Ready for 2011: Bar Association Presidents Accept the Challenge
by Adam C. Gallegos
As we begin the year 2011, the sister bar organizations of the Dallas Bar Association will be welcoming new leadership—all of whom seek to raise the profile of their respective organizations by promoting the interests of their members, while sponsoring many programs throughout the year.
Eric C. Blue, an associate in the corporate section at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, will serve as president of the J.L. Turner Legal Association. Mr. Blue’s practice encompasses a wide range of corporate and securities work including mergers, stock and asset acquisitions, divestitures and restructuring. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law where he earned multiple scholarships, and is a member of his firm’s committees on hiring and diversity.
Mr. Blue hopes to continue expanding the membership of JLTLA by focusing on high-caliber professional development and CLE programs, building on existing partnerships with the DBA and its sister bars, and fostering stronger ties to the Dallas community. Indeed, community service has long been a part of Mr. Blue’s life, as he currently sits on the board of directors of the Dallas Black Dance Theater and the Southern Dallas Development Corporation. “I have a heart for service,” says Mr. Blue, “and felt that [JLTLA] was a unique opportunity to work side-by-side with some of the brightest legal minds in Dallas.”
The incoming president of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, Eunice Kim Nakamura, is a commercial and employment litigation associate with Vincent, Lopez, Serafino & Jenevein, P.C. Ms. Nakamura is a merit scholar from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and a former Law Review editor and moot court competitor. In her practice she focuses on a broad range of general and complex litigation matters ranging from breach of contract and breach of fiduciary matters to commercial torts.
Ms. Nakamura has served on the board of DAABA for the past three years, seeking to provide Asian American attorneys with a support network, as well as a connection to the greater Asian American community. Noting the significant growth of the Asian American population in Dallas-Fort Worth, Ms. Nakamura plans to focus DAABA on expanding its community outreach by partnering with other Asian American advocacy groups to create an annual clinic addressing issues affecting the Asian American community at large, including immigration and small business ownership.
The new president of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association is the HonorableTeresa Guerra Snelson. Judge Snelson, a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, practiced in both the public and private sectors for over a decade before accepting her appointment as an associate judge, assisting the judges of Dallas County’s courts of general civil jurisdiction by presiding over hearings and, in some cases, trials.
Judge Snelson’s primary focus as President is on successfully hosting the Hispanic National Bar Association’s annual convention, coming to Dallas in 2011 Judge Snelson will showcase the city of Dallas to the national membership and provide a source of outstanding educational and networking opportunities for DHBA’s membership. Additionally, Judge Snelson hopes to increase participation in the DHBA by criminal law practitioners through the establishment of an “innocence project” related initiative. “The main focus is to soar forward and raise the profile of DHBA on a national scale,” said Judge Snelson.
Penny Brobst Blackwell will be the new president of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. Ms. Blackwell is an associate in the Dallas office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, practicing securities litigation with a focus on broker dealer representation. Ms. Blackwell is a cum laude graduate of Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center and clerked for the Honorable Henry A. Politz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Ms. Blackwell’s vision for DAYL is the creation of greater opportunities for young lawyers who are learning to juggle their professional life with their family life. Additionally, she plans to focus heavily on building networking and professional growth opportunities for DAYL’s membership.
“Building a law practice is about relationships as much as skill, and I want to make sure DAYL provides the best opportunities for young lawyers to start and foster those relationships,” said Ms. Blackwell. She also plans to focus on increasing opportunity and participation for young attorneys who work outside of the traditional law firm setting.
Adam C. Gallegos is an attorney with Dykema Gossett PLLC in Dallas. Mr. Gallegos’ practice focuses on commercial litigation, emphasizing consumer and financial matters. He can be reached at email@example.com.