Button Law - April 2020


This February, our attorney Ashley Washington led a team of law students from the University of Houston Law Center in the American Bar Association’s Client Counseling Competition hosted by Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock, Texas. Ashley has been coaching this trial advocacy team over the last year, and it’s been a rewarding and enjoyable experience that has allowed her to share her skills with the next generation of lawyers. Ashley’s interest in volunteering to coach a team was born out of a promise she made to herself during law school. “I did these types of competitions, and I know how important they are. I made a promise to myself back then that I’d pay it forward,” Ashley says of her experience on trial advocacy teams. During the competition in February, one of the teams Ashley coached advanced to the semifinals, and while they didn’t make it to the finals this year, Ashley is excited to return next year and take what they’ve learned during this year’s competition to do even better. Throughout the competition, students get feedback from local attorneys who volunteer as judges, and this is another component that makes the competition so beneficial for soon-to-be lawyers. For Ashley, coaching is a way to give back and pay forward the mentorship and coaching she received in law school. She sees the value in giving students access to real-world experiences like these

competitions. “It gives them the opportunity to practice skills that we use every day as lawyers. I think they learn a lot,” she says.

The competition isn’t over this year quite yet. Some of the students have other competitions they’ll be competing in over the next few months. Ashley coached an environmental law negotiations team that competed at the end of March, and it’s something she’s excited to do more of.

We wish Ashley and all these students the best of luck in their upcoming competitions. Onto the next one!


About two years ago, our team member Desiree saw a local news segment about a dog who’d been thrown from a car. The dog suffered broken bones and showed signs of neglect and abuse. The news mentioned that the dog rescue where she’d been brought, Apollo Support & Rescue, was still looking for someone to foster and care for her while she healed. Being the compassionate, caring person she is, Desiree knew she wanted to help. She got in touch with Apollo and began fostering the dog, whom she called Hope, soon after. In the beginning, Hope would cry all night and needed to be on medication to manage the pain. Since Hope had casts on two legs, Desiree needed to carry her out to use the bathroom, being careful not to let her get wet since water would ruin the casts. “The first few months were hard,” Desiree says, “but she was so patient with me.” Hope began to get better, and the more Desiree got to know her, the more she felt like part of the family. “The plan was to foster her until she was ready for adoption,” Desiree says. “The goal was to make sure she was healthy enough to be adopted.” Of course, life doesn’t always go according to plan — sometimes for the best. Desiree knew she’d found her dog, and Hope had found her forever home.

“I grew to love her,” Desiree says. “She is the most perfect dog. She’s so patient with me.” Since then, Hope’s legs have healed, and she’s an official part of Desiree’s family. She gets along well with Desiree’s boyfriend’s dog, Lanie, and she’s friendly with other pets and people.

Recently, Desiree and her boyfriend began fostering another dog, Peanut, through Apollo Support & Rescue, and they plan to care for her until it’s time for Peanut to find her forever home. Desiree is excited to pay forward all the blessings she’s received through adopting Hope. “Dogs are amazing,” she sums up. We couldn’t agree more.



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