ADL Honors V&E’s Harry Reasoner with the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award

  • January 26, 2016

Harry Reasoner

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will present its Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award to Harry Reasoner of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. at the Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Luncheon noon, April 7 at the Hyatt Regency Houston Downtown, 1200 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX  77002.

ADL gives the award annually to an outstanding member of the legal community who exhibits an exceptional commitment to equality, justice, fairness and community service.   Reasoner has done so not just through his legal work, but as a citizen of greater Houston.

Reasoner started at Vinson & Elkins in 1964, served as its Managing Partner from 1992 through 2001, and continues to practice complex commercial, regulatory and appellate law there today.

He has handled numerous notable pro bono cases throughout his career.  In 1973, he was appointed to represent inmates in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) in a class action suit to protect their First Amendment rights.  After three trials and appeals, the TDC agreed to honor the prisoner’s rights, and the District Court appointed Vinson & Elkins to serve as ombudsman and monitor.

While Reasoner was managing partner, V&E implemented a system to encourage participation in pro bono matters by giving lawyers internal billing credit for pro bono work.  He helped see to it that Vinson & Elkins provide insurance benefits to same sex couples in 1997, and helped V&E begin its Women’s Initiative program that helped advance women in their legal careers.

He is Chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, to oversee the commission as it seeks to improve access to justice for millions of Texans who cannot afford legal representation.

He and his wife Macey received ADL’s Torch of Liberty Award and have been longtime friends and supporters of ADL.  Harry has been recognized as a Texas Legal Legend by the State Bar of Texas, one of the 25 Greatest Lawyers of the Last 25 Years by Texas Lawyer, and as one of the most influential lawyers in the United States by the National Law Journal.

The Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Luncheon and Award are named after the late Karen H. Susman, a former ADL Board Chair and venerated member of Houston’s legal community.

Chairs for this year’s luncheon are Robert Carlton and Nicole Soussan.  Sponsor tickets are $500 apiece, and tables start at $5000. Money raised goes to support ADL programs.

For more information or to buy tickets or tables, contact Angela Atlas at