Tyler Today April/May 2017 : Page 44

Members of the Smith County Bar Association surprised Cristy Arscott this past January with a party celebrating her twenty years of service to the organization. “I was in the right place at the right time to be hired as the Smith County Law Librarian,” Cristy recalls, “Just after I was hired, I was told the Smith County Bar Association (SCBA) needed a little help. As it turned out, they needed a lot of help. I ended up working for both the library and the Bar Association for the next sixteen years. When I became eligible for retirement from the county in 2013, I went to work full time for the Bar Association and Foundation. It was April Fool’s Day, and I have often wondered if that had any significance!” Speaking on behalf of the SCBA, Tyler attorney Jim Huggler says, “Cristy has done a tremendous job for Tyler, specifically for the Bar Association.” He cites how Cristy’s work has helped the association to receive four Awards of Merit from the State Bar, and five Stars of Bars Awards. “On top of that, she helped secure five grants from the Texas Bar Foundation that have aided in expanding our role throughout Smith County.” Those projects include developing the Bar’s first interactive website, publication of a book chronicling the first seventy-five year history of the Smith County Bar, and the development of community outreach programs such as Constitution Day, Civics Game and Law Day. Cristy was born in Michigan. When her father completed his MFA degree in 1963, he moved his family to Nacogdoches, Texas where he had been offered a teaching position at what was then known as Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College (now SFA State University). “He promised my mother that we would only be in East Texas for a couple of years before he would get another position in a bigger city. He is still teaching at SFA fifty-four years later!” Cristy enjoyed growing up in East Texas. She graduated from Nacogdoches High School and then completed a BS in Elementary Education at Stephen F. Austin. She jokes that her degree has been helpful in her role as Executive Director of the Smith County Bar Association because she learned how to handle children, how to develop patience and what it means to get the job done with only a handful of volunteers. “I was interested in the law, so when my two boys got big enough, I was thrilled that my friend Denice told me her husband, Ralph Allen, was looking for a legal assistant in his law office in Tyler. After a while, I took a year off and worked on political campaigns. That led to my role managing the Smith County Law Library,” Cristy says. She looks back on the past twenty years with great pride and satisfaction. “For me, working with people who are dedicated to giving back to 44 APRIL / MAY 2017

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