Areas of Expertise

Take a captivating literary journey with Dr. Bill Chriss. A modern-day Renaissance man whose words leave a lasting impact on those who read them. “Dr. Bill’s” storytelling leads you to discover worlds you never thought were possible. He uses his expertise in history, ethics, politics, and religion to create true brilliance. 


As a protégé of acclaimed historian H.W. Brands, Bill believes history doesn’t repeat itself but that it does rhyme – echoing patterns across time. Without an understanding of history, he says it becomes challenging for people to see the parallels between current and past events. For example, he says lacking knowledge of Europe in the 1930s, between the World Wars, makes it harder to identify and recognize modern manifestations of fascism, communism, and anarchism. This helps explain Bill’s dedication to educating others about the past. In addition to his two books, he has contributed to scholarly journals, written a history-based column for a local newspaper, and even hosted a history-themed radio show. 



Bill credits his father for his moral compass. He learned early on to be truthful and always try and do the right thing. So, it’s no surprise Bill became CEO and Dean of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics in 2007. In this position, he was the primary ethics education officer for the State Bar of Texas. Bill admits the ethical standards of lawyers run the gamut, from those who push the boundaries for personal gain to others who prioritize risk avoidance and altruism.  

In the end, Bill says most lawyers fall somewhere in the middle. However, Bill notes navigating these ethical waters is difficult for lawyers, who grapple with a sense of professional isolation in a world that has less respect for professionals of all types, especially since their ethical rules prevent them from sharing most of their work problems or divulging much of their work-life to non-lawyer family members. These and other dilemmas were the impetus for his first book, “The Noble Lawyer,” which evolved from a series of lectures he presented to his colleagues. 


Long before Bill became a lawyer, he was involved in politics. While he never ran for office, his journey took a rewarding turn when he channeled his passion for politics into scholarship and history. Bill challenges the idea that the country is more divided now than in the past, emphasizing that the nation and Texas have gone through equally or more tumultuous times.  

For more than 40 years, Bill has imparted his knowledge as an adjunct professor within the Texas A&M University system, teaching Political Philosophy, Constitutional Law, Western Civilization, and American History. Outside the classroom, Bill’s expertise has been called upon for decades by the local ABC television affiliate as their lead commentator on politics, history, and law. He has an innate ability to simplify complex concepts and ideas. 

Political Scientists - Bill on TV - Option 1


Growing up as an altar boy and then reader in the Greek Orthodox Church, Bill’s local priest had hopes of his becoming a clergyman, but Bill and his mother both opposed the idea. Despite this, Bill always carried a strong Christian sensibility and felt a call to service of some kind, but it was when he embarked on his first journey to Greece that this intensified.  

During a visit to the Cave of the Apocalypse where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation, Bill experienced a profound spiritual awakening. Encountering other relics and sacred sites stirred deep emotions within him. These encounters eventually led him to visit and befriend a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Texas Hill Country, study with a Romanian Orthodox priest in Corpus Christi, and later pursue a seminary degree. 


Bill has always had a preoccupation with justice, and since he couldn’t make a living in religion or philosophy, he says he did the next best thing – become a lawyer. As a young trial lawyer, Bill made a name for himself, handling some very significant cases, including one of the earliest mold trials. He has tried, arbitrated, or settled hundreds of cases involving personal injury, property damage, and insurance coverage.  

Bill has worked at big and small firms and even spent time as a solo practitioner. Today, he focuses on appellate work, preferring to appear before the Texas Supreme Court, intermediate Texas appellate courts, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

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