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The First African American Graduates of the University of Texas School of Law

Andrew Jefferson, '59

Andrew Jefferson, 1959 Peregrinus
Andrew Jefferson,
1959 Peregrinus

Andrew Jefferson (August 19, 1934-December 8, 2008) graduated from Jack Yates High School in Houston in 1952. He earned a B.A. from Texas Southern University in 1956 and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in August 1959. Mr. Jefferson served in the U.S. Army before opening the Houston law firm of Washington & Jefferson with George Washington, Jr., a 1954 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. He stayed with the firm until 1962 when he became Assistant District Attorney for Bexar County. The same year, Mr. Jefferson was named chief assistant to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas.

In 1968, Mr. Jefferson became trial and labor relations counsel for Humble Oil & Refinery Company. He left Humble Oil Co. in 1970 when he was named judge of the Harris County Family District Court. In 1973, Mr. Jefferson was appointed judge for the 208th District Court in Harris County. He returned to private practice in 1975 with the firm of Jefferson, Sherman & Mims.

Mr. Jefferson served as president of the Nu Boulé chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the first African American Greek letter organization. Mr. Jefferson was a member of the Board of Trustees at Texas Southern University.  In the early 1970s, he also served on the Constitutional Revision Commission for the State of Texas alongside such notable Texans as Peter Flawn, Page Keeton, and Ralph Yarborough. His many accomplishments were recognized when he was named to the International Society of Barristers in 1996.  Mr. Jefferson was a member of the American Bar Association, Houston Lawyers Association, Houston Area Urban League, and the NAACP.