Chief Executive Officer’s Perspective: Trying Times

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“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”

– Gwendolyn Brooks

This month has been overwhelmingly difficult – both professionally and personally.  I know I am not alone in feeling the weight of concerns that have come along with the global spread of COVID-19 – how to keep our members, staff, and family safe while still ensuring income is coming to pay the bills.

At TCDLA, we have always had an overwhelming number of committees and members band together to assist in various areas. 

When a member brings a concern, we unite as one to get the resources or answers needed. This pandemic and its effect on our profession is no different. The Executive Committee, under the leadership of President Kerri Anderson Donica, has worked unselfishly and tirelessly on so many issues that surround the criminal defense field and TCDLA. We are updating the website and continuing to add resources and motions. Do NOT hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can do better to support you. We have several different alternatives for face to face CLE that we are also offering.  I want to stress more than anything, at trying times like this, we need each other and should not be ashamed to share our deepest concerns, fears, or feelings.

I hope each of you builds the courage to ask for help when needed.  We are here for each other. One thing I have seen over and over is how TCDLA bands together and takes care of each other. It is very humbling and powerful.

Visit our website for more information. Please send your concerns, requests, or any resources, documents, or motions you have to share to .

Ethics Hotline is being closely monitored. Call 512-646-2734.

Strike Force Co-Chairs:

     Nicole DeBorde | | (713) 526-6300 p

     Wm. Reagan Wynn | | (817) 336-5600 p

Be sure to continuously check our website for updates. Our home office is not closed but some staff are working remotely. Our phone line hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For 24-hour help, contact Melissa Schank, 512-619-2060, Mari Flores, 512-743-5149 or Rick Wardroup, 806-283-1496.

TCDLA
TCDLA
Melissa J. Schank
Melissa J. Schank
Melissa J. Schank, Chief Executive Officer, has worked with nonprofit associations for over 20 years, and has been with the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association more than 15 years. She earned her master’s of human resources, business administration, bachelor’s of communication and mediation certificate from Saint Edwards University in Austin, Texas, and is a certified association executive. Her greatest strengths are overseeing the long-term planning, financial management, and strategy for legal educational programs, in addition to managing the organization’s seminars, membership, publication, and communication departments.
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