Deanna L. Whitley
Education and Licensure
In 1989, Ms. Whitley earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas A&M University. In 1992, she graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law as the outstanding criminal law student in her class winning the prestigious Woodley Award. At St. Mary’s School of Law, she was selected to the National Dean’s List, St. Mary’s School of Law Dean’s List, won American Jurisprudence Awards, and was a research and teaching assistant in Constitutional and Criminal Law.
Ms. Whitley began her legal career in 1992 as a criminal defense attorney at the firm of Nicholas and Barrera in San Antonio, Texas. There, she worked on high profile, complex criminal law cases including appeals. She also represented clients facing the death penalty. Thereafter, Ms. Whitley transitioned to the practice of family law. In 2011, the Fourth Court of Appeals chose a case argued by Ms. Whitley as one of the twelve (12) most significant cases of the year.
In 2013, Ms. Whitley established her own family law firm in San Antonio, Texas. Ms. Whitley was selected by Martindale-Hubbell for the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers in the United States. SA Scene Magazine selected Ms. Whitley as Best Lawyers in San Antonio: Family Law. Ms. Whitley also won the AVVO Client Choice Award and Top Contributor Award for 2013.
In 2014, the Whitley Law Firm filed two cases of first impression. Deanna L. Whitley filed the first same-sex divorce in state court in Bexar County, Texas. This landmark case is receiving national attention because it asserts issues of first impression in the United States. The second case is a suit to adjudicate the paternity of a transgender father. Oral argument was presented in this case to the Fourth Court of Appeals in February 2015, and is currently being litigated.
Awards and Recognition
In 2015, Ms. Whitley was selected as a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
Each year fellowship in the Texas Bar Foundation is limited to 1/3 of 1% of licensed attorneys. Election to the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member of the State Bar of Texas. Nomination is based on your outstanding contributions to the legal profession as well as your commitment to your community.
- Martindale-Hubbell,The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers,2009,2010
- S.A. Scene Magazine-Best Lawyers in San Antonio, Family Law, every year since 2008
Memberships and Affiliations
- Fellow, State Bar Foundation
- State Bar of Texas
- Appellate Practice & Advocacy Section
- Family Law Section
- LGBT Section
- Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Criminal Justice
- Juvenile Law
- School Law
- San Antonio Bar Association, Member
- St. Mary’s University School of Law Alumni Association
- Texas A&M University Former Students Association
- Human Rights Campaign
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Collaborative Professionals of San Antonio and the
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- Y.M.C.A. Basketball Coach
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