The Dallas Association of Young Lawyers was excited present the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, Outstanding Mentor Award, and Liberty Bell Award during the Dallas Bar Association annual Law Day Luncheon on May 5, 2017. For each award’s criteria, or for a list of past award recipients, please click here.
DAYL 2016/2017 Outstanding Mentor Award Recipient – Meyling Ly Ortiz
As the youngest recipient of the DAYL Outstanding Mentor Award, Meyling Ly Ortiz makes it look easy. She graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law in 2006 and is Managing Counsel of Employment and Labor at Toyota Motor North America. Mey is an excellent example for young lawyers even though she is still a young lawyer herself. Because of her age, she is able to provide the kind of peer-to-peer mentorship that is often lacking with traditional mentorships. Mey is a former DAYL President and currently is a Facilitator of the DAYL Leadership Class. Through these roles, and because of her natural ability to relate to others, Mey has had the opportunity to make a big impact on many young lawyers in Dallas. One of Mey’s many passions is mentoring law students as coach of the Thomas Tang Moot Court Team at SMU, which she has done for the past ten years. She has led them to win numerous awards and competitions including nationals on three different occasions. Mey’s professionalism and adherence to excellence are a shining example of what a great mentor looks like.
DAYL 2016/2017 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award Recipient – Julie Pettit
Julie Pettit epitomizes the qualities of an outstanding young lawyer: excellent business and legal acumen, outstanding service to the bar, and a passion to serve the community. As a very young attorney, Julie founded her own law firm where she represents homeowners against lenders and mortgage servicers in residential mortgage disputes. She zeroed in on a niche law practice early on and has made a name for herself as both a formidable opponent and a zealous advocate for her clients. Julie enjoys sharing her real estate experience with other lawyers through writing and speaking on topics such as residential foreclosures and other real estate matters. Julie is lauded by the judges she appears before and is often praised by opposing counsel. She gives back to the legal community through her involvement with bar associations. She is a Board Member of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association, and an active member in DAYL and the William “Mac” Taylor Inn of Court, where she leads projects and events. Julie also enjoys giving back to the Dallas community, and even formed Project Mom, a conference for moms where they can go to learn, attend seminars, and rejuvenate themselves. It is for these reasons that Julie was selected as this year’s Outstanding Young Lawyer.
DAYL 2016/2017 Liberty Bell Award Recipient – Sandra Teter
Sandra Teter was selected as this year’s Liberty Bell Award recipient because of her ongoing service and passion as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”). The Award, which is given to a non lawyer, includes “stimulates a deeper sense of individual responsibility so that citizens recognize their duties and rights” as one of its criteria. Sandra meets this criteria ten-fold. By day, Sandra works as a recruiter for non-legal professions. In her spare time, she serves as a Dallas CASA and has done so for 20 years. Since 1997, she has served as a CASA in 24 cases to over 47 children. She is one of the two most tenured volunteers with Dallas CASA, and is one of only four volunteers to be inducted into the Dallas CASA Ring of Honor. When asked about her volunteerism with Dallas CASA, Sandra candidly replied, “People get afraid of volunteering at places like CASA because they worry about seeing things they don’t want to see, but the truth is these situations happen whether we see them or not.” Sandra averages 20-30 volunteer hours per month, equaling around 5,000 lifetime hours. Sandra embodies the kind of selfless contribution to the legal system that the Liberty Bell Award was established to recognize.