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Laura Bellegie Sharp is a partner in The Sharp Firm in Austin. She and her husband law partner, Lance, have maintained a respected, diverse and successful civil litigation practice since 1997, earning an AV Martindale Hubble rating. Prior to that time, she practiced defense law as an associate with Ewbank & Byrom P.C. and Lea & Chamberlain. Laura and Lance are parents of two twenty-somethings, a son and a daughter.

Vote for Laura April 3 - May 3

Honors

Laura at podium

 

  • State Bar of Texas Presidential Citation
  • Austin Bar Association Presidential Citation
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • Outstanding Alumnus Award
  • Outstanding Young Lawyer
  • Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court – Master

100,000 Reasons Why I Want to be your President-Elect

Laura and family

Laura and Lance with Lance, 21; Mesia, 20; Barron, and Duke. Family fun includes frequent travel together.

I am proud to be part of our historic profession and honored to be nominated to work for the now 100,000 licensed Texas lawyers as your president-elect. Challenges and opportunities are plentiful. Here are my views on some issues I consider particularly pressing.

I am committed to all members of the State Bar maintaining their vote in self-regulation of our profession.

Communication is imperative and promotes transparency. Information about important legal issues and trends must be transmitted effectively to you, and your representatives must know your needs and opinions. Appropriate methods of communication, including social media, must meet your needs.

Excellent member benefits are married to the quality and delivery of legal services. I will work to improve and expand our member benefits, providing a pipeline of support to:

  • nurture diverse students to become lawyers for our diverse population
  • promote programs for law students to be “practice ready”
  • help emerging lawyers to understand market forces and ethical responsibilities
  • assist attorneys across the state in obtaining high quality CLE
  • support lawyers confronting burn-out or substance challenges
  • help solve technological and media challenges to traditional practice
  • promote statewide uniformity in electronic filing
  • examine the needs of and support attorneys who choose to remain longer in practice.

We must work to bridge the gap facing many Texans between their need for and ability to pay for legal services. I will continue focus on programs for access to justice, for veterans and for new attorneys to craft a productive practice serving this population.

There are 100,000 reasons why I want to serve for and with you to maintain and build the best state bar in the country. I ask for your support and vote.

Signature

Laura

 

Strong & Smart

Laura with her husband, Lance

Laura and Lance, married since 1992, formed The Sharp Firm in 1997.

 

Practice and Professionalism

Throughout her career, Laura has proven herself a strong and effective advocate on both sides of the aisle, earning respect for her legal skill, acumen, diligence, tenacity and professionalism. An innate love for solving complex problems informs her ability to envision a successful resolution of a problem and to develop a winning strategy and plan of implementation. Driven by the desire to do the best that can be done in every case, she is gratified by the appreciation of her clients for her dedication and compassion as well as her results. A frequent mock trial judge, Laura mentors law students and former students. Many young lawyers who have observed her high standards of practice and heard her counsel about the realities of practice and the essentials of professionalism consider Laura to be a role model.

Leading for the Right Reasons

Service to the bar is not a maybe or a sometime thing for Laura. She recalls asking her father, who served as president of both local hospitals and the medical association, why he was going to an evening event despite his fatigue after a long day of surgery. “Laura,” he said, “you have to give back to the profession that puts food on your table.”

 

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Laura’s giving back takes different forms as needed. Doing the hard work, engaging others and building consensus, with or without a title, Laura leads by example. She has:

  • led the Austin Bar Association, the Austin Young Lawyers Association, and was a founder of the Austin YLA Foundation
  • helped found the Austin Bar Foundation, and repeatedly used her impressive organizing abilities and considerable design, planning, carpentry, and party- giving skills for the annual Gala, its major fund-raising event
  • served on important State Bar committees, playing a major role in securing better member benefits for lawyers, studying the needs of lawyers throughout the state while on the Board of Directors, and advocating for solo practitioners, women and minorities
  • been an effective delegate to the American Bar Association, where she holds a seat on a standing committee, authored two successful resolutions in support of the rights of the public, and gains insights into emerging issues and their relevance for Texas lawyers.

 

Service and Leadership

State Bar Service

  • State Bar of Texas
    • Board of Directors 2004-2007
    • Court Rules Committee 2009-2015
    • Grievance Committee 2007-2013
  • State Bar of Texas Insurance Board
    • Chair 2012-2014, Director 2009-2012
  • Texas Bar Foundation – Life Fellow
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization 2014-present
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association

Local Bar Service

  • Austin Bar Association (formerly the Travis County Bar Association)
    • President 2003-2004; Treasurer 2000-2001; Secretary 2001-2002
    • Director 1998-2000
    • Civil Litigation Section – Chair 2002-2003; Director 1998-2001
  • Austin Bar Foundation
    • Founding Fellow & Life Member
    • Director 2010-2012; Chair 2002-2003, 2004-2005; Treasurer 2012-present;
    • Gala Chair 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2013
  • Austin Lawyers’ Auxiliary
    • 1st Vice President 2006-2007; Member 2003-present
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association
    • Board of Directors 1989-1990; Treasurer 1990-1991
    • Personal Crisis Assistance Committee
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association Foundation
    • Fellow & Founding Vice-Chair
  • Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association

 

National Bar Service

  • American Bar Association Delegate 2008-present
    • Medical Professional Liability Standing Committee 2009-present
  • National Conference of Bar Foundations
    • Director Board of Trustees 2011-present
  • American Bar Foundation – Life Fellow

Recent Community Service

  • Seton Institutional Review Board
  • Austin Women’s Symphony League 2000-2014
  • Austin Neighborhood Plan Contact Team 2012

Education

  • J.D., Baylor Law School, 1986,
    • Law Review write-on winner
    • Phi Delta Phi Fraternity
    • Loy M. Simpkins Award for Excellence in Marital Property Studies
  • B.A., University of Texas, 1982
  • Rice University, 1976-1978

The Personal Side of Laura

Laura looking over construction plans

Laura designed and drew plans for a new office. Power tools are her favorite gifts.

 

Texas is deep in the heart of Laura Bellegie Sharp. A fifth-generation Texan, she grew up in Waco with her older sister in a happy, social, and intellectually curious household. As a youngster, she often went with her surgeon father to the hospital and on hunting trips with his friends and their sons. For her sixteenth birthday, her parents’ gifts were pearls and a shotgun, appropriate accessories for a Texas girl. After graduating as valedictorian from high school, Laura studied math and science at Rice University for two years before shifting gears and going to the University of Texas as a history and economics major. Although she had no plans to be a lawyer, she took the LSAT at the urging of a friend. When she got to Baylor Law School, Laura says, “I finally found my people.” A semester in England clerking for barristers cemented her decision to be a litigator.

Laura and one of her dogs, Barron

 

I Ask for your Support