Rick Cofer grew up wanting to be an attorney and
defend clients. After completing high school he became a student at The
University of Texas at Austin in 2000. Four years later he graduated with
honors in history and government. Cofer then
attended The University of Texas School of Law and graduated with
his JD in 2007.
After completing his law degree, Rick Cofer went
into private practice for less than a year. In October 2009 he became an
assistant county attorney in Travis County. In this role, he was a trial court
division prosecutor and dealt with family violence cases.
His next career stop was as an assistant district
attorney, again in Travis County. He prosecuted juvenile sex crimes as well as
child abuse and cases involving sexual assault. He also prosecuted cases
involving everything from murder to drug possession.
He is now a criminal defense attorney in Austin
and has a law firm, the Law Office of Rick Cofer, PLLC. He says that the best
defense is quite often the one that is least expected. He focuses on providing
a great defense for each of his clients and crafts a unique approach for each
Rick Cofer is involved quite a
bit with the broader Austin community. One example of this is being a leader in the fight to ban single-use
plastic bags in Austin. The Austin City Council had started to study these
types of bags in 2007 and whether it was possible to replace them with other
bag types such as reusable bags and compostable plastic bags. In 2008, they
passed a resolution that called for a voluntary reduction of single-use plastic
The voluntary reduction didn’t achieve the
results that were hoped for. A study commissioned by the City Council showed
that the plastic bags were costing taxpayers about $850,000 each year. This
didn’t even include the cots of getting them out of drain gutters or what
effect they were having on wildlife and nature.
A law was passed in 2011 that would phase out
plastic bags, something that Rick Cofer fully supported publicly. The ban went
officially into place in 2013. The Laredo Merchants Association sued another
city in Texas, Laredo, over their plastic bag ban. The result was that, after a
series of appeals, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that plastic bag bans were
Rick has spearheaded the ban of plastic
bags in the city of Houston. After this law was struck
down he said that many people in Austin planned to continue to refuse to use
plastic bag regardless of the supreme court ruling, something that he fully
supports and does so himself.