Rick Burleson

About Me

My life has always been about connections—connections to family, community and my clients. After 37 years practicing law in the oil and gas industry, I’m making a change in how I prioritize those connections, especially in my career. I view my retirement from practicing law as an opportunity to share my relationships, skills and industry knowledge with companies that would benefit from my experience.


Whether it’s on the board of a mid-sized public company or serving as an independent director for a private equity backed firm, I look forward to seeing how I can contribute as a board member and senior advisor in an industry that I love.

The Highlight Reel—Professional Bests

Founded and grew Burleson LLP to become the largest law firm in the U.S. focused entirely on the upstream E&P industry and a legal pioneer in the emergence of the shale oil/gas industry.

Wrote the white paper for the development of Jackson Walker LLP’s Energy Practice and tripled the team as head of that department.

As board member of numerous professional organizations and nonprofits in healthcare and the performing arts, led transformational initiatives for a significant number of organizations designed to assure long-term sustainability.

Work Experience

Paul Hastings LLP, Head of Oil & Gas Practice 2016-2018

Burleson LLP, Founder and Managing Partner 2005-2015

Jones Walker LLP, Corporate Partner 2004-2005

Jackson Walker LLP, Partner & Head of Energy Practice 1996-2004

Chamberlain Hrdlicka, Corporate Partner 1987-1996

Kennedy Burleson & Hackney, Partner 1982-1987

Rowe Hay & Young, Associate 1980-1982

Board Positions

Palmer Drug Abuse Program

2001- Present

I wrote the business plan and personally oversaw execution of a major organizational restructuring after PDAP experienced a material loss of revenue sources following the 2015 price collapse in the oil & gas industry, which had been a major source of operating capital.

Houston Ballet

2005 - Present

I became part of the team currently evaluating the devastating loss of revenue that resulted from Hurricane Harvey, including loss of the Ballet’s home in the Wortham Theater for nearly two years.

Houston Bar Association

Present-2014 - Present

I led an internal organizational evaluation that included mission, personnel, IT and geographical location. Our work resulted in upgraded delivery of services, improved morale among personnel and significant upgrade in technology assets.

Chancellor's Council of the University of Texas Systems

2014 - Present

Houston Grand Opera

2017 - Present

Houston Producers' Forum

2010 - 2012

Houston World Affairs Council

1996 - 2008

Association For Corporate Growth International


Texas Accountants & Lawyers for the Arts

1994 - 1999

Texas Children's Hospital

1988 - 1998

The Burleson Family Office

As I shift gears professionally, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Cecily, for 37 years, and we have two grown sons, J.R. and Jeb, as well as two cats. I look forward to the freedom of not going into the office every day, and to spending quality time doing things with each of them as well as with my 89-year-old dad. Whether I’m golfing, hunting, fishing, ballroom dancing, listening to country music or going on a bike ride in Galveston, I’m ready for this next chapter. 

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