Former Chief Justice John L. Hill, Jr. was born in Breckenridge, Texas on October 9, 1923. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law with honors in 1947.
Except for the eleven years he spent in State Government, Judge Hill has been a practicing trial lawyer. He served as Secretary of State of the State of Texas from 1966 to 1968. He was elected Attorney General of Texas in 1972 and served in that office until 1979. In 1984, he was elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, becoming the first person in Texas history to serve the people of Texas as Secretary of State, Attorney General and Chief Justice.
Judge Hill is currently a senior partner in the Houston based law firm of Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP where he heads the litigation section. In his earlier practice in Houston, he was a name partner in Hill, Brown, Knonzer, & Abraham.
Judge Hill is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, International Society of Barristers, Order of the Coif Legal Society, and serves as President of Texans for Judicial Excellence, among a host of other professional affiliations.
Judge Hill has received the Leon Green Award for Outstanding Service to the Legal Profession; the American Judicature Society Herbert Hawley Award; the Freedom of the Press Award; the Marc Gold Award for Outstanding Service to the Mentally Retarded; the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award; and the Lola Wright Foundation Award for Legal Ethics.
In 1991, Judge Hill was named a Distinguished Alumnus of The University of Texas, and in 1997 he received the Law School's Lifetime Achievement Award.