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Tom Leatherbury Honored with Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows 2018 Justinian Award


Vinson & Elkins partner Tom Leatherbury has been selected by the Dallas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees to receive the 2018 Justinian Award, the most prestigious honor presented by the Dallas Bar Foundation. The award recognizes attorneys who have adhered to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession.

Leatherbury was unanimously selected to receive the award based on peer-submitted letters of recommendation. “I can think of no one who better epitomizes the highest principles and traditions of our profession and no one who has given more unselfishly of himself in service to the Bar,” one said.

Past recipients of the award include George Bramblett, Jim Coleman, Merrill Hartman, Hon. Barbara Lynn, Charles Matthews, Harriet Miers, Bob Mow, and Louise Raggio.

Leatherbury, who serves as co-leader of V&E’s Appellate Practice Group, has had a hand in approximately 150 state and federal appeals on behalf of some of the biggest names from a broad spectrum of industries, involving legal disputes of all stripes. In recognition of his successes, Leatherbury was among 14 members of the Texas legal community to receive a Texas Lawyer Distinguished Leader Award in 2017.

In addition to his legal work, Leatherbury serves as Chair of Talent Management for V&E and is on the firm’s pro bono and diversity and inclusion committees, as well as board chair of the National Association of Law Placement Foundation, board chair of the Yale Alumni Fund, and board member of the Business Council for the Arts. His past roles include serving as director and president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, president of the Media Law Resource Center’s Defense Counsel Section, chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Media Relations Committee, board member of Texas Appleseed, board chair of Greenhill School, and board member of The Dallas Opera.

He also commits hundreds of pro bono and volunteer hours each year to Texas Appleseed, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the Texas Civil Rights Project, American Gateways, the Anti-Defamation League, and North Texas Public Broadcasting, Inc., among others.

“Tom is one of the most respected First Amendment lawyers in America and what he does matters,” another letter read. “His work with the Texas Appleseed program will be felt for years to come and there is unanimous agreement in the profession that he is one of the most respected lawyers anywhere.”

Leatherbury will be honored at the 27th annual Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows Lunch on March 29 and is featured in a front-page profile in the March edition of the Dallas Bar Association’s Headnotes.

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