Tate Barkley is a speaker, author, educator, a 30-year practicing attorney and a founding partner of Bain & Barkley law firm in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and South Texas College of Law. In addition to his active law practice, he spent 20 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, teaching Communications Law and Ethics, where he was awarded the School of Communications 2019 Valenti Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer.
Tate’s 24 year recovery journey has compelled him to write and speak about personal integrity, ethics, shame, self-acceptance, mental wellness, and resilience. His story demonstrates how shame and addiction can disrupt lives, businesses and institutions. He then shares the tools that have enabled him to embrace self-honesty and service to others as a means to long-term personal growth and resiliency. Tate’s energy, self-deprecation and sincerity provide a thoughtful and uplifting experience for his audiences.
His memoir, Sunday Dinners, Moonshine, and Men, published in September 2023, recounts Tate’s troubled relationship with his father and his journey to overcome his shame and the scarcity mindset that fueled his addictions and blocked his ability to find peace in his life. Tate offers readers a deeply personal account of his dysfunctional childhood, from the backwoods of North Carolina, to his family’s struggles with poverty in Central Florida, and their ultimate move to the boomtown of 1970s Houston, Texas. He details his attempts to control his escalating drinking and repress his sexuality as he became a successful attorney, only to hit rock bottom and lose it all. Tate’s story will resonate with readers as they follow his quest to accept himself and find peace.
Tate presently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Avenue Community Development Corp. in Houston, which is dedicated to providing affordable housing for veterans, seniors, and the working poor. He also serves on the board of the church council for Covenant Church, an ecumenical liberal Baptist congregation in Houston’s museum district. Tate is a past board member of the Texas Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders, and he formerly served on the Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse board, whose mission is to provide families and individuals the substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment services needed for positive change for themselves and the community.
He resides in Houston, Texas with his husband of six years, Anson, and their dog, Emerson.