ORRIN W. JOHNSON
State Bar President, 1982-1983
Orrin W. Johnson of Harlingen is of counsel to the law firm of
Colvin, Chaney, Saenz & Rodriguez, L.L.P. Born in Minneapolis,
Minn., Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in 1942 and a J.D. in
1947 from the University of Texas at Austin. While at the university, he
served as president of the Law School Student Body and associate editor
of the Texas Law Review. He became a member of the Chancellors, Order
of the Coif, and Phi Delta Phi. In 1947, he was named an
Johnson has practiced law in Harlingen since 1947. He served on
the State Bar Board of Directors from 1972 to 1975 and held several
positions with the Texas Bar Foundation, including chair of the Bar
Foundation Fellows and as a Sustaining Life Fellow. He formerly served
as secretary and vice chair of the Fellows and as a member of the Board
of Trustees. In 1998, he was named an Outstanding 50-Year Lawyer by the
Foundation. Other Bar activities have included membership on the
Bar Journal Committee and in the Real Estate, Probate and
Trust Law Section.
From 1950 to 1951, he was vice president of the Texas Junior Bar
Association and from 1961 to 1962, he was president of the Cameron
County Bar Association. Johnson is a Fellow of the American College of
Trial Lawyers and American College of Trust and Estate Lawyers, and is
a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Johnson was a combat Marine in World War II, serving overseas for
almost two and a half years. His wartime services included five major
campaigns of the Pacific War, the last of which was at Iwo Jima. He was
awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and three Navy Unit Citations.
Wounded once, he returned to the States in May 1945. He remained in the
U.S. Marine Corps Reserve after the war, retiring in 1958 as a major.
He has served as a trustee of the Marine Military Academy, Inc.
Johnson served many community organizations and projects, including
several years’ service as an advisory member on the Board of
Trustees of the Valley Baptist Hospital and as director and president
of the Cameron County Good Government League. He is a past chair of the
Board of Stewards of a Methodist church and a Certified Methodist Lay