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A Tribute To Judge Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr

Rep. Al Green

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Mr. Speaker, on Friday, May 6, 2005, my alma mater, Thurgood Marshall School of Law located in the great city of Houston, will designate the Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr. Endowed Chair in Trial Advocacy in honor of my great friend and mentor, Judge Andrew L. Jefferson, Jr.

Born in Dallas, Texas in 1934, Judge Jefferson has lived in Houston since the ripe old age of 2. A graduate of Jack Yates High School, Texas Southern University and the University of Texas School of Law, Judge Jefferson has, over the years, distinguished himself not only as an accomplished legal scholar, but also as a dedicated community leader.

A humble man, Andrew Jefferson has had an exemplary career that began in the early sixties when he was a partner in the law firm of Washington and Jefferson. Because Judge Jefferson displayed, at an early age, a remarkable command of the law, he was recruited to serve as the Assistant District Attorney for Bexar County, a position he held until he was appointed Chief Assistant United States Attorney and subsequently Chief of the Criminal Section for the Western District of Texas, a job he held until Humble Oil and Refining Company beckoned him to join their ranks as Trial and Labor Relations Counsel. During the early seventies, he assumed the role of Judge in the Court of Domestic Relations #2 for Harris County, and in 1973 was elected to a full four-year term. At the end of his tenure in the Domestic Court, Judge Jefferson was appointed and then elected to the 208th District Court. In 1975, believing that he could inspire young people to enter the legal profession, the distinguished barrister left the bench and re-entered private practice.

In addition to being honorably discharged as a Captain in the United States Army Reserve-Judge Advocate General's Corps, the distinguished gentleman from Texas is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Houston Branch of the National Urban League, and a Life Member of the NAACP.

Among his many awards and accomplishments, Judge Jefferson has received the Anti-Defamation League National Torch of Liberty Award, the Forward Times Newspaper Community Service Award, the Charles A. George Community Service Award and the League of United Latin American Citizens National Community Service Award from LaRaza.

Mr. Speaker, I am blessed to have the opportunity to pay tribute to a great American hero. For those of us who know the Honorable Andrew L. Jefferson, we are always in awe of his ability as a coalition builder to bridge the gap between young and old and those of different cultural backgrounds. I believe that when history records the legacy of Andrew L. Jefferson, it will honor his role as a warrior who never forgot where he came from and always worked tirelessly on behalf of the least, the last and the lost.