Walter Umphrey began his legal career as a prosecuting attorney in Jefferson County after graduating from Baylor Law School. Umphrey ultimately became the Chief Felony Prosecutor for the Jefferson County District Attorney's office. In 1969, Umphrey and David Provost joined forces and opened Provost Umphrey Law Firm.
Throughout his storied career, Walter has obtained many significant verdicts. In the 1990’s, Umphrey was chosen to lead the group of lawyers selected to represent the State of Texas against tobacco companies. The five trial lawyers won a $17.3 billion verdict in the case.
Walter Umphrey is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a member of American Board of Trial Advocates and a long-time member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
He was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters Business, 2003-2004 and 2006-2015, an honor only 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected for annually. In June 2000, Umphrey was recognized as one of the Top Texas Lawyers of the 20th century in the Texas Lawyer publication "Legal Legends: A Century of Texas Law and Lawyering." For its special anniversary issue, June 28, 2010, Texas Lawyer also named Mr. Umphrey as one of the twenty-five greatest Texas lawyers of the past quarter-century. Texas Lawyer names lawyers that have made outstanding contributions within the twenty-five years the newspaper has been published.
Beyond the practice of law, Walter has provided unwavering support to important civic and community causes. He served as Director of the National Wildlife Association, Director of the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center, Director of both Texas Regional Bancshares, Inc., and Texas State Bank. Additionally, the newest cancer institute in Southeast Texas was named the Walter Umphrey Cancer Center. Umphrey helped build the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center on the banks of the Brazos River at Baylor University, which is hailed as a state-of-the-art educational facility.