Justice Nathan L. Hecht
Justice Nathan L. Hecht is the Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, having been elected in 1988 and re-elected in 1994, 2000, and 2006. He is the senior Texas appellate judge in active service.
Throughout his service on the Court, Justice Hecht has overseen revisions to the rules of administration, practice, and procedure in Texas courts. In 2000, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States, on which he served until 2006.
Since 2010, Justice Hecht has been responsible for the Court's efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level have access to basic civil legal services. He is the Court's liaison to the Texas Access to Justice Commission.
Justice Hecht began his judicial service in 1981, when he was appointed to the 95th District Court in Dallas County. He was elected to that bench in 1982 and re-elected in 1984. In 1986 he was elected to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas, where he served until he was elected to the Supreme Court.
Before taking the bench, Nathan Hecht was a partner at the Locke law firm in Dallas. He joined that firm in 1976 and practiced mainly in the area of general business and commercial litigation.
Justice Hecht received a B.A. degree with honors in philosophy from Yale University in 1971. He attended Southern Methodist University School of Law as a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, and received his J.D. degree cum laude in 1974. He was elected to Order of the Coif and served as an editor for the Southwestern Law Journal. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Roger Robb, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps, achieving the rank of Lieutenant. He was honorably discharged from military service in 1979.
Justice Hecht is licensed to practice in Texas and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, and the Austin Bar Association. He is also a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow in the American Bar Foundation, a life fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation and a founding fellow of the Dallas Bar Foundation. He received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers in 1984, the Southern Methodist University School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service in 2000, and the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation Distinguished Public Service Award in 2004. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the Texas Philosophical Society.