Young Lawyers

The Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association (WMCYLA), is an affiliate of the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association, comprised of all lawyers in McLennan County thirty-six years of age or younger or who have been practicing law less than five years.


As the service wing of the bar association, each year WMCYLA sponsors a number of community service projects, including:

Pro Bono Challenge.  The Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association encourages all licensed attorneys practicing in McLennan County to meet the State Bar of Texas aspirational goal that each Texas attorney render at least 50 hours of legal services to the poor each year. We challenge all attorneys to report their pro bono and public service activities for the calendar year beginning January 1st and ending the following December 31st to the Pro Bono Challenge coordinator to meet the collective goal of 2,000 hours by December 31, 2019.  To report your hours, please contact Stephen Rispoli at or


The Region 12 High School Mock Trial Competition.  The members of WMCYLA are pleased to organize and volunteer for the regional tournament of the statewide competition run by the Dallas Bar Association.  This competition, held annually at Baylor Law School and the McLennan County courthouse, affords high school students from all over Central Texas an opportunity to experience the judicial system, by actually playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a courtroom setting, with practicing lawyers serving as judges. This competition is coordinated in conjunction with the Region 12 Education Service Center.


Community Legal Clinics and Pro Bono Efforts.  The members of WMCYLA are honored to be able to give of our time volunteering at the legal advice clinics run by Mission Waco and Baylor Law School.  The monthly Mission Waco Legal Advice Clinic offers low-income residents of McLennan County counsel as they navigate various legal issues.  The monthly Baylor Law Veterans Clinic offers counsel and representation to veterans and their spouses who are in need of legal assistance.  Additionally, the members of WMCYLA coordinate additional pro bono efforts on behalf of the Bar.


Each year, WMCYLA gives out the following awards:


Liberty Bell Award
The Liberty Bell Award is presented to a non-lawyer who is significantly engaged in community service that:

  • Promotes a better understanding of government, especially the Bill of Rights
  • Encourages greater respect for the law and the courts
  • Stimulates a deeper sense of individual responsibility, so that citizens recognize their duties and their rights
  • Contributes to the effective functioning of our institutions of government
  • Instills better understanding and appreciation of the law

Outstanding Young Lawyer Award
The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award is presented to a young lawyer with qualities including but not limited to:

  • Professional Proficiency
  • Service to the Profession
  • Service to the Community

Outstanding Mentor Award
The Outstanding Mentor Award recognizes one attorney who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to mentoring young lawyers in his or her legal community.


Outstanding Pro Bono Advocate Award

The Outstanding Pro Bono Advocate Award recognizes an attorney who consistently demonstrates a commitment to performing pro bono legal service to the community.


2019-2020 WMCYLA Officers:


President: L. T. Whitley Beard

President-Elect:  Jeanine Rispoli

Vice President: Kristen Parker

Secretary: Marcus Mataga

Treasurer: Garrett Beach

Past President:  Stephen Rispoli

2019-2020 WMCYLA Board of Directors:

Travis Blake

Jenny Branson

Gavin Lane

Ryan Luna

Jason Milam

Amy Thomas

To contact WMCYLA or to be added to the email list, call or email L.T. Whitley Beard at 254-232-0236 or



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