Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Deborah Hankinson Honored by UT Dallas

Former Texas Supreme Court justice Deborah Hankinson will be honored March 30 with the Distinguished Alumni Award during the University of Texas Dallas Awards Gala.

The UT Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor the school can bestow on its alumni and is presented to individuals who are outstanding in their chosen profession or life’s work.

She earned a master’s degree in special education in 1977 from UT Dallas. With that degree, she became the lead teacher of a groundbreaking Plano ISD program for elementary students with developmental disabilities.

“I have been blessed with a very fulfilling legal career, but my work as a teacher was rewarding in a way that is difficult to express, and it was made possible by the education I received at UT Dallas. Not only did my education help make me a better teacher, it helped lay the foundation for my decision to attend law school,” said Hankinson.

Following her tenure on Texas’ highest court, Hankinson returned to private practice, founding the Dallas-based appellate law firm Hankinson LLP and becoming one of the most widely respected arbitrators, mediators and appellate lawyers and strategists in the state.

Her professional honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award from Texas Lawyer and recognition as a Local Litigation Star from Benchmark Litigation. She has been selected five times among the Top 10 attorneys in the state by Texas Super Lawyers. In 2016 she was selected to The National Law Journal’s inaugural ADR Champions listing, recognizing alternative dispute resolution trailblazers from across the nation.

Hankinson is one of four UT Dallas graduates to be honored as Distinguished Alumni during the 15th annual Awards Gala. For more information, visit

Hankinson LLP, the pre-eminent civil appellate firm in the Southwest, provides clients with innovative legal insights and judicial perspective in all phases of litigation. The firm’s attorneys work with trial teams to develop strategies designed to put a case in the best position before, during and after trial. Dallas-based Hankinson LLP represents national clients, regional companies, governmental bodies and individuals with trial and appellate matters, and offers mediation and arbitration services as well. Learn more about the firm at