June 5, 1904 – July 19,
WILLIAM L. KERR
State Bar President, 1961-1962
As eighty-first President of the Texas Bar during the years
1961-1962, William L. Kerr presided over the joint Texas-Mexico Bar
Convention in San Antonio and Mexico City in July 1962. This was the
first time in the history of the Bar of Texas that the annual
convention was held outside of either Texas or the United States.
William L. Kerr was born in Van Horn, Texas, on June 5, 1904. He was
reared in Pecos, Texas, and attended Texas Christian University and the
University of Texas before enrolling in the Cumberland University law
school. He obtained his LL.B. degree in 1927; and after his admission
to the Bar that same year, he began his practice of the law in Pecos.
In the fall of 1927 he was elected county attorney for Reeves and
Loving Counties but resigned in 1929 to resume his private practice. In
1933 Kerr was elected district attorney for the 109th Judicial
District, and in 1942 he was elected district judge. He held this
office until 1944 when he moved to Midland to re-enter private law
practice. His two sons, William M. Kerr and Ted M. Kerr, practiced
alongside William Kerr.
Before becoming State Bar President, Kerr served as chairman of
several Bar committees. He was a member of the Board of Directors in
1938-39. He has also served in the A.B.A.'s House of Delegates. Kerr
was a member of the Scottish Rite Masons and the Phi Kappa Psi social
fraternity. He was district governor of the Rotary International in
1933-1934, and from 1946-5198 he was president of the board of regents
of the State Teachers Colleges of Texas. In 1973 Kerr was honored by
the University of Texas of the Permian Basin as one of the original
Permian Basin pioneers.