Tanisa L. Jeffers 

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Tanisa Jeffers

Attorney, Mediator & Associate Judge

Tanisa L. Jeffers practices family and criminal law in the state of Texas, with an emphasis on those diagnosed with an MHMR condition. She was born in Dallas, TX. Following in the footsteps of her older sister, she also became an attorney. Tanisa is a certified mediator and uses those negotiation strategies routinely in garnering the appropriate outcomes for her clients. Representing individuals with a mental health and mental retardation (MHMR) diagnosis requires going the extra mile to insure they are treated fairly and receive the special treatment they need in both family and criminal law cases. She works very hard to make sure a successful outcome can be had by looking at all aspects of the case: the need for housing, whether Social Security Disability has been awarded, medication compliance, and case management services.

Her services are greatly needed as she has represented many parents with an MHMR diagnosis in Child Protective Services (CPS) cases who want the same rights as all parents: the ability to raise their children. She has also served as an Attorney ad Litem representing both abused and neglected children and those children who may have been improperly removed from the home of their birth parents. She is also proud to be a “Travis County MHMR Wheel” Attorney who regularly attends legal education courses in order to help clients with MHMR diagnoses who have pending misdemeanor and felony cases in Travis County. The Travis County MHMR Wheel Program is considered a ‘Model Court’ across the nation.

Prior to joining Bernard & Associates, she served as a Law Clerk for Chief Justice Tom Phillips at the Supreme Court of Texas. She interned with both the Financial Litigation and Crime Victims Divisions of the Office of the Attorney General before completing her law school tenure with Lloyd, Gosselink, Blevins, Rochelle and Townsend. While at the University of Texas, Tanisa served on the Business Law Journal, and participated heavily in both the Elderlaw and Mediation clinics where her mediation strategies helped closed many cases for then Justice of the Peace Jan Breland, whom she later practiced in front of when Judge Breland was elected to preside over County Court at Law No. 6. Tanisa is licensed to practice in Texas, before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Western District of Texas. Tanisa has tried both civil and criminal jury trials as well as felony and misdemeanor jury trials in Travis county. She also practices in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays and Williamson counties.

Tanisa Jeffers was appointed by the Austin City Council in March 2018 to be an Associate Judge of the Austin Municipal Court. She has also been appointed to the State Bar of Texas Committee on Legal Services to the Indigent. She is very proud to serve her community in this capacity.

Areas of Practice:
•    Certified Mediator
•    Cases involving a client who has an MHMR diagnosis
•    Adoptions
•    Appeals
•    Family Law
•    Divorce
•    Child Custody
•    Child Visitation
•    Child Support
•    Child Support Enforcement
•    Child Support Jail Release
•    Child Protective Services (CPS) cases
•    Probate
•    Guardianship
•    Wills & Power of Attorney
•    All Federal Cases

Travis County Mental Health Wheel of Attorneys with Specialized Training in MHMR Cases
•    Williamson, Hays, and Bastrop counties Felonies & Misdemeanors with a special emphasis on clients with an MHMR diagnosis
•    Parole Hearings, including those involving clients with an MHMR diagnosis

Education:
J.D., University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
M.B.A., Clark Atlanta University, Marketing, Atlanta, GA
B.J. & B.A., University of Texas at Austin, Journalism & History, Austin, TX

Professional Memberships & Association:
State Bar of Texas, Criminal Law Section, Member
Austin Bar Association, Member
Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Member
Selected as one of 32 attorneys to join the 2012 Austin Bar/Austin Young Lawyers Association Leadership Academy
Selected to the 2013 Junior League of Austin Emerging Leaders Academy
Austin Delta Foundation, Board Member and former Financial Secretary
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Golden Life Member

Campus Advisory Council (CAC) 2013-2014, O’Henry Middle School

Former Board Member, Downtown Austin Community Court

Appointed, State Bar of Texas Legal Services to the Indigent Committee 2018-2021
Numerous volunteer and community service engagements around the city