Faculty Profile: Elizabeth S Chestney
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Elizabeth S. (“Betsy”) Chestney co-teaches a course preparing students to be clerks for federal district judges. In January 2017, she was appointed to serve as a United States Magistrate Judge for Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Chestney was managing partner of the Austin-based Cornell Smith Mierl & Brutocao, LLP, a boutique firm that represents employers. Prior to entering private practice, Judge Chestney clerked for two years for the Honorable Sam Sparks, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division. Judge Chestney also previously taught the clerkship class as adjunct at UT Law, most recently in 2021. Prior to joining Cornell Smith in 2008 and after clerking, Judge Chestney was a full-time faculty member at UT Law, teaching introductory and advanced courses in written and oral advocacy in addition to the clerkship class.
Judge Chestney graduated with honors from UT Law in 2002 and earned her LLM in Judicial Studies from Duke Law School in 2020. During law school, she was an associate editor of the Texas Law Review and a TQ. In 1999, Judge Chestney received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University, where she captained the Division I Women’s Soccer Team.
Judge Chestney was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2019. She has served on the boards of the Austin and San Antonio Chapters of the Federal Bar Association (FBA), as well as the board of the Labor & Employment Section for the national FBA. She is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a former Barrister in the Lloyd C. Lochridge Inn of Court in Austin, and a current member of the William Sessions Inn of Court in San Antonio. While practicing, Judge Chestney was named a “Super Lawyer” in Labor and Employment Law for 2014-2017, after having been named a “Rising Star” from 2012-2014.
Judge Chestney is board-certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.