June 14, 2016

AYLA Project Spotlight: LawTube

by Chari Kelly

Do you remember when you were a new lawyer, or a newcomer to town, and didn’t even know where the courthouse was located? Or when your boss told you to get an order entered at uncontested docket, and you looked back at her with a blank stare? And then there’s that whole thing called the “central docket.” Where do you even go for a hearing? And, there’s parking at the courthouse…right?!

photo-1424223022789-26fd8f34bba2This month, thanks in part to a grant from Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and the Austin Bar Foundation, AYLA starts production on a brand new series of practical, web-based videos to answer these questions (and more). This soon-to-be video series will be known as LawTube. With the influx of young lawyers in the Austin area, lawyer training and orientation has become even more important to our organization. In particular, the American Bar Association has expressed a concern that young lawyers are not provided enough practical skills from law school to navigate the modern legal workplace. Now, with LawTube, you’ll be able to go online and watch a series of 3-5 minute videos covering a variety of Austin-specific issues for both civil and criminal practitioners. Working in close connection with the local, state, and federal courts, each video in the series will provide a basic guide for trial practice in Travis County.

The videos will cover such topics as:

  • Virtual tours of the Civil, Criminal, and Federal Courthouses— including instructions on filing, and a guide to both the District and County Clerk’s offices;
  • Local courtroom procedure, including when to stand, where to sit, and the central docket system;
  • Overview of the local civil and criminal rules;
  • Overview of bonding, Pretrial Services, and accessing clients at the jail;
  • Tours of the Appellate Courts (3COA, CCA and SCTX) with oral argument tips; and
  • A video on AYLA’s current projects, including how to join and get involved.

We expect the videos to be available sometime in July, so keep an eye on Bar Code for more details as the release date approaches.

Now I know many of you may be thinking, do we really want to be putting all of these insider tips on the web where out-of-town attorneys can watch them?! Don’t worry, as the local judges will tell you, if the out-of-towners don’t even read the local rules why would they watch our videos?

With this project, I complete my term as the AYLA President. As of July 1, the ever capable Katie Fillmore will be taking the reins of this great organization. I have appreciated your support throughout this year, and I look forward to seeing you at an AYLA or Austin Bar event very soon.