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Texas Young Lawyers Association names president-elect candidates
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Lowell Brown, public information director
State Bar of Texas

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014

AUSTIN — The Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) has nominated Amber L. James of Odessa and C. Barrett Thomas of Sweetwater as its next president-elect candidates. The winner of an election this spring will serve as TYLA president from June 2015 to June 2016. Results will be announced April 30. 

James is a shareholder with the firm of Atkins, Hollmann, Jones, Peacock, Lewis, & Lyon in Odessa, where she maintains a commercial litigation practice. Prior to joining the firm, she practiced civil litigation with Sprott, Rigby, Newsom, Robbins, & Lunceford in Houston. 

As a current TYLA director, James serves as vice chair of the Low Income Texans and Community Education, Law Student Outreach, and Diversity committees. She is also serving a second term as vice president of the Ector County Young Lawyers Association. In 2012-2013, she served on the SBOT Law Practice Management Committee and as vice president of the Ector County Bar Association. In 2011-2012, she was a member of LeadershipSBOT and spent time traveling throughout the state promoting the Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! program. In 2012, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas awarded James the Spirit of Dedication Award for her commitment to pro bono legal services in the Permian Basin. 

James earned a B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law. James was born and raised in Nederland, Texas, near Beaumont.  

Barrett Thomas is a felony prosecutor in the 32nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office and also practices family law in Sweetwater and Abilene.  

Thomas has been a TYLA director since 2011, serving most recently on the Executive Committee as treasurer. He has been executive advisor to the Local Affiliates and Law Student Outreach committees, chaired the Community Education Committee, and served on the Budget, Long-Range Planning, Law-Focused Education, Member Services, and National Trial Competition committees, among others. He is the creator and co-author of the project Remaining Civil, which is now taught at police academies across the state.

Thomas previously served as treasurer and president of the Abilene Young Lawyers Association. He is the current president of the West Central Texas Children’s Advocacy Center and frequently volunteers as a police academy instructor and reserve deputy.   

Thomas holds a J.D. from Texas Tech, an M.C.J. from Tarleton State, a B.B.S. from Hardin-Simmons, and a Master Peace Officer Certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.  

Thomas is proudest of his role as a husband to his wife, Charla, and father to their four children.

The Texas Young Lawyers Association, organized in 1930, is commonly referred to as the “public service arm” of the State Bar of Texas. TYLA’s primary purposes are to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All licensed Texas lawyers 36 years old or younger or in their first five years of practice, regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA. For more information, visit

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, visit

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