Update: Publicly Holding the Staff of the Texas Board of Law Examiners Accountable for Anti-Black Racism

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of love and support as I shared the details of my arduous ordeal to become a Texas attorney.

On January 10, 2022, I submitted a formal complaint to the executive director of the Texas Board of Law Examiners. My grievance primarily focused on the staff attorney assigned to my case and his bold argument that I violated the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct — and his maintenance of that assertion well after he knew the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board had no issue with my conduct. At the end of this correspondence, I urged the executive director to assess the race of bar applicants as a factor that should weigh heavily into the decision-making process of what cases proceed to the hearing stage.

I expected little from this administrative process, ostensibly because the executive director approves the cases that proceed to the three-judge panel. However, in the response that the executive director sent on January 24, 2022, she indicated that the full board would consider my recommendation about race assessments in hearing determinations at its next public board meeting. The date for this meeting is March 25, 2022.

I plan to attend to further tell my story on the public record, discuss the history of racial discrimination in bar admissions, and push the Texas Board of Law Examiners to be transparent as it tackles anti-Black racism within its operations.

For any Black attorneys or Black bar applicants who faced the invasive mistreatment of a character & fitness investigation — whether in Texas or another jurisdiction — I’d love to hear from you. Recognizing that this is a big ask, I would ideally love to convene a group of Black attorneys and Black bar applicants to join me at this public meeting.

Shoot me a line at andrew[at]andrewrhairston[dot]com

Solidarity forever in the quest for racial justice,

Andrew

About andrewrhairston

Andrew Reginald Hairston is a civil rights attorney, writer, proud bisexual man, and doting uncle who divides his time almost equally between Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. He loves, fights for, and writes about Black people.
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