Former Texas high court justice appointed to MSU board of trustees

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees appointed Wallace Jefferson, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, to the MSU College of Law Board of Trustees at its Dec. 18 meeting.

"The MSU Law community welcomes Wallace Jefferson to our board," said Dean Joan Howarth. "He brings with him a record of outstanding service in the law and a lifetime commitment to advancing civil rights causes. It should come as no surprise that he is also a fellow Spartan, a graduate of James Madison College. We look forward to his involvement at MSU Law."

Jefferson has twice made history as the first African-American justice and chief justice on the Supreme Court of Texas. Gov. Rick Perry appointed Jefferson to the Court in 2001, and he was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2008. 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.

Prior to joining the Texas Supreme Court, Jefferson was a partner in the San Antonio-based appellate-specialty firm Crofts, Callaway & Jefferson, where he successfully argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Law Institute and is certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and Texas Super Lawyers.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in political philosophy from MSU's James Madison College in 1985, Jefferson earned his juris doctorate in 1988 from the University of Texas School of Law. In 2007, MSU named Jefferson an Outstanding Alumnus. In 2005, the University of Texas School of Law honored Jefferson with its Outstanding Alumnus Award. He received the James Madison College Distinguished Alumnus award in 2002. And Jefferson also earned an honorary doctorate of laws from MSU at its spring 2009 commencement.

Published: Tue, Feb 23, 2016