August 08, 2019

Laura B. Sharp

Laura Bellegie Sharp
Eighth District, (2022)
Owner of The Sharp Firm in Austin, Texas.
Baylor Law School, J.D., 1986

She has been a member of the House of Delegates (2009-2018). Trustee of the National Conference of Bar Foundations (2011-2018). President-elect nominee of the State Bar of Texas in 2017, serving as chair of the Insurance Trust Board (2012-2014) and member of its Board of Directors (2004-2007). President (2003-2004) and member of the Board of Directors (1998-2003) for the Austin Bar Association. Member of the Texas Board of Legal Specialization Board of Directors since 2014. Life fellow of the American Bar Foundation. 

Reason to serve: “I was leaving the House of Delegates because I had been serving as a representative of the Austin Bar Association for about nine years. ... But I really was thinking I would like to do something else with the American Bar Association. I was talking to some of the other delegates with the state bar at the [ABA Annual Meeting] last August. They suggested that this position was opening from Texas/Florida and thought it would be a good thing for me to do. I didn’t have a strong sense the entire time that I was in the House that I wanted to be on the Board of Governors. That didn’t really occur to me. But it was an opportunity that opened at a time that I was able to take it. That is the way a lot of things happen in life.”

Plans for term: “Having sat in the House of Delegates for so long ... I am concerned that the American Bar Association maintain its vitality. I absolutely agree with the notion that we represent the lawyers of America, whether or not they choose to be members. The American Bar Association is headed in the right direction, and I’d like to help continue to direct it that way. We need to stabilize our finances and make sure we are offering member benefits that are appreciated by the members, meaning that they understand that they are there and utilize them. I ran for state bar president two years ago, and I literally met 9,000 attorneys during a 2½-month period. It was amazing to me the number of attorneys who were asking for member benefits.” 

Positive experience with the ABA: “The thing that is amazing to me about the American Bar Association is the welcoming nature of it. I don’t know that people who don’t go to the meetings can understand that. Along with that, the networking opportunities it has afforded me both for my practice area as well as for leadership.”