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Rick Cofer

Partner

Best Lawyer badge 2022 Best Lawyer in Austin Badge

Rick Cofer is the managing partner of Cofer & Connelly, PLLC. He has more than 15 years of experience as a felony prosecutor, judge, and defense attorney. Recognized as Best Lawyer in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 Austin Chronicle Reader's Poll, Rick Cofer has been selected multiple times for the Texas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists, recognized as a Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers, and listed in the 29th and 30th editions of The Best Lawyers in America. Martindale-Hubbel has rated him as AV Preeminent (the highest rating based on peer feedback). He is widely recognized as among the top trial attorneys in the country.


I fix legal problems for good people. I always say that all my clients are innocent. And it’s true. Every person is presumed innocent, unless proven guilty. That’s where I come in, doing everything possible to defend my clients. I’ve tried more than 100 cases before a judge or a jury and I know that great legal work takes persistence.

For more than twenty years, I’ve lived and worked in Austin, Central Texas, and the Hill Country. I know our region. I know how it works. I know how to get things done in courthouses and how to resolve matters discreetly and quietly.

I grew up in Plano, Texas, and moved to Austin in 2000. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Law. Throughout my time in school, I worked on political campaigns and policy initiatives from local issues to presidential races, and I most recently served on the National Finance Committee of a presidential campaign.

After law school, I cut my teeth working for a prominent criminal defense attorney before starting a career in prosecution in Travis County, where I served as Assistant County Attorney and Assistant District Attorney. I handled thousands of cases, from DWI, domestic violence, and juvenile crimes to serious felonies like sexual assault, murder, and child abuse.

In 2018, I started my own law firm. In March of 2020, I partnered with Jeffrey Connelly to start Cofer & Connelly, PLLC. We wanted to build a law firm that’s different, that does more. We pride ourselves on extraordinary client communication and responsiveness. We believe that you should expect excellence from your attorney and settle for nothing less.

While most of my work involves representing adults facing serious charges, my practice also focuses on juvenile cases and mental health matters.

I’ve practiced in juvenile courts for over a decade and have extensive experience in complex juvenile law cases. Because I served as associate judge for mental health hearings and as a Travis County mental health civil prosecutor, I am often hired by families to represent loved ones with mental health diagnoses facing criminal charges.

EDUCATION

  • University of Texas School of Law, JD
  • University of Texas at Austin, BA with Honors (Government and History)
  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Temple Scholar, Normandy Scholar, LBJ Fellow

PROFESSIONAL ADMISSIONS

  • Texas Supreme Court
  • United State Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • State Bar of Texas, Criminal Law & Juvenile Law Section
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Austin Bar Foundation, Board Member & Fellow
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Austin Bar Association, Criminal Law Section Treasurer
  • Hays County Bar Association
  • Williamson County Bar Association
  • Highland Lakes Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association
  • Texas County and District Attorneys Association (20o9-2018)
  • San Marcos Chamber of Commerce
  • Blanco Chamber of Commerce
  • Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Partner, Cofer & Connelly, PLLC
  • Criminal Defense Attorney, Law Office of Rick Cofer, PLLC
  • Assistant District Attorney, Travis County District Attorney’s Office
  • Assistant County Attorney, Travis County Attorney’s Office
  • Criminal Defense Attorney, Private Practice

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

  • Vice Chair & Board Member, Texas Health Action Board of Directors (2017-Present)
  • Vice Chair & Member, City of Austin Parks & Recreation Board (2015-2019)
  • Chair, Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) Board of Directors (2014-2018)
  • President & Board Member, Pease Park Conservancy Board of Directors (2015-2018)
  • Chair, City of Austin Aquatic Master Plan Task Force (2017-2018)
  • Member, Shoal Creek Conversancy Headwaters Circle (2021-Present)
  • Board Member, City of Austin South Central Waterfront Advisory Board (2018)
  • Delegate, Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council (2009-2018)
  • Member, Travis County Civil and Family Courthouse Citizen Advisory Committee (2016)
  • Member, City of Austin Parkland Events Task Force (2015-2016)
  • Chair & Member, City of Austin Zero Waste Advisory Commission (2007-2015)
  • Chair, City of Austin Recycling Ordinance Reform Committee (2009-2012)
  • Founder & Chair, Austin Bag the Bags Coalition (2007-2012)
  • Member, Salvage Vanguard Theater Board of Directors (2008-2010)

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Texas Guardianship Certificate
  • Science of Well Being Certificate, Yale University (2021)
  • Certificate in Disruptive Strategy, Harvard Business School Online (2022)

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyer, Austin Chronicle (2021 - 2023)

    Best Lawyer, Austin Chronicle (2021 - 2023)

  • Super Lawyers 2023-2024

    Super Lawyers 2023-2024

  • AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell (2022-2024)

    AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell (2022-2024)

  • Top Lawyer – Criminal Defense, Austin Monthly (2021-2023)

    Top Lawyer – Criminal Defense, Austin Monthly (2021-2023)

  • Best Lawyers 2023-2024

    Best Lawyers 2023-2024

  • Rising Star, Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers (2021-2022)

    Rising Star, Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers (2021-2022)

  • Elite Lawyer – Criminal Defense, Elite Lawyer (2021-2024)

    Elite Lawyer – Criminal Defense, Elite Lawyer (2021-2024)

  • 2022 Best DUI Lawyers in Austin

  • Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Austin, Expertise.com (2022)

    Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Austin, Expertise.com (2022)

  • Clients' Choice Award, Avvo (2018-2023)

    Clients' Choice Award, Avvo (2018-2023)

  • Justia - 10.0 Lawyer Rating

    Justia - 10.0 Lawyer Rating

  • Top 100 Criminal Lawyers (2018-2024)

    Top 100 Criminal Lawyers (2018-2024)

  • Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney, Attorney and Practice Magazine

    Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney, Attorney and Practice Magazine

  • Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel

    Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel

  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

    Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation

  • College Member, College of the State Bar of Texas (2010-2024)

    College Member, College of the State Bar of Texas (2010-2024)

  • Lead Counsel Verified, LawInfo.com

    Lead Counsel Verified, LawInfo.com

  • DWI Scholar, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2021)

    DWI Scholar, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2021)

  • General Member, National College for DUI Defense

    General Member, National College for DUI Defense

  • Austin Bar Association

    Austin Bar Association

  • Highest Rating, FindLaw (2021-2024)

    Highest Rating, FindLaw (2021-2024)

Community

I have been extensively involved in community affairs, serving as Chair of the City of Austin Zero Waste Commission, Chair of the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition board of directors, President of the Pease Park Conservancy board of directors, Vice-Chair of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Board, and Vice-Chair of the Texas Health Action board of directors.

I currently serve as the long-time treasurer of the Criminal Law Section of the Austin Bar Association and am active with Protect Our Blanco.

I belong to several legal organizations, including the Cannabis Committee of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Austin Bar Association, the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, the College of the State Bar of Texas and the National DUI Lawyers College.

When I’m not practicing law, I like spending time with my wife, my friends, or my dog, Lady Bird. I love reading, hiking, and visiting new places.

Client Reviews

  • "I would use Mr. Cofer as my lawyer for any reason if needed and would refer him to a friend."
    Former Client
  • "He was able to advise me better than any other lawyer I had consulted and he and his team acted quickly to see my situation through till the end."
    Former Client
  • "I would recommend Mr. Cofer for any legal issues that one might have, and I could not be more fond of his work."
    A.T.
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