More Advice to the Young Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer — Part 4. Politics and the Bar


“How important is it to be involved in local politics or the local bar?”

Politics? Unimportant. Do it if that’s what interests you.

The local bar, generally? It probably depends. Here in Houston, with 14,000+ lawyers, it’s unimportant. I have never belonged to the Houston Bar Association, and probably never will. But I’m not a joiner. If you’re a joiner, you might benefit from making those contacts.

It is, however, important to be involved in the local criminal defense bar. It’ll be a source of ideas, of intelligence, of fellowship, and of cover. If you are in a small enough place that there is no organized criminal defense bar, you probably want to join the local bar association. If you are fortunate to live somewhere that has an organized criminal defense bar, join it.

I belong to two of the local (Harris County and Fort Bend County) criminal lawyers’ association, the Collin County Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. All of them have listservs, active and helpful in varying degrees.


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