The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

Founding Members

Nina Cortell, ’76

Nina Cortell is the Co-Chair of Haynes and Boone’s appellate section and is ranked by Chambers USA Guide as one of the top appellate lawyers in Texas (2010).  For more than 30 years, Ms. Cortell has represented corporations, individuals, and public entities in appeals that have put her at the forefront of Texas appellate practice. She has frequently been asked to speak on appellate topics and to assist courts with issues related to the judicial process. At the request of Chief Judge Barefoot Sanders, Ms. Cortell chaired a task force investigating ways to improve the efficiency of the federal courts, and, at the request of Chief Judge Joe Fish, she assisted with the appointment of magistrate judges. Ms. Cortell also serves on the prestigious Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, which is comprised of judges and attorneys across the state and advises the Court in connection with its rulemaking authority.  In addition to her work in the appellate courts, Ms. Cortell has worked with trial teams to achieve significant results prior to appeal.

Professional History

  • Haynes and Boone, LLP (1976 to present and partner since 1982)


  • Best Lawyers’ 2013 Dallas Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year, and Best Lawyers’ 2010 Dallas Appellate Lawyer of the Year
  • Recognized in Chambers USA Guide – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Appellate, Band 1) (2008-2013)
  • Recipient of 2013 Jack Pope Professionalism Award, given by the Texas Center for Legal Ethics to one lawyer and one judge who personify the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in the field of law
  • Best Lawyers in America for Appellate Law; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation, Woodward/White, Inc. (2006-2011)
  • Selected by Dallas Bar Association as “Outstanding Lawyer of the Year” (2009)
  • Top 10 “Texas Super Lawyers,” with 2nd highest votes received (2010); Top 100 “Texas Super Lawyers,” Top 100 “Super Lawyers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Region,” and “Top 50 Female Super Lawyers” by Texas Monthly (2003-2013)
  • One of the top appellate lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine (every year list published, 2003-2010) and one of the “Best Women Lawyers” in Dallas (Appellate, 2013)
  • State Bar of Texas Presidential Citation for leadership in furthering the Bar’s diversity initiatives (2007)
  • Louise B. Raggio Award for significant contributions toward the advancement of women in the legal profession (1999)

Selected Professional and Community Service Activities

  • Co-Founder and President, Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • President (2005-2007) and Master, Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court
  • Member, Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • President (2008-2009), University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association
  • Board Member, University of Texas School of Law Foundation
  • Board Member and Former President, Texas Law Review Association
  • Advisory Board Member, Dallas Women Lawyers Association (2000-2009)
  • Chair, State Bar Task Force on Hiring, Retention and Promotion of Women and Minorities in Law Firms and Corporations (2006)
  • Course Director, State Bar of Texas Advanced Appellate Course (2003)
  • Chair, Dallas Bar Association Bench/Bar Conference (2003)


Married to Dr. Robert L. Fine and mother of three daughters, Dr. Lauren Fine, Rachel Fine and Becca Fine

Nina Cortell to receive the 2013 Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Award

Founding Member Nina Cortell to Receive the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service

Nina Cortell Headshot