AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) -- Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson is joining Alexander Dubose & Townsend LLP.

The Texas law firm made the announcement Wednesday, a day after Jefferson officially stepped down from the bench.

"Chief Jefferson was an excellent appellate advocate before taking the bench, and he distinguished himself as one of the most outstanding jurists in the country during his long career with the Supreme Court of Texas," said Douglas W. Alexander, a founder partner at the firm.

Jefferson's first day at the firm's Austin office will be Nov. 18, with the firm's name changing to Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP.

"I greatly admire all of the partners at Alexander Dubose & Townsend," Jefferson said in a statement.

"We've known each other for years, and I feel confident that, working as a team, we can continue to build upon the firm's excellent practice and stellar reputation."

Jefferson was appointed to the high court in 2001 by Gov. Rick Perry and was subsequently elected to the bench in 2002.

He was named chief justice by the governor in 2004, becoming the court's 26th chief justice.

In 2006, he was elected chief justice; he was re-elected to a full term in 2008.

He was the state's first African-American justice and its first African-American chief justice.

Jefferson retired from the Supreme Court Oct. 1.

Also joining the law firm is Rachel Ekery, Jefferson's staff attorney for more than a decade. Her first day, as a partner, also will be Nov. 18.

"Ms. Ekery is a superb complement to Chief Jefferson, and we are fortunate to have them both as part of our team," Alexander said.

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