Rick Cofer Photo

Rick Cofer

Partner


"I fix legal problems for good people." I always say that all of 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 stop conviction. I’ve tried more than 100 cases before a judge or a jury and I know that great legal work takes persistence.

For twenty years, I’ve lived and worked in Austin 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 discreetly and quietly resolve matters. My best work never makes the front page of the newspaper, the story just goes away. Problem solved.

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 campaigns and political 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.

Three years ago, I started my own 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. When a juvenile faces serious charges, I’m generally the first phone call and first referral. I’ve worked in the juvenile courts for nearly a decade and have extensive experience in the often-complicated world of juvenile law. Because I served as a Travis County mental health civil prosecutor, I am often hired by well-resourced families to represent young adults with mental health diagnoses facing criminal charges.

Employment
  • 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
Education
  • University of Texas School of Law, JD Graduate School Austin, TX
  • University of Texas at Austin, BA with Honors (Government and History) University Austin, TX
  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Temple Scholar, Normandy Scholar, LBJ Fellow Undergraduate School
Licenses
  • 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 Western District of Texas
Memberships
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Austin Bar Association, Criminal Law Section Treasurer
  • Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Austin LGBT Bar Association
  • Texas County and District Attorneys Association (2009-2018)
  • Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Hays County Bar Association
Awards
  • Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel

    Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel (2021)

    Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Community Involvement
  • 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
  • Yale University Science of Well Being Certificate

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 Southern District of Texas

Professional Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas, Criminal Law & Juvenile Law Section
  • Austin Bar Association, Criminal Law Section Treasurer
  • Austin Bar Foundation, Board Member & Fellow
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • Hays County Bar Association
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association
  • Texas County and District Attorneys Association (2009-2018)
  • National College for DUI Defense

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

Awards & Honors

  • Rising Star, Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers (2021)
    Rising Star, Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers (2021)
  • Top 100 Criminal Lawyers,<br />The National Trial Lawyers<br />(2019-2021)
    Top 100 Criminal Lawyers,
    The National Trial Lawyers
    (2019-2021)
  • <p>Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel (2021)</p>

    Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel (2021)

  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation (2020)
    Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation (2020)
  • Clients' Choice Award, Avvo<br />(2018-2021)
    Clients' Choice Award, Avvo
    (2018-2021)
  • College Member, College of the State Bar of Texas (2010-2020)
    College Member, College of the State Bar of Texas (2010-2020)
  • Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award, Attorney and Practice (2019)
    Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award, Attorney and Practice (2019)
  • General Member, National College for DUI Defense (2020)
    General Member, National College for DUI Defense (2020)
  • DWI Scholar, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2021)
    DWI Scholar, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2021)
  • Elite Lawyer Criminal Defense (2021)
    Elite Lawyer Criminal Defense (2021)
  • Lead Counsel (2021)
    Lead Counsel (2021)
  • Expertise Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Austin (2021)
    Expertise Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Austin (2021)
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I have also been extensively involved in community affairs going back more than 18 years. I have served in a number of roles, including 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, and Vice-Chair of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation board of directors.

I presently serve as Vice-Chair of the board of directors of Texas Health Action, the parent organization of the Kind Clinic and Waterloo Counseling. I also serve as the long-time treasurer of the Criminal Law Section of the Austin Bar Association and am active with Protect Our Blanco.

I am an active member of a number of legal organizations, including serving on the Cannabis Committee of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, a member of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Austin Bar Association, Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, College of the State Bar of Texas and member of the National DUI Lawyers College.

When I’m not busy practicing law or working on community matters, I generally like to spend time at my Hill Country ranch or in Austin, walking my corgi, Lady Bird, around the Hike & Bike Trail or hanging out in our Clarksville neighborhood.

I enjoy traveling a great deal and have set up the law firm to be highly responsive to potential client and current client needs at all times. Over the last few years, I’ve fielded client calls from the Arctic Circle, Omani desert, and Macedonian mountains.

Client Reviews

  • “He was very patient with me and my thousand questions regarding my case.”

    - Daniela
  • “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.
  • “Starting with his receptionist at intake, to his quick call to follow up, to his prompt follow up via email, to his thorough search and locating criminal records -- he was five stars all around.”

    - J.C.
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