Photo of Law Department Employees

About the City Attorney's Office

The City of Austin Law Department is a mid-size, in-house law firm averaging 60 attorneys.  The department meets the vast majority of the City's legal needs, ranging from areas as diverse as animal control to zoning.  The City Attorney is appointed by the City Manager and cannot provide legal advice to private citizens on personal legal matters. Instead the City Attorney provides legal advice and representation to the Mayor, City Council, City Officers, City Manager, city departments, boards and commissions of the City. Our key activities are to advocate and resolve disputes, to review and develop contracts, and to render opinions and advice.

Over the years, the Law Department has striven to develop "subject-matter" experts in certain demand areas, while maintaining a balance of full-service lawyers to meet the City's overall legal needs.  The Department is organized into several functional divisions:

  • Litigation
  • Land Use & Real Estate
  • Municipal Operations
  • General Counsel
  • Criminal Prosecution
  • Open Government - Ethics & Compliance 
  • Austin Energy
  • Financial & Administrative Services

Additional Information

For information on City Attorney Anne Morgan

City Attorney Anne MorganAnne Morgan is the City Attorney in Austin, Texas. She represents and advises elected officials, city leaders, employees and volunteers on a wide variety of legal issues. She is a member of the City Manager's Executive Team and she leads the Law Department, with approximately 100 employees, and a 14.7 million dollar budget. Over her thirteen-year tenure with the City of Austin Anne has also served as the Deputy City Attorney and the Chief of Litigation.

Prior to joining the city, Anne was an Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Division Chief of Tort Litigation for the Texas Attorney General's office. She represented numerous state entities including teaching hospitals and physicians. She has also practiced in her own firm where she specialized in medical malpractice and mediation.

Anne has served as a volunteer mediator for the Travis County Bar Association and a regional interviewer for Phillips Exeter Academy. Previously, she has served on the boards for Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, Reading is Fundamental, and Austin Groups for the Elderly.

For information on the Deputy City Attorney Deborah Thomas

Deputy City Attorney Deborah ThomasDeborah Thomas serves as the Deputy City Attorney. Deborah’s area of expertise is land use law.  She works closely with city departments such as Planning & Development Review, Watershed Protection, Transportation, Capital Contracting Office, Parks, Austin Resource Recovery, and Neighborhood Housing and Community Development.

Deborah received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Planning and Administration from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters degree in Health Administration from the University of Texas School of Public Health. Deborah received her law degree from The University of Houston Law Center. 

Deborah worked as a hearings examiner for the Texas Water Commission (now the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) from 1989 to 1994 and in 1994 went to work for the City of Austin Law Department.  Deborah’s area of expertise is land use law.  She works closely with city departments such as Planning & Development Review, Watershed Protection, Transportation, Capital Contracting Office, Parks, Austin Resource Recovery, and Neighborhood Housing and Community Development.