2017-2018 President’s Letter – Jill O’Connell

By: Jill O’Connell of O’Connell Law Firm, PC oconnellfirm.com


As we start the Denton County Bar Association new membership year, I’d like to take a look back and review last year as we prepare for the new year.  Last year, we updated the DCBA’s website.  On the website there is a ‘Customs & Practices’ page, and the Preamble includes the following: ‘The Denton County Bar Association is committed to preventing the infiltration into the practice of law in our county the abusive tactics that have surfaced elsewhere.  We believe such tactics are a disservice to the public, harmful to our clients, and demeaning to our profession.’  It goes on to say that these customs and practices describe us, the lawyers of Denton County, because ‘…Denton County practitioners have accepted their spirit as well as their letter.’  The spirit in Denton County is unique because of the investment of these great lawyers, and the Denton County Bar is as well.


It is a privilege and an honor to serve as your President this year.


A few of our DCBA highlights from last year include:


  • Establishing the Attorney ID Badge program – If you haven’t gotten your ID Badge yet you can start your application process here
  • Conducted 290 mediations with volunteer mediators through DCAP which totals to over 3,000 hours of pro bono service to the residents of Denton County
  • Created the new Pro Se Divorce Clinic through countless hours of work


And, we are continuing our efforts to provide opportunities and benefits to our members.  We are a bar association that offers many programs and services that other bar associations our size can’t offer and we are always trying to improve.


Here are a few events we are looking forward to this year:


  • Receiving a Stars of the Bar Award at the State Bar Annual Meeting!
  • Bench Bar 2018 – in a new exciting location!
  • CLE through monthly luncheons, which is included in your membership dues, and our own Denton County CLE events


And, here are your committees, the Chairs, and programs and services for the upcoming year:


  • Planning Committee: Fon Laughlin
  • Courts, Local Rules & Library Board of Governors, Chair: Brook Stuntebeck, Vice-Chair: Bruce Isaacks
  • Bench Bar, Co-Chairs: Amanda Coffey & Ryan Webster
  • Social Committee, Chair: Jasmin Dodson
  • Denton County Women Lawyers
  • Denton County Young Lawyers: Trey Sargent
  • Communication and Public Relations: Jennifer Schultz
  • Continuing Legal Education, Director: Grace Weatherly
  • Adoption Day, Chair: Jennifer Schultz
  • Fee Arbitration, Chair: Bruce Isaacks
  • Community Outreach (including the Pro Se Divorce Clinic), Chair: Stephanie Askew
  • Family Law Section: Amanda Dickson
  • Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section: Scott Bodkin
  • Bankruptcy Section: Chris Henry



If you missed the Committee sign up meeting, you still have opportunities to get involved.  The committees are just getting formed and started.  Please feel free to contact the committee chair, Katie McFarland, or me.  We look forward to get more members involved!



Jill O’Connell