Contact: Trish McAllister, Executive Director
Dallas attorney Harriet Miers announced as incoming Chair; Houston attorney and current Chair Harry Reasoner announced as Chair Emeritus of the Texas Access to Justice Commission
AUSTIN, Texas - The Supreme Court of Texas announced Dallas attorney Harriet Miers will assume the role of Chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, effective January 1, 2022. Harry Reasoner, the current chair of the Commission will serve as Chair Emeritus. The Court order announcing this appointment states “[u]nder the dedicated leadership of Chair Reasoner, the Commission made incredible strides in pursuit of its mission to increase the quality and quantity of civil legal services for the poor in Texas.” The Court commended Reasoner for his service and steadfast commitment to ensuring access to justice for all Texans. “Our Supreme Court is a national leader in seeking access to justice. It has been an honor to work with the Court and the dedicated Commissioners and staff of the Texas Access to Justice Commission,” Reasoner said. “Helping people get a fair opportunity to access to justice is one of the most rewarding things a lawyer can do in practicing law.”
Reasoner served as Chair for 12 years. During that time, the Commission made incredible advancements in its mission to increase access to justice for the poor in Texas, including redoubling its legislative and congressional efforts in pursuit of additional civil legal aid funding. His remarkable commitment also has resulted in greater public awareness of and support for providing low-income Texans with vital civil legal services. “Harry Reasoner is an iconic member of our legal community, indeed most influential and revered for his character and abilities. He is one of America’s most highly regarded trial lawyers for his professionalism and effectiveness, and he is legendary in his contributions in increasing access to justice for low-income Texans,” Miers said. “His passion for making real our country’s pledge to provide justice for all is unsurpassed.” In his new role as Chair Emeritus, Reasoner will continue to remain active with the Commission and make an impact on access to justice by leading the 2022 Veteran’s Gala to its long-standing success.
Reasoner is a partner at Vinson & Elkins in Houston, Texas. He received the Professionalism Award for the 5th Circuit from the American Inns of Court Foundation, the Lifetime Achievement
Award from the American Lawyer, and with his wife Macey, the Torch of Liberty Award from the Anti-Defamation League. Reasoner is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American Bar Foundation. Reasoner’s professional memberships include The American Law Institute and the American Board of Trial Advocates. Reasoner serves as a Trustee Emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, and The Center for American and International Law and is a Life Trustee of the UT Law School Foundation. He has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from Rice University, the University of Texas School of Law, and the University of Texas.
Harriet Miers has spent a lifetime advocating for access to justice and trying to improve the justice system. She was appointed to the Commission in 2013 and served as the Chair of the Commission’s Legislative Committee, leading efforts to secure funding for civil legal aid in Texas. Miers took her dedication to championing access to justice to a national level by serving as Co-Chair of the Legal Services Corporation Leaders Council. She has been honored numerous times for her trailblazing accomplishments in the legal profession and for her commitment to public service. “Harriet has long been a great leader in working for access to justice both at the national level and as a Commissioner. She will continue to provide great leadership,” Reasoner said.
Miers is a partner at Locke Lord LLP in Dallas and Washington, D. C. She served in the administration of President George W. Bush from 2001-2007, ending her tenure as Counsel to the President. Miers was the first female President of the Dallas Bar Association and of the State Bar of Texas. She received the Sandra Day O’Connor award from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism and the Robert G. Storey Award for Distinguished Achievement from the SMU Dedman School of Law. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Center for American and International Law. Miers holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Methodist University and a law degree from the Southern Methodist University School of Law. She has received Distinguished Alumni Awards from Southern Methodist University and its Dedman School of Law.
Media note: High resolution of photos of Harry Reasoner and Harriet Miers are available upon request. Photo: Harriet Miers (L) and Harry Reasoner (R).
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The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created in 2001 by the Supreme Court of Texas to develop and implement policy initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. The Commission has created several initiatives to increase resources and awareness of legal aid. For more information, please visit www.TexasATJ.org.