Professor William R. Keffer

William R. Keffer Visiting Associate Professor of Practice
Director of Energy Law Lecture Series
Assistant Director of Bar Preparation Resources
(806) 834-3178


Before joining the faculty in 2014, Bill Keffer was in practice for thirty years. After obtaining his BA in History from SMU in 1981 and his JD from the University of Texas in 1984, Mr. Keffer’s first position was with the Dallas law firm of Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox, where he had a general litigation practice. His next position was as in-house litigation-management counsel with ARCO Oil & Gas Company, where he presided over a national docket of over 120 cases. While at ARCO, he began specializing in oilfield-pollution cases and handled all kinds of environmental claims in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, California, Kansas, and offshore Gulf of Mexico. After leaving ARCO and joining the Dallas law firm now known as Gardere, Wynne & Sewell, Mr. Keffer’s practice focused exclusively on oilfield-pollution litigation, and he represented various energy companies, such as ARCO, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and Vastar. Mr. Keffer also, on occasion, successfully represented various landowners in prosecuting their oilfield-pollution claims, including ranch families in the Permian Basin and South Texas, as well as rural landowners in the Barnett shale in North Texas. After leaving Gardere, Mr. Keffer had his own practice in Dallas for thirteen years, where he continued to focus on environmental matters involving the oil-and-gas industry. During that time, he also served in the Texas legislature for two terms from 2003 to 2007, representing House District 107 in Northeast Dallas County.

Professional Activities and Memberships

Mr. Keffer is a charter member and former president of the Dallas Chapter of the Federalist Society. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Maguire Energy Institute, which is part of the Cox School of Business at SMU. He is a member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). He is also a neutral for the American Arbitration Association. He writes a regular column for Shale magazine.


He teaches courses in oil-and-gas law and legislative process.