Online comments made by Larry McDougal regarding #BlackLivesMatter do not reflect the values of the State Bar of Texas and we denounce them in the strongest terms. As leaders of the 105,000-member State Bar of Texas and the 26,000-member Texas Young Lawyers Association, we are united against racism and dedicated to the bar’s mission of advancing diversity and inclusion in the administration of justice and the practice of law. Indeed, we applaud any organization whose primary goal seeks to ensure equal justice for all Americans. Recent official statements by State Bar of Texas and TYLA leaders reflect this commitment to equality, including Executive Director Trey Apffel’s column in the July 2020 issue of the Texas Bar Journal titled “It’s Past Time to Reckon with Racial Injustice.”
We know that the State Bar of Texas has an obligation to improve the quality of legal services, and this includes improving diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our bar. We know many of our members don’t feel included as part of the bar or question the bar’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. We pledge to change that. We will work closely with and support the State Bar Office of Minority Affairs and the State Bar sections and committees that are committed to advancing the goals of diversity and inclusion and equal justice under the law. We also support President-elect Sylvia Borunda Firth’s plans to create a task force to further advance these issues. We look forward to reporting more about these efforts in the weeks ahead.
The State Bar of Texas and our legal profession are larger than any one person, but we believe each person can be a vehicle of change and we hope for positive change throughout the remainder of this bar year.
Sylvia Borunda Firth, President-elect
Randy Sorrels, Immediate Past President
Charlie Ginn, Chair of the Board
Trey Apffel, Executive Director
Britney Harrison, TYLA President
Victor Flores, TYLA Immediate Past President
Jeanine Rispoli, TYLA President-elect