United States: Carol E. Dinkins, Chair, ABA Standing Committee On Federal Judiciary 2002 - 2003
Last Updated: November 7 2002

Issued on August 06, 2002

Carol E. Dinkins, a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins, will chair the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary for 2002-2003.

Dinkins was appointed to chair the standing committee by Alfred P. Carlton Jr., who becomes president of the association on Aug. 13. The 15-member committee evaluates the professional qualifications of persons nominated for appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, federal circuit courts of appeals, district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Court of International Trade. She previously was a member of the standing committee in 1997-98.

Dinkins served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States, the second highest ranking official in the U.S. Department of Justice, in 1984-85. She was Assistant Attorney General heading the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, supervising the government’s litigation in federal environmental, natural resources and public lands matters, in 1981-83. During her tenure the division implemented the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and created the Environmental Crimes Section.

Dinkins became an associate of Vinson & Elkins in 1973 and was elected as partner in 1980. In 1971-73, she was an adjunct assistant professor of law at the University of Houston College of Law, and the principal associate of the Texas Law Institute of Coastal & Marine Resources.

Dinkins chairs the ABA House of Delegates Committee on Rules and Calendar through Aug. 13, and is a member of the House. She also serves as a member of the ABA Journal Board of Editors and of the Nominating Committee that slates officers of the association. She is a past chair of the ABA sections of Environment, Energy and Resources and of State and Local Government Law. She received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 1999.

Throughout her career, Dinkins has been engaged in government service. She was chair of President Reagan’s Task Force on Legal Equity for Women in 1981-83, and a member of the Native Hawaiians Study Commission in that same time period. President Reagan also appointed her to the board of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank. She was appointed by Senators Gramm and Hutchison to their Federal Judicial Advisory Group. When he was governor of Texas, George W. Bush appointed her to chair his Conservation Task Force in 2000, and to serve on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission, of which she was vice chair in 1999‑2001. Governor Clements appointed her to the Policy Committee of the Galveston Bay National Estuary Program Management Conference. She served on the Texas Legislature’s Task Force on Judicial Selection and the Legislature’s Joint Select committee on Judiciary, and was a member of the University of Houston System Vision Commission. She was chair of the Governor’s Flood Control Action Group in 1980-81, and of the Governor’s Task Force on Coastal Zone Management in 1979, and a member of the Environmental Protection Committee of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission in 1979-81.

Dinkins is a member of the Board of Governors of The Nature Conservancy, where she has held several offices, and is a past chair of the Texas Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. She has been a trustee of the Houston Museum of Natural Science since 1986, and is a past director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the Environmental Law Institute, the National Ocean Industries Association, and the University of Houston Law Foundation.

Dinkins also holds membership in The American Bar Foundation, where she is a Life Fellow, and in The American Law Institute, the State Bar of Texas, the Federal Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the Inter-American Bar Association, the Houston Bar Association, the National Association of Former United States Attorneys and the Association of Attorney-Mediators. She is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation. She is a member of the Environmental Panel and the Texas Panel of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution.

She was named Woman of the Year for 2001 by the Women’s Council on Energy & the Environment, and was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. She was named Outstanding Outdoors Woman by Wonders of Wildlife in 2000, YWCA Outstanding Houston Woman of the Year for Business in 1989, and University of Houston Law Center Outstanding Alumnus in 1984.

Dinkins holds a law degree from The University of Houston, and a bachelor of science degree in education from The University of Texas at Austin.

Vinson & Elkins

Vinson & Elkins was established in 1917 and is one of the largest international law firms. The firm has more than 840 lawyers practicing in Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Singapore, and Washington, D.C. The firm offers a wide range of legal services. Clients include public and private companies, financial institutions, municipalities, governments of sovereign nations, entrepreneurs, families, and individuals.

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