Alumni News
Joe K. Longley ’63 Brings Needed
Reforms to State Bar of Texas
When Joe Longley ran for president of the State Bar of Texas in 2017 with a pledge “to reform the way the State Bar currently conducts its business,” his message resonated with the voting membership in a big way. In fact, he won a landslide victory in a record turnout of more than 30,000 votes cast.

Assuming leadership in 2018 in a state agency plagued with financial mismanagement, statutes enacted without voter approval, and a “private club” mindset at the top, Longley was determined to right the ship. He called for “open meetings, open records, open elections, and open minds” upon taking office. 

He appointed special task forces to ensure financial responsibility and transparency going forward. As a result, State Bar expenditures have been cut by more than $1.4 million per annual budget, and board meetings are now videotaped and posted on the State Bar website for member viewing. 
A steadfast advocate for access to justice and the rule of law, Longley has brought a spotlight to the current immigrant family separation crisis. Earlier this year, he traveled to the Texas border and met with a number of dedicated attorneys and organizations working to reunite children with their parents. “Pro bono and legal aid attorneys are accustomed to working with clients in difficult situations,” said Longley, “but the sorrow they witnessed at these detention centers was on a wholly different level.” 

The state bar now provides a webpage  with a list of training, volunteer, and donation opportunities for attorneys who would like to assist families who have been separated upon entering the U.S. 

“This is not about politics,” said Longley. “It’s about access to justice. The people involved in this crisis may not be citizens, but they are still entitled to due process in a land that values the rule of law.” 

Longley first made his mark on Texas law at age 29, while serving in the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. Drafting legislation that passed into law as the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act in 1973, it is today the state’s primary consumer protection statute. 

In 1975, he established a private law practice with a focus on insurance bad faith litigation, deceptive trade practices and commercial litigation. He has argued cases before the Supreme Court of Texas, the Texas Court of Appeals, and United States Courts of Appeals. 

He has taught insurance law at The University of Texas School of Law (where he earned his JD degree), served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, and as chair of the State Bar Consumer Law Section, now called the Consumer and Commercial Law Section.

In 2000, Texas Lawyer named him to its elite list of “100 Legal Legends” and, in 2002, recognized him as its “Number One Go-To Lawyer for Insurance Law” in the state. In 2011, the State Bar Insurance Section honored him with its prestigious Insurance Legend Award.

Longley was chosen as Tau Man of the Year in 2002. He and his wife, Maggie, live in Austin and have three grown children and six grandchildren. 
Help continue our proud Tau Legacy! 

We appreciate your support!
Have You Paid Your 
2019 Alumni Dues?

Your annual Tau Alumni dues ($100) help sustain operating costs for the Tau Chapter alumni program. Your Tau Trustee dues payment ($500) covers your Tau Alumni dues, House Corp. stipend, summer rush contribution, Kappa Sigma fraternity dues and your contribution to the Kappa Sigma Military Heroes campaign. Your support is vital to the success of the Tau Chapter and much appreciated. 
(Click either button to pay your dues online.)