March 11, 2020

Austin Bar/AYLA Updates on COVID-19 Pandemic

NEWS, UPDATES, AND RESOURCES ARE BEING ADDED TO THIS PAGE ON AN ONGOING BASIS.

The health and safety of our members, our employees, and the public is of paramount importance to the Austin Bar Association and AYLA. We are following the lead of the State Bar of Texas to address concerns regarding COVID-19.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated via this web page, social media, email, and Bar Code as soon as news develops that impacts our our members and our legal community. Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter @theaustinbar.org.

  • The Austin Bar office is closed.  Staff members are working remotely and checking their voice mails.  The best way to reach them is by e-mail: first name@austinbar.org.
  • The Austin Bar, like the State Bar of Texas, is cancelling, postponing, or going online with all live events through at least May 10, in line with the latest guidelines from the CDC. Events scheduled for May 11 or later will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Austin Bar and AYLA sections and committees are encouraged to conduct necessary meetings remotely. Contact CLE and Marketing Manager Kelli Horan for help and information on using Zoom for your remote programs and meetings.

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW tO VIEW UPDATES FROM AREA COURTS AND the LEGAL community regarding covid-19

The Office of Court Administration (OCA)  Travel Authorization letter  for attorneys and staff.
The OCA’s Travel Authorization letter  for judges, clerks, and staff.
The OCA’s Court Operations Guidance
Supreme Court of Texas (edited 4/6/2020)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
3rd Court of Appeals
Travis County Civil & Family Courts (edited 3/27/2020)
Travis County Criminal Courts
REVISED_Travis County Justices of the Peace
Travis County Juvenile Court
Travis County Probate Court
Travis County Attorney’s Office
Travis  County District Clerk’s Office

LEGAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid:
Starting March 17, 2020, all TRLA offices are closed to the public. Their phone lines remain open. If you are referring someone for legal assistance, please have them call the hotline at (888) 988-9996. Intakes will be conducted over the phone and not in-person. If you, or a client, are trying to reach a particular staff person, please CLICK HERE to see their staff directory. All public outreach activities, including substantive law clinics and intake clinics, scheduled through April 17, 2020 are suspended immediately. Please CLICK HERE to view the TRLA  website for more updates.

Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas:  CLICK HERE for an update from VLS, and CLICK HERE to learn how attorneys can volunteer to assist with the VLS virtual phone clinics.

Other legal resources available for the public:  CLICK HERE

COVID-19 Resources for LAW PRACTICEs and lawyer well-being

CLICK HERE to view resources on the State Bar’s website. Resources include court guidance and closures, law-practice management tips, lawyer well-being resources, legal resources for the public and much more.

CLICK HERE for a list of resources from the American Bar Association (ABA) for lawyers and law firms on the topics of pandemic resources, technology resources, disaster planning and recovery for law firms, law practice resources, and COVID-19 mental health resources.

CLICK HERE for a list of resources from the ABA on the topics of anxiety, law practice management/leadership, panic, social distancing, staying mentally healthy, stress, substance abuse resources, and suicide.

LAW PRACTICE RESOURCES
CLICK HERE to download Coronavirus Emergency Loans – Small Business Guide and Checklist, prepared by U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

CLICK HERE to download an application for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.

CLICK HERE for Texas’ response to novel coronavirus and COVID-19; counties’ and cities’ stay-at-home and business cessation orders and their effect on construction. (compiled by Gerstle Snelson, LLP)

CLICK HERE to listen to the Texas Appellate Law Podcast, created by Austin Bar President D. Todd Smith and Jody Sanders. Episode #4 is an interview with Texas Supreme Court Clerk Blake Hawthorne about the Court’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the emergency orders.

CLICK HERE to view a blog post by D. Todd Smith  and on “Law Firms Working Remotely During the Coronavirus Shutdown.”

CLICK HERE for a set of resources compiled by the University of Houston Law Center.

CLICK HERE for a set of resources compiled by the Association of Legal Administrators.

LAWYER WELL-BEING RESOURCES
CLICK HERE for TLAP’s extensive list of well-being resources for remote living.

CLICK HERE for TLAP’s website.

CLICK HERE for COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide, published by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

CLICK HERE for info on Yale’s most popular class available free online, “The Science of Well Being.”

Mental Health Support Hotline by the Texas Health and Human Services Department: 1.833.986.1919

TLAP’s REMOTE WELL-BEING WEDNESDAYS: A coronavirus crisis series
Wednesdays at noon:  https://zoom.us/j/559673278

  • 4/8/2020  “Recovery during Crisis”: Best selling author and renowned recovery advocate Brian Cuban will share his story and about recovery during this crisis.
  • 4/15/2020 “Staying Healthy, Serene, and Sober During Covid-19”:  Laurie Besdon, Nationally renowned Speaker and Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc., with Chris Ritter.

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS
CLICK HERE to see a selection of online games provided by the Texas Law-Related Education department.
CLICK HERE for the Texas Law-Related Education department website.
CLICK HERE for Austin PBS learning at home resources.
CLICK HERE for resources from the ABA on at-home learning and education for foster children and youth.

COVID-19 CLE WEBINARS

AUSTIN BAR CLE AND WEBINARS

Austin Bar Online CLE Library

CLICK HERE for a library of over 60 hours of online CLE, available for free for Austin Bar members.
Are you an Austin Bar member and need the password? Email Nancy Gray.

Austin Bar Webinars and Online CLE

The Austin Bar is providing free webinars for members on topics related to COVID-19 on an ongoing basis.  CLICK HERE to view our website calendar for more information on upcoming webinars, CLEs, and online social events.

Austin Bar’s Well-Being Committee Presents: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Zoom Webinar
Date:
Fri. April 17
Time:
12 – 1 p.m.
CLICK HERE for more information and to RSVP

Texas Bar CLE

Free CLE and MCLE Deadline Extensions
The State Bar offers 5.5 hours of free CLE on the TexasBarCLE website, including two recent webcasts related to the coronavirus: “Practicing Law in the Shadow of COVID-19” and “Benefits and Challenges of Invoking Force Majeure Clauses in the Age of the Coronavirus.” For attorneys in financial need who require additional CLE, TexasBarCLE scholarships are available for online classes. In Texas it is permissible for lawyers to complete all 15 hours of required continuing legal education through online learning. There is no in-person CLE requirement.

The State Bar has granted automatic  60-day extensions to attorneys reaching their MCLE compliance deadlines in March, April, or May. Attorneys who missed compliance deadlines in January or February received an automatic 60-day extension to prevent the assessment of further fees. Attorneys subject to suspension for failing to comply with MCLE requirements in November or December received an additional one-month extension. Please contact the MCLE Department at 800.204.2222, ext. 1806, or mcle@texasbar.com if you have questions about the extensions or MCLE compliance requirements.

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION CLE AND RESOURCES

The ABA has 30 CLE webinars on COVID-19. Visit their Trending CLE page for upcoming live webinars as well as the recorded on-demand ones for download. Free to ABA members. Available to non-members for a fee.

More from the ABA: