Historic Lawyers of Dallas
There are great lawyers in and from Dallas, Texas. Many of these lawyers practice in Dallas, Texas. Many practice throughout the United States and internationally.
Dallas has a rich history in the law. Dallas has produced prestigious lawyers with careers that have helped mold the law and justice system throughout the United States. I list the following four giants of the law as examples of lawyers who helped pave the way for lawyers practicing today in Dallas, Texas.EXAMPLES OF SOME HISTORIC LAWYERS OF DALLAS
Thomas C. Clark (1899-1977), US Supreme Court Justice from 1949 to 1967. He is the only US Supreme Court Justice from Texas. He was born in Dallas, Texas. Attended Dallas High School. Undergraduate and law degree at the University of Texas. Civil district attorney of Dallas 1927-1932. Joined the Justice Department in 1937 working in the war risk litigation section. Appointed by President Truman as US Attorney General in 1945. Prosecuted war fraud crimes and antitrust violations. Worked against juvenile delinquency and emphasized the importance of rehabilitation and education. Fought to strike down racial covenants in housing contracts that restricted the sale of property to blacks. Helped create a presidentially established committee on civil rights providing a blueprint for things to be done for civil rights. Was a proponent of Truman’s anti-Communist policies.
As a US Supreme Court Justice, he backed decisions supporting laws promoting racial equality, such as holding that black graduate students must be allowed into white state universities and law schools in Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950). He helped lay the groundwork for the holding in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In Hernandez v. Texas (1954) he helped in the decision that ruled it a violation of the Constitution to exclude people of Mexican ancestry from juries. His background as US Attorney General under Truman influenced his general pro-government positions in criminal cases and in anti-Communism cases. Even so, he held to limits on government power. He authored Mapp v. Ohio which broadened the 4th Amendment’s prohibition on using improperly seized evidence known as the exclusionary rule – insisting police should not be allowed to use such evidence. In Berger v. New York (1967) he held a state statute allowing electronic eavesdropping unconstitutional. Clark’s opinion in Abington School District v. Schempp held that Bible reading and mandated prayer in public schools violated the Constitution stating that “The Constitution says that the government shall take no part in the establishment of religion…”
Harold Barefoot Sanders Jr. (1925-2008), born in Dallas, Texas, attended North Dallas High School, graduated from University of Texas undergraduate and law school. He was counsel to President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was nominated in 1979 for a seat on the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas and confirmed that same year. He was Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas and oversaw the lawsuit to desegregate the Dallas Independent School District.
Robert G. Storey (1893-1981), born in Greenville, Texas. Lived in Dallas from 1923 until his death in 1981. Acted as executive trial counsel to Justice Robert H. Jackson of the US Supreme Court in the prosecution of Herman Goering, Rudolf Hess, and other Nazi officials in the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Received the U.S. Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor for his service in those trials. He was the Dean of Southern Methodist University and president of the Southwestern Legal Foundation starting in 1947.
Robert E. L. Saner (1871-1938) – graduated from the University of Texas with his law degree in 1896. Began his law practice in Dallas in 1903. Was the land attorney for the University of Texas from 1899 to 1929. Secretary of the Democratic State Executive Committee from 1899 to 1901. President of the American Bar Association from 1923-1924. General counsel for the American Bar Association and chairman of the board of editors of the American Bar Journal from 1920 to 1938.
Lawyers in the Dallas area have attended law school throughout the country and world. In the Dallas, Texas area we have the advantage of several great options for aspiring lawyers.
Jefferson School of Law: The first law school in Dallas was the Jefferson School of Law founded in 1919 by Andrew J. Priest, Dallas attorney, and resident. The school’s location was at Harwood and Jackson Street in Dallas, Texas. The Depression in the 1930s brought its demise. This original law school in Dallas no longer exists.
Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law: In 1925 two other law schools were established, the Dallas School of Law, which was an evening program operating out of the YMCA building on Ervay Street in downtown Dallas, and Southern Methodist University School of Law. In 1938 the Dallas School of Law combined with Southern Methodist University’s School of Law.
In recent years two other law schools have joined the legal community in the Dallas area.
Texas A&M University School of Law: The Dallas/Fort Worth School of Law was founded in Irving, Texas in 1989 and became the Texas Wesleyan School of Law in 1992. Subsequently, in 2012 Texas Wesleyan School of Law was taken over by Texas A&M becoming Texas A&M University School of Law, and moved the campus to nearby downtown Fort Worth, Texas.
The University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law: The University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law was founded in 2009 and is located in downtown Dallas, Texas in the historic Old City Hall and Lee F. Jackson building.
We owe a debt to the lawyers and institutions that have helped train and mentor great young lawyers in our area.
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