Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, Tarrant County Chapter: Profiles of Service

February 13, 2015

Tarrant County Bar Association logo   Article originally appeared in the Tarrant County Bar Association Bulletin.

   View the original article in the Bulletin. Reprinted with permission.

   Article by Megan Cooley, Tarrant County Bar Association


As part of its series of volunteer profiles, TLTV highlights the efforts of the many law students who contribute to TLTV’s programs by volunteering at the legal clinics, as well as “behind the scenes” at the Tarrant County Bar Association. The involvement of law students in pro bono is a win-win proposition. While volunteering, law students are able to interact with attorneys and judges, as well as clients, during the legal clinics. In addition, law students volunteering with TLTV have been able to apply their research skills to assist attorneys who represent veterans. At the same time, TLTV relies on the regular involvement of law students to provide pro bono services to its clients. TLTV, for example, has benefited from the recent fellowship program for law students made possible by the Tarrant County Young Lawyers and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. Past intern Sarah Burns and current intern Whitley Zachary (both third years at Texas A&M University School of Law) have worked closely with TLTV and TVAS [Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services] through the fellowship program.

This issue is dedicated to the law students who volunteer for TLTV while balancing their academic commitments and make the provision of pro bono services possible as a result. Below are profiles of a few of the volunteers:

Daniel Gibbins

Daniel (pictured below, back row, third from right) is from Larue, a very small town in East Texas. His graduating class consisted of only forty-two students. He is a third-year student at Texas A&M University School of Law. As a result of witnessing the impact oil and gas production has on local communities, especially his hometown, Daniel is interested in practicing law in the energy field. Daniel volunteers for TLTV monthly clinics and assists with the intake process and the preparation for the clinics. In Daniel’s words, “I enjoy being a part of the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans’ pro bono clinics because I get to work face to face with individuals that have made great sacrifices in duty to their country. Above all, I thoroughly enjoy not only being a part of a great program making a difference, but a great program that is making a difference in our own backyard here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.”

Beth Thurman

Beth Thurman (pictured below, front row, far right), a third-year law student at the Texas A&M University School of Law, grew up in upstate New York but considers Fort Worth home. She moved to the area with her family seven years ago after serving eight years in the United States Navy. During her eight years of service, she flew as a Naval Flight Officer aboard a P3 Orion aircraft serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. As a Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander, Beth flew in two deployments to the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. She also served with the Chief of Naval Air Training. After her service she enrolled in law school, and she considers public service an integral part of life and legal practice. Volunteering at the TLTV legal clinics affords her an opportunity to serve the community that gave her so much.

David Welch

David (pictured below, back row, second from right) is a third-year law student at the Texas A&M University School of Law, and he graduated from TCU in 2012 with a degree in sociology. During law school, he has enjoyed studying civil law, and he has had the opportunity to sit with volunteer attorneys during TLTV clinics while they advise veterans on civil-law matters. In addition, David helps set up for the legal clinics and assists with the intake process by interviewing veterans prior to their legal consultations. In David’s words, “I enjoy the TLTV clinics because I feel like I am helping veterans who have given so much to this country. The pro bono clients help me to work on the skills needed when talking to clients about their issues.”

Jimmy “Dwight” Tom

Dwight (pictured below, front row, third from right) is a regular fixture at the TLTV legal clinics, and he volunteers by calling and interviewing veterans by phone prior to the clinics. Dwight worked for the United States Postal Service for fifteen years and then decided it was time for a new challenge. In his words, “I took a chance, applied to law school, and well, here I am.” As for his involvement with TLTV, Dwight believes, “Pro bono with TLTV has been the perfect fit for me. As a Texas veteran, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded at the USPS and now at TAMU Law. I feel a sincere obligation to serve my fellow veterans.”

Texas A&M School of Law Students volunteering at the TLTV clinicTexas A&M School of Law student volunteers at the TLTV clinic