NALP Foundation Board Chair Tom Leatherbury, who serves as co-leader of Vinson & Elkins’s Appellate Practice Group and Chairman of Talent Management for the firm as well as being on the firm’s pro bono and diversity and inclusion committees, was one of only 14 Texas lawyers to receive the award.
"Despite the constant drip of publicity about how unhappy lawyers are, studies show a great deal of career satisfaction among lawyers," Leatherbury told the Texas Lawyer. "Most are glad that they went to law school, no matter what their career choices have been. The NALP Foundation's After the JD longitudinal study (done in conjunction with the American Bar Foundation and several other respected organizations) showed this, as do the NALP Foundation's Alumni Studies undertaken for certain law schools." Leatherbury offered advice to those considering a career in law: "Never forget that being a lawyer gives you the opportunity and even the obligation to help people and to change lives."
In addition to his work at Vinson & Elkins and his leadership at the NALP Foundation, Leatherbury is past director and past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas; past president of the Defense Counsel Section, Media Law Resource Center; past chair of the Media Relations Committee, Dallas Bar Association; and a board member of Texas Appleseed.
He also commits hundreds of pro bono 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 the Human Rights Initiative.