Elizabeth K. (Betsy) Julian has 45 years experience as a poverty and civil rights lawyer and advocate. She has senior executive management experience in the non–profit and government sectors. She has authored numerous published articles, and spoken extensively on issues involving the intersection of race and poverty. In all her capacities she has dealt extensively with the development and implementation of public policy at the local, state and federal level in the areas of civil rights, fair housing, affordable housing and community development.
Ms. Julian was an attorney with Dallas Legal Services Foundation from 1973-1979, and with East Texas Legal Services from 1980-1981. She served as the Executive Director of Legal Services of North Texas from 1988-1990. In private practice, she was a partner in the civil rights law firm of Julian, Daniel & Villareal (subsequently Julian & Daniel) from 1981-1987, and the Law Office of Elizabeth K. Julian, 1990-1993. She established and obtained funding for the Texas Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in 1991. She served in the Clinton Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1994-1999, as Deputy General Counsel for Civil Rights, Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, and Secretary’s Representative for the Southwest. In 2004 she founded the Inclusive Communities Project, a successor to the Walker Project, a fair housing non-profit organization created as part of the remedy in the Dallas Walker housing desegregation case.
Ms. Julian is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her work in the field of civil rights and fair housing, including the 1992 East Texas Legal Services, Inc. Fifteen Year Achievement Award, Secretary’s Award for Excellence, Secretary Henry Cisneros, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1995; Secretary’s Appreciation Award, Secretary Andrew Cuomo, 1999; 1998 Equal Justice Award, Legal Services of North Texas, National Association of HUD Tenants Special Appreciation Award 2000; 2007 Texas Houser Award presented by the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, the 2001 Mexican American Bar Association’s President’s Award, the 2004 Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award awarded by the Dallas Bar Association, the 2005 Justice Award for Outstanding Service, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, University of Texas School of Law, the 2016 Open Communities Alliance Change Maker Award, 2016, the 2018 Mildred and Richard Loving Civil Rights Award, Connecticut Fair Housing Center, the 2018 Urban Leadership Award, Penn Institute for Urban Research.
She was plaintiff counsel in a number of high-profile civil rights cases during her legal career, including Lipscomb v. Wise and Heggins v. City of Dallas (voting rights), City of Port Arthur v. U.S. (Voting rights); Young v. Pierce (public housing desegregation class action in 36 counties in East Texas), Walker v. HUD, DHA and City of Dallas (public housing desegregation class action in the City of Dallas); during her tenure as President, ICP was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case TDHCA v. ICP, which established disparate impact claims as cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.
Ms. Julian brings her diverse professional portfolio to the job of advising clients on a wide range of matters related to litigation and public policy. She is available to consult with legal services programs, philanthropic organizations and public and private sector entities who are interested in developing policies and strategies that will effectively serve the goals of social, racial and economic justice. She is also available for public speaking and writing engagements on those topics.