About William S. Sessions
William S. Sessions, 1930 --
Judge William Steele Sessions was born in Fort Smith Arkansas on
May 27, 1930. Following his graduation from Baylor Law School,
in 1958, he was admitted to practice law in Texas in 1959, and for
the next ten years, he practiced law in Waco, Texas.
In 1969 Judge Sessions left Waco to serve in the United States
Department of Justice as Section Chief of the government Operations
Section, Criminal Division. After two years in that position, he
was appointed to serve as the United States Attorney for the
Western District of Texas. Then, in 1974, President Gerald R. Ford
appointed him to become United States District Judge of the Western
District of Texas, sitting in El Paso, Texas. Judge Sessions served
for six years in El Paso, and then was promoted to Chief United
States District Judge for the Western District of Texas, whereupon
he and his family moved to San Antonio. It was during his service
as Chief Judge in 1986, that he initiated the organization of the
San Antonio Inn of Court.
In the fall of 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge
Sessions to become the fourth Director of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and he served in that capacity until the summer of
In early 1995, Judge Sessions and one of his sons formed the law
firm of Sessions & Sessions, in San Antonio, and Judge Sessions
began serving as a mediator and arbitrator of legal disputes. The
law firm of Sessions and Sessions joined with the firm of Holland
& Knight, in 2000, and he is a partner there today. Judge
Sessions remains active with the Texas Commission on Judicial
Efficiency, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Boys and Girls Clubs
Judge Sessions and his wife, Alice, raised three sons and a
daughter, each of whom they are both very proud-almost as proud as
they are of their eight grandchildren.
A Brief History of the William S. Sessions Inn
As the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the
Western District of Texas, Judge William S. Sessions
enthusiastically endorsed the mission of the American Inns of
Court. Following the lead of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren E.
Burger, in the summer of 1986, Judge Sessions assembled an
Organizing Committee for the purpose of establishing an Inn of
Court in San Antonio, Texas.
The Charter for our Inn was adopted on September 15, 1986.
It was originally named the "San Antonio American Inn of
Court." Terry S. Bickerton, Esq., was chairman of the
Organizing Committee. He was joined by Randy Tower, Esq. and
Phil Hardberger, Esq. The first Inn meeting was held on
November 3, 1986, at the Plaza Club, atop the downtown Frost Bank
Building. Judge Sessions was selected to be the first
The initial members of the San Antonio Inn of Court were
experienced, well respected judges and attorneys from our
community, as well as other judges, younger lawyers, and law
students. We are proud that our present membership reflects that
In 1987, Judge Sessions accepted the position of Chief of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, and moved to Washington, D.C.. In
honor of Judge Sessions the Inn changed its name to
'William S. Sessions American Inn of Court.' In
addition to the responsibility of proudly carrying Judge Sessions'
name, our Inn continues to uphold the goals he established from the
beginning: to encourage professionalism, ethics, and civility among
the members of our bar.