State Bar of Texas Seal

April 19, 2017
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director
State Bar of Texas
 (512) 427-1706

Media Advisory: State Bar to honor two Austin attorneys

When: 9 a.m. (board meeting) and noon (luncheon) Friday, April 21

Where: Westin Austin at The Domain, 11301 Domain Drive

What: The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and President Frank Stevenson will present resolutions to longtime State Bar of Texas employee Pat A. Nester and former Travis County Drug Court Judge Joel B. Bennett for outstanding service to the legal profession and the greater Austin community.

Media Note: The board is expected to adopt the resolutions during its meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. Friday, April 21. The resolution honoring Nester will be presented during the morning meeting. The resolution honoring Bennett will be presented during a luncheon immediately following the meeting. If you can’t attend but would like to receive photos of the recipients receiving their awards for publication, please email

Background: The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors meets quarterly in different cities across the state. At these meetings, the board may adopt resolutions honoring local attorneys or judges for exceptional service to the profession and community. Selections are made after seeking input from local State Bar directors, area bar associations, colleagues, and others familiar with the work of the attorneys or judges receiving the recognition.

Judge Joel B. Bennett became a licensed Texas attorney in 1977 and worked as an assistant county attorney and a private practitioner before becoming the first judge of the Travis County Adult Drug Diversion Court, a position he held until 2012. Judge Bennett is credited with building a visionary program that achieved national recognition and influence. He now has a private practice and remains an active member of his profession and the community.

Pat A. Nester has been a distinguished employee at the State Bar of Texas for nearly four decades. Nester became a licensed Texas attorney in January 1976, began working for the bar in 1978, and has the unique history of attempting to retire from the bar in 2000 only to return in 2001. In 2016, Nester was promoted to deputy executive director. He is beloved by his colleagues and is nationally recognized for his knowledge and expertise in continuing legal education.

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The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at, or visit

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