Every lawyer has a personal story and journey of how they entered this profession. I love hearing others’ stories as much as I like sharing my own. I am a fourth generation, first female attorney in my family. And I’ve dreamed of being a lawyer since I was a little girl. Like many members of the bar, we believe this isn’t just our job, it is our deep‑rooted calling in life and we’ve weathered many storms to get where are today.
Some achieved the dream of being just like their dad, who they idolized their whole life. Others courageously persevered while growing up in extreme poverty in inner‑city slums to beat the odds for the chance to practice law. Still others’ journey involved overcoming tragedy, even being the victims of violent crimes, and rising from the ashes to become fierce advocates in the court‑ room. Others tell beautiful stories of immigrating to the United States from impoverished countries to achieve the American Dream, and are serving this country with honor. There are many inspirational stories. Whatever the story is, we all have a special one worth preserving.
However, what occurred in the aftermath of June 24th threatens to turn our stories into epic tragedies. Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – six days after I became TCDLA President – took direct aim at and put a chink in the armor of our sacred profession. The actions that ensued threaten to not only destroy our dreams and what we have worked so hard to achieve, but also trample on the very rights and freedom that we swore to safeguard.
Regardless of your personal or political beliefs regarding abortion, what we must rally behind is to fight against the groundswell of support by some state politicians who wish to pass legislation which would impose a mandatory disbarment of Texas lawyers for any involvement they may have as employers regarding their employees’ participation in abortions.
In the short time I have served as your TCDLA President, I have been privileged to dialogue with so many of you with very different, oftentimes very ardent, opinions surrounding abortion. Diversity of opinion is one of the aspects that makes this organization great and one of the core values I pledged to honor, and which I discussed in my previous Voice article. I am asking that we set aside differences in our personal beliefs and be cognizant that with the stroke of a pen, politicians can threaten to destroy our dreams and the great work that we do every day to fight for our clients.
Thankfully, we have an unstoppable organization with countless talented, devoted fighters. Part of our strategy to combat this threat will be a task force to handle this head‑on. I’ve asked our well‑respected colleague, Nicole DeBorde Hochglaube, to chair this committee. We will be strong and look to partner with other organizations throughout the country to ensure we relentlessly fight the impending overcriminalization that is eerily brewing.
Taking a stand now is not optional. If left unchecked, this latest foray into overcriminalization can quickly spread like wildfire. Even though it can be an uncomfortable conversation, we must work together to de‑ fend against the rising storm of overcriminalization that is headed our way. At this time, we need to stand in solidarity and recall the words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
TCDLA: let us be united in our efforts to fight against this latest tale of injustice. The very stories of the next generation of lawyers may well be depending on us.