James E. Brill celebrated his 60th year in practice in 2017.
He has served as principal author, editor, and project director of the Texas Probate System since 1971 and has been a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel since 1972.
He chaired the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association and was inducted into the first class and elected as an initial trustee of the College of Law Practice Management.
In 2004 the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association presented him with its Samuel S. Smith Award for career achievements in the field of law practice management.
The State Bar of Texas honored him in 1978 with its Presidents’ Award as the outstanding lawyer in Texas and in 1994 with the Gene Cavin Award For Excellence in continuing legal education.
In 2000 he received the Professionalism Award from the College of the State Bar of Texas, the Distinguished Service Award from the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Houston Bar Association, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the General Practice Section of the American Bar Association.
Brill speaks frequently about strategies on how to close a solo practitioner’s practice and our ethical duties regarding the sale of a law practice and disposition of client files. He has been published in the ABA Journal, Texas Bar Journal and various other magazines for his work as a solo/small firm practitioner, his knowledge in law office management, and the ethical concerns lawyers encounter in their practices.
Brill was an organizer and for 20 years led monthly meetings of a group of Houston lawyers known as Solos Supporting Solos. This informal group has met each month since September 1994 and provides solos with an opportunity to meet fellow solo practitioners in an informal setting.
Brill is listed in Best Lawyers In America, Trusts and Estates by Woodward White, Inc. in 2016 and was designated as a Texas “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters in 2017.
In 2010 he was one of five graduates of Lamar High School (Houston) to be recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus. In an unrelated field, he is recognized as an authority on the stamps and postal history of Pitcairn Island and has served as an officer in the international Pitcairn Island Study Group.