2019 Rising Advocate Award: Guillermo "Will" Trevino

Rising Advocate 2019

Recognizing that awards for outstanding government lawyers increasingly were being limited to attorneys with extensive experience, the Government Law Council create the "Rising Advocate" award to recognize outstanding accomplishments from lawyers who were less experienced, but awesome in their own right.

This year's Rising Advocate Award Award goes to Guillermo "Will" Trevino, an associate attorney at the firm of Messer, Fort & McDonald in Frisco, Texas. He serves as the City Attorney for Clarkesville, Texas and is Assistant City Attorney for more than 30 other municipalities.

Before joining the firm in 2016, Mr. Trevino worked for the City of Houston for two years as a chief of staff, serving two different Council members. He then transferred to Fort Worth, where he spent five years as an Assistant City Attorney.

Among his many contributions to the City of Fort Worth, Mr. Trevino served as the legal adviser for the Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Advisory Committee, and he provided training for city staff on the Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act to make sure employees stayed within compliance.  He also prosecuted state and local offenses, appearing on behalf of the city in criminal and family courts, and implementing changes necessitated by any new legislation.

Mr. Trevino is described by his colleagues as "a dedicated public servant providing sound advice and counseling to numerous elected officials, city managers and department heads."

He holds degrees from Texas A&M University (B.S. 2004), Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law (J.D. 2007) and Western New England University School of Law (LL.M. 2011).

Mr. Trevino volunteers his time to the community in several different ways. He was the 2013-2014 chair of the Tarrant County Bar Association Diversity Committee, and served as the 2016-2017 chair of the Tarrant County Bar Association Elder Law Committee. Since 2012, he also has been a service volunteer for GracePoint Church.

2018 Rising Advocate Award: Clint Harbour

Recognizing in previous years the Government Law Council’s recognition of an outstanding government lawyer became limited to lawyers with extensive experience, the Council wanted to also recognize outstanding accomplishments from lawyers who were less experienced, but awesome in their own right.

To recognize these younger attorneys who make a solid contribution while working their way up the ladder the Government Law Council created the Rising Advocate Award. At the 2017 Advanced Government Law Seminar held on July 19- 20, 2018, the Government Law Council was pleased to announce the Rising Advocate Award for this year.

This year's Rising Advocate Award Award goes to Clint Harbour, an assistant attorney general for the State of Texas. An accomplished advocate, Mr. Harbour represents the Texas Department of Transportation in condemnation hearings and jury trials related to the ever-growing transportation needs of the State.

He also represents the Texas Tech University System, the Texas A&M University System, and the University of North Texas System as those institutions seek to expand their educational mission. Mr. Harbour has served as an assistant attorney general for over twelve years and handled twenty jury trials, over one hundred condemnation hearings, and multiple bench trials defending the State's right to condemn property.

Originally from Liberty, Texas, Mr. Harbour attended the University of Texas where he earned his bachelor and law degrees. He also earned an LLM in international law and human rights from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

For the last four years, he has been the team leader for the eminent domain team covering north and west Texas, which is responsible for all state government condemnation matters from the Metroplex to El Paso. In addition to his courtroom advocacy, he coordinates the trial skills training for young lawyers at the Office of the Attorney General and teaches trial advocacy at the University of Texas School of Law. Mr. Harbour also serves on the faculty of the Texas Supreme Court's Children's Commission's trial skills training for lawyers handling CPS cases.

In his spare time Mr. Harbour coaches youth basketball and volunteers with Partnerships for Children, a non-profit that supports CPS case workers assisting abused and neglected children in Central Texas. He previously served on the board of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, helping host the National Trial Competition for law school students for over a decade.

2017 Rising Advocate Award: Lauren Renee Sepulveda

Recognizing in previous years the Government Law Council’s recognition of an outstanding government lawyer became limited to lawyers with extensive experience, the Council wanted to also recognize outstanding accomplishments from lawyers who were less experienced, but awesome in their own right.

To recognize these younger attorneys who make a solid contribution while working their way up the ladder the Government Law Council created the Rising Advocate Award. At the 2017 Advanced Government Law Seminar held on July 27- 28, 2017, the Government Law Council was pleased to announce the very first recipient of the Rising Advocate Award.

Showing her outstanding work and dedication as a young attorney in government law, Ms. Lauren Renee Sepulveda is an Assistant Criminal District Attorney of the felony section in the Hidalgo County DA’s office.

Lauren is a graduate of Baylor Law School and joined the Hidalgo County DA’s Offices after graduation and passing the bar exam. She provides her expertise in criminal defense in the Hidalgo County Veterans Treatment Court as well as the Hope Court. She was the facilitator and energy behind many of the initiatives with the Hidalgo County Young Lawyers Association and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. Her nominator asserted Lauren ‘’sets the standards for other young attorneys and constantly inspires us to contribute more to the communities we live and work in.” The Council couldn’t agree more and is pleased to award the Rising Advocate Award to Ms. Lauren Renee Sepulveda.