COLLEGE STATION — The Texas AgriLife Extension Service has presented a 2012 Extension Partnership Award to James P. Allison, general counsel for the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas.
“Each year, my office honors those partners whose dedicated collaboration and support have most significantly enhanced the outreach and impact of Extension education programs,” said Dr. Ed Smith, AgriLife Extension director. “These awards are our agency’s way of recognizing the leadership and commitment of organizations and others who work with us outside of the Texas A&M University System, from either the private or public sector.”
Smith presented the award to Allison during a recent opening general session of the agency’s V.G. Young Institute School for County Commissioners Courts.
“Since 1984, the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas has retained a general counsel to expand its efforts to support effective county government, and Mr. Jim Allison fulfills this role,” Smith said. “He is a legal expert, county government consultant, the son of a county commissioner, and a former county attorney and assistant attorney general.”
Smith noted that in addition to running the business affairs of the Judges and Commissioners Association, Allison is the senior partner in the firm of Allison, Bass, and Associates LLP, a statewide law practice focused largely on representing individual counties.
“At the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, our V. G. Young Institute has worked with Jim through the association’s education committee and in the development of a certification program called the Commissioners Court Advanced Curriculum,” Smith said. “We’re also privileged to have Jim’s participation in the institute’s continuing education schools and Extension’s district-level judges and commissioners trainings. During the last 28 years, Allison has spent countless hours monitoring and protecting the interests of county government in Texas.”
Smith said Allison’s “institutional knowledge and strong relationships with those in state government are priceless, and his knowledge of county government law is immeasurable.”
“We are all fortunate to have Jim representing the association and serving as an expert advocate for commissioners’ courts and county government,” he said.
“Over the years, I have learned there is a common thread between county government and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service,” Allison said upon receiving the award. “Both believe in honesty, integrity and public service. And in recognition of this connection, I am grateful for this award and for the opportunity to have been able to work with AgriLife Extension through the Judges and Commissioners Association.”
Allison received his bachelor\’s and master\’s degrees in government from East Texas State University, and his doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He was as elected county attorney for Delta County in 1972 and served in that capacity until 1979, when then Attorney General Mark White appointed him to serve as chief of the County and Local Government Section in the Office of the Attorney General. He returned to private practice in Austin in 1983 and in 1984 was retained as general counsel for the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. Allison is licensed to appear in state courts, all federal district courts in Texas, the fifth and eleventh circuit Courts of Appeals, and the U. S. Supreme Court.
During his award presentation, Smith noted that in 2005 the agency presented its partnership award to the Texas Association of Counties and in 2006 presented the award to the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas.
More information on the V.G. Young institute can be found at http://vgyi.tamu.edu