HOUSTON — Bracewell & Giuliani LLP Partner Kelly Frels has been honored with the inaugural Kelly Frels Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The award marks the first time that the School Law Section has given a lifetime achievement award, and all lifetime achievement awards given by the section going forward will carry Frels’ name. Frels and four others created the School Law Section in 1971, and the Section now has over 600 members.
Frels has received numerous awards for his contributions to the legal profession and the community. His distinctions include the 2012 Leon Jaworski Award from the Houston Bar Association Auxiliary, the 2012 Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award from the Texas Bar Foundation, the Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement from National School Boards Association, and the McGhehey Award for Lifetime Service from the Education Law Association.
His long history of service includes: serving as the president of the Houston Bar Association (1994-1995); serving as president of the State Bar of Texas (2004-2005); serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Greater Houston Partnership, including chairing its Government Relations Committee, the Environmental Advisory Committee, and the Quality of Life Advisory Committee; serving as the Chair of the Houston Area Flood Control Task Force (2003); serving as the president of the Kiwanis Club of Houston and The Houston Club; being a member of the Business Coalition for Clean Air Steering Committee, the Clean Air Task Force and the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Air Quality Consensus Group; serving as the current chair of the Texas Environmental Research Consortium and the co-chair of the Texas Clean Air Working Group; and serving on the boards of the Houston ISD Foundation, the Center for Reform of School Systems. He also served two years as the Chair of the Center for Houston’s Future, the Houston’s Region’s Think Tank.
Frels has been an attorney for public and private schools, community colleges, universities and other public bodies for more than 40 years. He has experience in civil rights litigation, employment, student discipline, the First Amendment, desegregation and policy development and implementation. He also focuses on government strategies, employment contracts, employee-employer disputes, environmental policy, employee terminations, executive compensation, school and college governance, and policy development. Frels served as Bracewell’s managing partner from 1995 through 2001 and as the managing partner of the firm’s Houston office from 2001 to 2003.