Eleventh Court of Appeals
Justice Mike Willson was elected to the 11th Court of Appeals in 2012 and initially took office by Governor Perry's appointment on November 30, 2012. Justice Willson lives in Eastland and Midland.
Before joining the Court, Justice Willson had a trial and appellate practice as a shareholder at Cotton, Bledsoe, Tighe and Dawson, P.C. in Midland. Before that, he was a litigation associate at Arter & Hadden, LLP in Dallas and San Antonio.
From 1985 to 1992, Justice Willson served on active duty as a Captain in the United States Air Force. As a KC-135/RC-135 Instructor Navigator, he flew both air refueling and reconnaissance missions and was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Panama. For his service, he received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal (two oak leaf clusters), and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
Justice Willson earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, summa cum laude, from The Ohio State University where he was a President's Scholar and member of the 1983 Big Ten Gymnastics Championship Team. He earned his law degree,cum laude, from Notre Dame Law School where he was a John Bruce Dodds Memorial Scholar in London, England and the Production Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. As a graduate assistant at Notre Dame, Justice Willson taught legal writing and research. Following graduation, he also taught as an adjunct professor at Texas Tech Law School.
Justice Willson is a member of the State Bar of Texas, College of the State Bar of Texas, State Bar of Texas' Local Bar Services Committee, and a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He is a past director of the State Bar of Texas Insurance Trust and twice served as the President of the Midland County Bar Association. In 2010, he chaired the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans program in the Permian Basin.
An Eagle Scout, Justice Willson volunteers for the Buffalo Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America and serves a board member for the Boy Scouts' Texas Trails Council and for the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale.