Denise Davis is a native Texan with nearly two decades experience working in the Texas Legislature. Ms. Davis has extensive experience in drafting winning strategies on complex legislation, administrative rules, legal memoranda and briefs for clients in both the public and private sectors.
Ms. Davis has been consistently ranked as one of Texas’ top lobbyists by Mike Hailey’s “Capitol Inside,” most recently in the top 30 of its 2019 Texas Lobby Power Rankings and #1 on the 2013 Rising Lobby Stars list. Since 2013, Davis Kaufman PLLC has been ranked among the top 10 law firm lobby practices.
Before founding Davis Kaufman PLLC in 2012, Ms. Davis served as Chief of Staff to House Speaker Joe R. Straus. As Chief of Staff, she provided strategic and operational advice to the Speaker and the entire House leadership, and oversaw the legislative agenda and daily activities of the Speaker’s Office.
Prior to her tenure as Chief of Staff, Ms. Davis served for several sessions as House Parliamentarian and Special Counsel to the Texas House of Representatives, where she advised the Speaker and members of the House on all ethics, legal and parliamentary matters relating to the Texas House of Representatives, including points of order, House Rules and precedent, and open records.
Her public service also includes work as General Counsel to Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff, Director and Counsel to the Texas Judicial Council under Chief Justice Tom Phillips, General Counsel to the Senate Jurisprudence Committee under Senator Rodney Ellis, Legislative Counsel for the Texas Legislative Council and as Assistant Public Information/Press Officer for Lt. Governor William P. Hobby.
In addition to her many years in public service, Ms. Davis has also worked in private practice, serving as Special Counsel to the corporate department of an international law firm, where she provided public policy law and governmental relations services to corporate clients.
Ms. Davis received her Bachelor of Arts in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. While at the Law School, Ms. Davis served as Notes Editor for the American Journal of Criminal Law.