing the candidates of such an important local race to our home. Thank you to all the Committee members, including Cheryl Camin, Philip Kingston, and Kirk Pittard for your work on this committee and a special thank you to Rob Crain who came up with the idea to create this committee in 2005 and continues to remain closely involved in its activities.

Although I expect a lot of our membership will be in attendance, I also expect there will be a number of people from our community who are not lawyers and who have never been to our home. I am looking forward to the opportunity to make everyone from the candidates to the laypersons in attendance feel welcome under our roof so we may continue to provide more public with events like this.

DBA Golf Classic

The 2011 DBA Pro Bono Golf Classic will be on May 5, 2011, at Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas. It is a great course and will make for a fine day of friendly competition. This event is always a lot of fun for the participants, and, most importantly, the proceeds from the tournament will benefit one of our greatest services to the community, the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. The money raised at the tournament will provide our volunteer attorneys with the resources necessary to provide free legal services to those members of our community who could not otherwise afford them. 

Last year, the golf tournament raised $45,675, which translated to approximately 175 pro bono cases serviced by the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. Golf Tournament Committee Co-Chairs Nelson Akinrinade and Lindsay Goodner are hoping to increase that number this year.

Go play golf for a good cause. If you are not a golfer or would like to contribute in other ways, there will be plenty of sponsorship opportunities at the course, including tees, flags, beverage carts, cabanas and contests. Please visit the website and sign up a team or find something to sponsor. I know it’s a mouthful, but I have included the website here: www.dallasbar.org/content/golf-tournament.

Thank you

The real treat of my position this year is that I have learned so much about the great things going on at the Dallas Bar Association. If you haven’t made it over to Belo yet this year, I would encourage you to come over and find out more about what’s happening at the DBA.

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