Proud Products of Texas Public Schools
Texas Supreme Court Justice
Graduate of John Jay High School, San Antonio
On May 10, 2001, Wallace Jefferson made Texas history as the first African-American justice on the Texas Supreme Court. His appointment to the state’s highest court by Texas Governor Rick Perry filled a vacancy left by departing Justice Alberto Gonzales.
Jefferson, the son of William and Joyce Jefferson of San Antonio, graduated from John Jay High School in 1981 and received a bachelor’s degree in political philosophy from Michigan State University in 1985. He attended The University of Texas School of Law, where he earned his doctorate in 1988.
His interest in appellate law led him to the firm of Groce, Locke and Hebdon upon returning to San Antonio in 1991. With two other attorneys, Jefferson opened an appellate law firm, Crofts, Callaway and Jefferson.
Jefferson brings considerable appellate experience to the bench, including successfully arguing, and winning, before the United States Supreme Court on two occasions—a rare distinction for any appellate lawyer.
Jefferson has been recognized for his outstanding achievements, including receiving the prestigious San Antonio Bar Association President’s Award after serving as president in 1998-99. In 1997, he was named Outstanding Young Lawyer by the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association and was named as a “Rising Star” in 1996 by the San Antonio Business Journal.
His professional activities include serving on the Supreme Court of Texas Advisory Committee and the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct and chairing the host committee for the 2000 Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference. He is also the past president of the San Antonio Bar Association and the William S. Sessions American Inns of Court.
Jefferson also served as director of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation and the Alamo Area Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization.
Jefferson and his wife, Rhonda, a former public school teacher, have three boys.