Our history goes back to 1928 …

A lot has changed since Hobert Nelson opened a law office in tiny Tahoka in 1928 – which eventually became Lubbock’s prestigious McCleskey Law Firm.

Decades later, the firm is much bigger and the attorneys don’t always wear a suit and a tie.

But some things have never changed.

We’re a full-service legal practice committed to Lubbock, the region and beyond with attorneys who not only serve their clients, but their community and profession through volunteer service.

Read more about our history:

1928-1934:

  • Hobert Nelson opens law office in Tahoka on May 25, 1928, a little more than 30 miles south of Lubbock. 
  • While in Tahoka, Nelson is elected state senator. 
  • Nelson partners with Truett Smith and the firm’s name became Nelson & Smith.

1935:

  • Senator Nelson moves his law practice to Lubbock. Smith stays in Tahoka.
  • Nelson forms a partnership with former Judge Clark M. Mullican. 

1938:

  • Nelson runs for Lt. Governor and barely loses to Coke Stevenson in the general election.

1939: 

  • Nelson links up with Franklin D. Brown to form Nelson & Brown.

1940: 

  • Young attorney George W. McCleskey joins the firm for less than two years before spending three-and-a-half years with the U.S. Navy during World War II. He attains the rank of Lt. Commander.

1945: 

  • McCleskey returns to Lubbock and the firm, becomes a partner to form Nelson, Brown & McCleskey.

1949: 

  • McCleskey serves as President of the Lubbock County Bar Association.

1953:

  • Franklin D. Brown and his son Sam, who joined the firm a year before, leave the firm, which becomes Nelson & McCleskey.

1954:

  • George Gilkerson comes from the FBI to join the firm.

1955: 

  • Harold O. Harriger – a young attorney from Pennsylvania who spent three years in the U.S. Air Force – joins the firm.

1957:

  • Ed Smith becomes the firm’s tax lawyer.

1958:

  • The firm’s name changes to Nelson, McCleskey & Harriger. 

1961: 

  • Clarence P. Brazill Jr. joins the firm, replacing Smith.

1962:

  • Don Graf joins the firm and a few years later is named partner.
  • McCleskey and firm wins test case for High Plains Water District on whether or not farmers can take deduction for cost-depletion of water. The case has saved farmers millions of dollars in tax costs over the decades.
Clipping from newspaper shows when George McCleskey filed suit in the water depletion case.

1964: 

  • Rex Aycock joins the firm.

1966-67:

  • Firm moves into the Great Plains Life Building.

1968:

  • Firm moves up to the remodeled 19thfloor of the Great Plains Life Building.

1970:

  • Deadly May 11 tornado devastates the firm’s 19th floor offices. Law books are found as far away as Idalou.
  • Firm moves to nearby offices at 1801 Avenue Q.
Damage outside the Great Plains Life building after the 1970 tornado.
Our offices on the 19th floor of the Great Plains Life building after the 1970 tornado tore through downtown Lubbock, killing 26 people.

1971:

  • Firm’s name changes to reflect Brazill as a partner under the name Nelson, McCleskey, Harriger & Brazill.
  • Jerry M. Kolander Jr. joins the firm.
  • Aycock and Mike Worley win the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Lubbock County Bar Association.

1972:

  • Nelson – who founded the firm 44 years earlier – retires.
  • The firm adopted its present name – McCleskey, Harriger, Brazill and Graf.

1973:

  • Firm moves to its current location – on the fifth floor of the Plains Capital building (seen below) on the southwest corner of the 50thStreet and University Avenue.

1975:

  • McCleskey named Lubbock’s Executive of the Year.
McCleskey’s 1975 honor was a surprise in front of 600 people.

1976:

  • Kolander Jr. serves as President of the Lubbock Optimist Club
Firm softball team in 1979, the “First Shallowater Irregulars.”

1979:

  • Tommy Swann joins the firm.
  • Branch office is opened at the Indiana Avenue location of Stewart Title Company.

1979 and 1985:

  • The firm takes additional office space in the Plains Capital Building’s third floor.

1980:

  • McCleskey retires.

1981:

  • Worley serves as President of the Lubbock County Bar Association.

1983:

  • Nelson passes away away at age of 81.

1988:

  • Aycock serves as President of the Lubbock County Bar Association.

1989:

  • William P. Lane joins the firm.
  • McCleskey receives the James G. Denton Distinguished Lawyer Award from the Lubbock County Bar Association.
  • McCleskey named Outstanding Water Conservationist of 1989 by the Texas Water Conservation Association at the organization’s annual conference, which was dedicated to McCleskey.

1991:

1993:

  • William F. “Pete” Baker joins firm.
  • Lane serves as President of the Lubbock Optimist Club

1994:

  • Lane serves as Zone Lt. Governor for the Optimist International, a role he repeated four years later.

1998:

2002:

2003:

  • Kolander serves as President of the Lubbock County Bar Association.

2004

  • Lane starts service on the Southcrest Christian School Board and remains on the board at present.
  • Harriger celebrates 50 years with the firm.
Harold O. Harriger’s 50 years with the firm was celebrated.

2006:

  • Swann serves as President of the Lubbock County Bar Association and the West Texas Bankruptcy Bar Association.

2007

2008:

2012:

2013

  • McCleskey Law Firm celebrates its 85thanniversary with an event at the Llano Estacado Winery.
The firm’s 85th Anniversary Celebration.

2015:

  • Shanklin serves as President of the West Texas Bankruptcy Bar Association.

2019:

  • The McCleskey Law Firm opens its San Angelo office. San Angelo native Will Griffis starts working out of the office … joined by his father Don Griffis, who comes out of retirement to practice law with his son and extend McCleskey’s services to the Concho Valley.
  • Amanda Sparks Coburn and Adam Holmes join the firm.

Will Griffis cuts the ribbon to open our San Angelo office.

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