Local Affiliate

Local Affiliate

The LCYLA’s Attempt to Grow its Membership with Criminal Law Attorneys
By: Neal W. Spradlin

The Lubbock County Young Lawyers Association has historically had trouble garnering attendance from the young criminal law attorneys—both the prosecutors and the defense attorneys. I believe the lack of attendance can be partly attributed to the strong bond among the prosecutors in the DA’s Office and the closeness among the criminal defense bar.

As a former prosecutor in the Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, I have first-hand knowledge of the close-knit culture fostered in the DA’s Office and the friendships that the prosecutors have with one another. The DA’s Office is a family. Similarly, the criminal defense bar is a cohesive unit with a unified purpose: to act as formidable adversaries against the DA’s Office and zealously represent their clients. More times than not, criminal law attorneys were absent from LCYLA meetings, social hours, and events. Neither side needed to go to the LCYLA functions—they already had an outlet: one another.

The LCYLA is attempting to turn that around. Within the past few years, the LCYLA created a DA liaison position on the Board of Directors. The liaison is the bridge to connect the LCYLA with the young prosecutors in the DA’s Office and the criminal defense bar. I became the liaison in 2014 until leaving the DA’s Office last year to join a civil law firm and being formally elected as a director. The thought was that if the DA liaison could bring young prosecutors to the LCYLA events, perhaps that would cause the criminal defense bar to get more involved.

Slowly but surely, the LCYLA has seen an increase in the attendance of the prosecutors and the criminal defense bar at meetings, happy hours, and special events. Moreover, the current president of the LCYLA is also the president of the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Having a group of young attorneys that practice in a variety of areas as members in the LCYLA helps us build connections with one another, which in turn will help the local community in need of legal services.

Neal W. Spradlin is an associate attorney at Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam, L.L.P. in Lubbock, where his primary practice area is insurance defense litigation.

Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.

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