Wallace B. Jefferson

Judge, Key Voice, Private sector (Texas)
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, who served 2004-2013. Now in private practice. Became Treasurer of American Law Institute in 2014.

Links: Wikipedia bio | (Current as of: April 28, 2015)

Jefferson has three times made Texas judicial history. In 2001, Governor Perry appointed him the first African American Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and then again in 2004 he was appointed the first African American Chief Justice. In November 2002, Jefferson also became, along with Justice Dale Wainwright, one of the first two African Americans elected to the Court.

Jefferson was first appointed to the court on April 18, 2001, to fill the vacancy left by Alberto R. Gonzales, who resigned to become White House Counsel to President George W. Bush. Jefferson was then elected to that seat in 2002 with 56 percent of the vote. Before Jefferson could complete his new term, however, he was again promoted by Perry. On September 20, 2004, Perry appointed Jefferson the successor to Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips, who had resigned from the Court a few weeks earlier after nearly seventeen years as chief justice. Jefferson was elected in November 2006 to serve out the remainder of Phillips’s unexpired term as Chief Justice in November 2006.

Jefferson was elected to the American Law Institute (the ALI) in 2001 and was elected to the ALI Council in 2011. In May 2014, he was named Treasurer of the ALI. He also serves as an Adviser on the Restatement Third, the Law of Consumer Contracts.[4] He also chairs the ALI’s Regional Advisory Group for Region 5 which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

During his time on the bench, Jefferson served as president of the Conference of Chief Justices, an association of chief justices from the 50 states and U.S. territories.


Letter , News Story

Letter by Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson and Justice Nathan L Hecht

Wallace B. Jefferson, Nathan L. Hecht
June 1, 2011
This letter by the two justices is an eloquent and practical statement in favor of state funding for civil legal aid.

This page last modified: Wed, April 29, 2015 -- 10:53 am ET