Thomas S. Leatherbury

Adjunct faculty

Director of the First Amendment Clinic and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law


Tom Leatherbury recently retired from Vinson & Elkins and opened Thomas S. Leatherbury Law.  Since June 2020, he has also served as the Director of the First Amendment Clinic at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.  He is the immediate past-president of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society and serves as an Advisor on the American Law Institute’s project concerning the defamation provisions of the Restatement of Torts.  He has held leadership positions on the State Bar of Texas’s Appellate Council, the Dallas Bar Association’s Media Relations Committee, the ABA Forum Committee on Communications Law governing board, and the Media Law Resource Center’s Defense Counsel Section.


Tom is licensed to practice in Texas and is admitted to practice before all federal courts in Texas, the Fifth Circuit, and several other federal courts of appeals.  He received his B.A. in History from Yale College and his J.D. from Yale Law School.  Before entering private practice, he clerked for the Hon. Robert M. Hill, a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.


Areas of Expertise

  • Appellate Practice and Advocacy
  • Class Actions
  • First Amendment Law


B.A., History summa cum laude, Yale College
J.D., Yale Law School


First Amendment Clinic