VANCE, WILLIAM RAY "Bill" (1939~ ) Justice Bill Vance was elected to the Tenth Court of Appeals in 1990 and was reelected in 1996 without opposition. He was the first person from Brazos County to serve on the Court since it was created in 1923. Born in Bryan, Texas, on December 19, 1939, he graduated from Bryan High School in 1957.
After receiving a B.A. in Economics from Texas A&M University, he attended the University of Texas School of Law and graduated in 1963. He was licensed to practice law in Texas that same year. He was awarded a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process (LLM) in 1995 after completing the University of Virginia Law School's Graduate Program for Judges.
Justice Vance was the Assistant County Attorney for Brazos County from 1964 to 1967 and served as County Judge of Brazos County from 1967 through 1978. While County Judge, he organized and served as Chairman of the seven-county Brazos Valley Mental Health - Mental Retardation Board of Trustees. He also served as a director and Chairman of the Board of the Brazos Valley Development Council (council of governments) and as President of the Texas Association of Regional Councils.
From 1979 to 1990, Justice Vance was engaged in the private practice of law and founded the Bryan firm of Vance, Bruchez, & Goss in 1982. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1981, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Western, and Northern Districts of Texas. He is a member of the Brazos County Bar Association, having served as president in 1968, the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
From 1982 to 1985, Justice Vance served as the Citizen Member of the State Depository Board, and from 1985 to 1986 as a member of the State Finance Commission, both by appointment of the Governor. In 1988, he was elected as President of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce, after serving two years as Treasurer of the twin-city organization.
Justice Vance was Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1981. In 1985, his fellow lawyers elected him to represent them as a District Director of the State Bar Board of Directors, one of thirty such members. He was a member of the District 8-A Grievance Committee of the State Bar of Texas from 1982 until 1986, and was its Chairman in 1985-86. He was a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
Bill married the former Barbara Thomas of McKinney, and they lived in Bryan and Waco. They attend the United Methodist Church.
Information taken from Texas State Cemetery file materials.