The Texas Supreme Court, in an order issued on October 19, 2020, admitted J.H. Williams posthumously to the State Bar of Texas.

Williams had petitioned for admission to the Texas Bar in December 1882 but ultimately had been denied admittance because he was a Black man.

John Browning, of the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas, and Carolyn Wright, former chief justice of the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas, were the driving force behind the petition to get Williams posthumously admitted to the bar. Browning and Wright did extensive historical research in petitioning Williams’ case.

Browning and Wright learned about Williams while researching the earliest Black attorneys in Texas for an article titled “Unsung Heroes” published in the December 2014 issue of the Texas Bar Journal.