Ramby, Helen 1998-07-01

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Helen Ramby recounts her longtime experience in the South Plains legal profession as a law library administrator, Bar Secretary, district clerk, and secretary to judges.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Helen Ramby

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: July 01, 1998

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Fred Allison

Length: 1 hour 10 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Lubbock Bar Association, Largest social affair, Law Day, May 1 each year, Response to Communist May Day, Important speakers, Awards given, Monthly luncheons, 3rd Fridays, Holds Bar together, Law Notes (Bar newsletter), Holds Bar together, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) schedule, CLE program provided by Lubbock Bar, 15 hours per year required, Lubbock Bar provides 200 hours of classes, Available for small town lawyers, Interactive video now used, Health Net at medical school, Description of program, Also available in El Paso, Odessa and San Angelo, Texas, Ethics training available, Perception of lawyers in public eye, Lawyers more respected in past, More lawyers now, 398 when started as Bar secretary, Now 617 in Lubbock, Some lawyers in it for money only, About 2 lawyers per year disciplined, One per year disbarred, Younger lawyers, Lack of family/traditional values, Drug usage, Procedure for disciplining lawyers, Grievance committee, Hearings, Percentage of lawyers in trouble not increased, Mentor program, Influence of Federal Judge John Akard, Encouraged program, Training, Older lawyers help younger, Works in Lubbock, but not everywhere, State bar made it voluntary, Declining reputation of lawyers caused by ‘bad apples’, Significance of Lubbock medical center, No animosity between doctors and lawyers, Many doctors are married to lawyers, Social interaction, Effects of advertising, State Bar frowns on it, Many rules using advertising, Worst types, Two page spreads, Single practitioner, Disciplining for misuse requires client complaints, Disclaimers protect lawyers, Used by young lawyers mostly, Not active in Bar or CLE, Tread a fine line, Getting started in law business, Small towns begging for lawyers, Muleshoe, Texas lawyers, Advertising (again), More acceptable now, Older, established lawyers will never use it, Young lawyers willing to change to be ethical, Helen Ramby, background, Born: Santa Fe, New Mexico, Father, state legislator, Uncle a lawyer, looked up to him, Changes in Santa Fe, Got married, had children, Secretary for lawyers and judges, Began with Judge Rod Shaw (January 1978), Moved to Lubbock, Lived in Austin previously, Lubbock Bar Library job, When Judge Shaw retired, Old time lawyers compared to new lawyers, Changes occurred in late 1970s and 1980s, Law schools turned out lots of lawyers, Number in classes, Texas Tech Law School, first class, Anonymity caused by large numbers of lawyers in Bar, Knowing all lawyers in town, Older lawyers great believers in local bar, Tight knit group, New lawyers not as supportive.

Tape 1, Side 2: Law Notes newsletter (again), Helen Ramby background (again), Father, Hope Montgomery, State legislator, New Mexico (1930s), Uncle Kay, Two sons that became attorneys, One on New Mexico Supreme Court, Family characteristics, Memoirs, Hired by Judge Seth, Formed Seth and Montgomery law firm, Son Miles on State Supreme Court, Contracted multiple sclerosis, Retired last year, Involvement in development and growth of Santa Fe, Changes, Move to Lubbock (1978), Husband, Peiffer Ramby, Died, 1977, Freshman at Texas Tech (1929), Pharmacist, Grew up in Sudan, Texas, Father had drugstore, Husband’s drugstore in Morton, Texas (1936-38), Changes in pharmacy business, Friends with Sam Damron, Damron Drug of Muleshoe, Texas, Effect of supermarket pharmacies on small town drugstores, Harmful, Husband contracted cancer, Soda fountain, closed 1964, Sold to man building ‘old fashioned’ drug store, Gathering place, Helen Ramby, Parents moved to Muleshoe, Texas, Grandparents from Pleasant Valley Community, Settled there in 1925, Bought land for children, Parents move to town, Kin to Bickel family—‘Shorty’ and Bill, Pleasant Valley families, Lubbock Bar personalities, Older lawyers loved law library, Don Hunt is a weekly visitor, Law library established by Texas Legislature (1955-56), Determinant on size of city, Fees for library maintenance, Open to public, Lubbock Bar Association is voluntary for lawyers, State Bar not voluntary, Fees for Lubbock Bar and state bar, Dues in other communities, Law library named after Judge Victor H. Lindsey, Judge Lindsey was District Judge in 1952, Characteristics, Counties in his district, 72^nd District, His wife gave his law library to Lubbock Bar library, "Mr. Ethics", Ability to hand down decisions immediately, Never took cases "under advisement", Judge Rod Shaw, His offices a popular gathering place for lawyers, County Judge for 26-28 years, No opposition in elections, Background, Involvement in Lubbock growth, Health Science Center, Wife, Bobbie, Wife’s involvement in estate sales, Father a banker in Iowa, Homesteaded in Texas during Depression, Helen Ramby (again), Worked for Judge Lindsey, Traveled to area courts, Came home every night, District Clerk work, Cochran County transitioning from individual butane tanks to city gas lines.

Tape 2, Side 1: Judge J. Q. Warnick, Knowledgeable about individual lawyers, Helen Ramby (again), Changes in work done by District Clerks, Filing, typing, Oil discoveries caused tremendous work loads, Typing all day, then proofreading, Much harder in those days.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1920-1970s

Bulk Dates: 1950s-1970s

Access Information

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Recording Format Notes:


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