Sweetwater Lawyer Celebrates 50 year Anniversary

Lead Staff Reporter

Not many people last in their chosen fields these days. When one does, it is an event to reflect upon, honor and celebrate. Reaching career milestones, much like the millstones in Greek mythology, do not come easy and can sometimes take a toll on the person.
Not so for Jim Wilks. He is the exception. The energetic Sweetwater attorney has been practicing law for 50 years in the Sweetwater area and is a credit to the bar and the town. His specialties are real estate, bankruptcy, criminal defense, DWI, DUI, employment discrimination, personal injury, probate, Will, Trust and Estate Planning.
Wilks will be retiring in Spring 2018.
His curriculum vitae is extremely impressive.
Jim Wilks was born in Abilene and graduated from Trent High School. Wilks’ father ran the Bank of Trent and in his daily financial transactions was in constant contact with many lawyers for over forty years. This made an indelible mark on the young Wilks. As a youth, Wilks literally looked up to these lawyers and admired them. He admired the way the lawyers his father knew helped people.
Wilks decided to become a lawyer. He earned his undergraduate degree from Abilene Christian College and graduated with a law degree from the University of Houston Law School.
Wilks has always stayed busy. He was a boy scout, worked as a cookware salesman and then built houses while attending college. He served in many groups during his academic years. He served as the president of the Sub-T fraternal organization at Abilene Christian College. He was a member of Phi Delta Phi, the Order of Barons and as associate editor of the Law Review while at Law School in Houston. In addition to this, he has been a long-time member of the Sweetwater Lions Club where he has served on the local, regional, district and state level. He is in the Lion’s Club Hall of Fame.
Wilks served on the Texas Association of School Boards and as the president of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce.
As a member of the Church of Christ for 49 years, Wilks has built his life around service to others. He has worked with many charitable associations including the ACU Foundation, Disability Resources and as a local representative of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center. At the Church, he has served in many capacities. He has served as Deacon, a Bible class teacher, song leader and a church elder.
He has been happily married to his wife Marjorie Wilks for 60 years.
“I’ve been very fortunate as my wife has always been interested in the same things I’ve been.”
It was his wife who helped put him through law school while she worked as a teacher. Together, they’ve raised two children, a daughter Debra, director of the Special Education Program in Fredericksburg and a son, Lewis, who worked for the School Board Association for twelve years and as a result came to know many people all over the state. He worked with a company that would underwrite school bond measures for schools in Texas. He now runs a very successful finance business in Houston.
“I’m fortunate to have a great, supportive staff. Anne Reid worked here for ten years and then went to law school and was a District Attorney for two terms. Jeannie Moffit has worked here for twenty-five years. I am lucky to have such a great staff over the years.”
Wilks has always been an avid traveler. He and his wife have been to Australia, Hawaii, Korea, England, France, Holland and Germany where they took a Rhine River cruise.
He has taken many foreign trips as a Lion’s Club member. He hopes to continue his travels when he retires.
“I’d like to thank the people of Sweetwater for their trust and support over the years. Sweetwater is a great place to live and work.”