Robert L. Gibbs of Jackson was sworn in as the 116th president of the Mississippi Bar during its 2021 Annual Business Session held in July at Sandestin. Chief Justice Michael K. Randolph of the Mississippi Supreme Court administered the oath of office.
A Northsider, Gibbs received his bachelor of science degree in 1976 from Tougaloo College and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1979. Gibbs practiced in Hattiesburg and Cleveland early in his career and then spent 10 years with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, rising to become deputy attorney general in charge of Local and State Government/Opinions.
In 1990, he was elected to the position of circuit judge for the Seventh Circuit District, serving for seven years. He then spent 14 years as a partner at the Brunini Law Firm before he started Gibbs Travis PLLC in 2011. Gibbs served as an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, teaching trial practice for more than 25 years.
With the Mississippi Bar, he has served as a member of the Board of Commissioners and chair of the ADR Section and Summer School for Lawyers Committee. Gibbs is a past president and Fellow of the Young Lawyers Division and a past president and Fellow of the Mississippi Bar Foundation. He has served in leadership roles as past president of the Charles Clark Chapter of the American Inns of Court and past president of the Fifth Circuit Bar Association.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and Fellow of the American Bar Association. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Capital Area Bar Association, Magnolia Bar Association, and DRI.
He served as president of the University of Mississippi Lamar Order and a member of the American Bar Association’s Law School Site Accreditation Team, where he participated in six law school’s accreditation studies.
Gibbs has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including serving as chair of the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hope Community Credit Union, Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, Mission Mississippi, Jackson Arts Council, and United Way of the Capital Area. His board service also includes the advisory boards of First Commercial Bank and The Salvation Army, as well as the boards of the Mississippi Museum of Arts, Century Charities, and Hope Enterprise Corporation.
Gibbs was co-chair of the effort that led to the historic passage of a $150,000,000 bond referendum for the Jackson Public Schools and was appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to co-chair the Task Force on Corrections.
For more than 25 years, Gibbs has served as a final-round judge for The Mississippi Bar’s High School Mock Trial Competition.
In 2004, Gibbs received the Mississippi Bar’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Mississippi Bar Foundation honored him in 2007 with the Law-Related Public Education Award. In 2013, he received the Capital Area Bar Association’s Professionalism Award, and he was inducted into the Tougaloo College Hall of Fame in 2015. Gibbs is a partner at Gibbs Travis PLLC in Jackson and is married to State Representative Debra Hendricks Gibbs.