March 1, 2010

Regents Unanimously Elect Kenneth Winston Starr 14th President of Baylor University

Baylor University announced that Kenneth Winston Starr, J.D., current dean of the School of Law at Pepperdine University, will be the 14th president of Baylor University. Starr was the unanimous choice of both the 14-member Presidential Search Committee and the 10-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, and was elected unanimously by the Baylor Board of Regents on Feb. 12. Read more about Kenneth Starr's selection. Read more.

George Chandler Named Baylor Lawyer of the Year

Family, friends and colleagues gathered at the Crown Colony Country Club on a rainy day in mid-January to honor renowned trial lawyer George Chandler as the 2009 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.

On receiving the award, the ever-humble Chandler, who is founder and chairman of Chandler, Mathis & Zivley in Lufkin, said, "My love for Baylor started at an early, early age. Baylor means everything to me. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart and other than the day I married Martha and the days that Kelly and Reich were born and the days my three wonderful grandchildren were born, this is the grandest moment of my life."

Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben said, "George has attained the pinnacle of achievement as a trial lawyer. He has been honored time and time again for his work in the courtroom. He has a passion for vindicating the rights of those who have lost loved ones, suffered grievous injury or otherwise been tread upon wrongfully. For George, his trial work is about reaching out to serve others in the courtroom and in the profession, a profession in which he has been a consistent, strong voice of leadership.

"George looks back to his Baylor experience, and especially so his experience at Baylor Law School, as one that equipped him to fully be a servant to others," Toben added. "He is a consistent cheerleader and supporter of the Law School and my colleagues and me, and few can claim that they love the Green and Gold more than George and his team mate in life, his beloved Martha."

During the luncheon, adjunct professor Noley Bice, who was a classmate of Chandler, delivered remarks. Rodney Gilstrap, president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association, presented the award to Chandler. Visit our photo gallery to see pictures from the luncheon.

Baylor Law Admissions Enjoying a Banner Year

Baylor Law's spring entering students participated in a three-day Orientation Program that began on February 3. Students were given the basics on what to expect as they embark on their careers as students at Baylor Law and were introduced the level of professionalism needed to succeed in law school and as a future Baylor Lawyer. You can watch video clips of Prof. Jeremy Counseller's opinion of the characteristics of a great lawyer; a talk by State Bar President Roland Johnson; and students taking the Oath of Professionalism. On the concluding day of orientation, students teamed with each other to participate in a community service project, providing service and support to patrons of the Waco chapter of Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels. See photos of scenes of orientation here.

To date, Baylor Law is experiencing a banner year in admissions. Our aggregate application pool is up over 28 percent, which is well above the national 5.7 percent increase in applications. The Law School recently welcomed its Spring 2010 entering class, which is one of the most highly credentialed spring classes ever enrolled at Baylor. LSAT scores had a significant increase: the 75th percentile rose two points, the 25th percentile rose three points and the median rose one point over scores in 2009. The 3.65 median GPA was the highest median for a spring entering class. And, once again, the class was comprised of more females (52 percent) than males (48 percent). Six students in this class are carrying on a long-standing family tradition of attending Baylor Law School.

Texas House Member Bryan Hughes Reminds Graduates of Their Roles in the Expansion of Liberties

During his keynote address at Baylor Law's winter commencement exercises, Bryan Hughes, a Baylor Law alumnus and a member of the Texas House of Representatives, decided a history lesson would be the best way to remind the graduating students of their role in ensuring that the U.S. continues to be a land of liberty.

"America has been the story of an ever expanding circle of liberty," he said. "Over time we have brought more people under the protection of the laws and who has been at the forefront of that? The lawyers, and I think it will always be that way. As you go forward in your career, you have the responsibility to keep expanding that circle of liberty."

Hughes spoke directly to the impact that freedom of speech, freedom of religious expression and right to trial by jury have had on the U.S. He particularly focused on the right of trial by jury and its necessity in a free market society.

"Trial by jury keeps everybody in line in a free market system, from the largest corporation to the smallest individual. If we keep those things in place, America will continue to be the land of opportunity," he said.

In addition to Hughes, highest ranking student Amy Bolline delivered student remarks, Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben and Associate Dean Leah Jackson awarded the degrees. Hooding the graduates were David Guinn, The Lyndon L. Olson and William A. Olson Professor of Local Government and Constitutional Law and Master Teacher, and Jim Wren, associate professor. Winter graduate Dillon Meek delivered the invocation. This photo gallery is full of scenes from graduation. You can also watch Hughes' speech in this video clip.

Carson Runge Wins Top Gun Competition

Just watch third-year law student Carson Runge in action and you'll see why he was named the Baylor Law School's latest Top Gun on Monday, Dec. 7. Runge won the intrascholastic Bob and Karen Wortham mini-trial competition and took home the "Mad Dog," an 18-inch bronze statuette of Matt "Mad Dog" Dawson, the legendary Baylor Law professor who started the tradition of mini-trial competitions during his tenure as director of Baylor Law's Practice Court Program.

Runge battled Andrew Petersen for three hours to win the coveted trophy and the title of the top Baylor Law student trial advocate. As winner of the Wortham competition, Runge will receive $3,000. As runner up, Petersen received $1,000.

"After every trial, you always look back at things you said and feel you shouldn't have said, and things you didn't say, and probably should have. Overall, I think both Andrew and I tried a good case," Runge said.

Career Development Corner

Baylor Law's Career Services office has a new name, one more in keeping with all the activities for students that are sponsored by the office. The newly renamed Office of Career Development hosts such events as Bear Essentials, with such recent topics as alternative careers in law and gender and generational differences in the workplace; and a Day in the Life, in which lawyers from various fields discuss their practice areas.

"We want to provide our students with a number of resources that can help them in their career. We seem to have career development at least every other week if not more often," said Heather Creed, assistant dean of professional development & student relations. Heather acknowledges that this past year has been difficult for those in the legal profession. The current economic environment presents unique challenges for law students everywhere. Students from across the country have fewer opportunities and more competition for internships, summer clerkships, and permanent post-graduation employment positions.

Baylor Law is confident that our current students can make immediate positive contributions in many different areas of legal practice. Because our graduates are our best advocates, we are asking that you help us identify potential positions for our students and help us promote them for available openings. Please contact Heather Creed (, Mike Berry (, or Monica Wright ( with the Career Development Office (main phone number 254-710-1210) when you become aware of open positions, including internships and clerkships. Finally, don't hesitate to recommend Baylor students for openings if you are in a position to do so.

Baylor Law Student Recognized as 'Top 10' Scorer on CPA Exam

Nikki Laing, a Baylor Law School student, has been recognized as one of the Top 10 highest scorers in Texas on the CPA exam during swearing-in ceremonies in Austin. more

Baylor Law Alumnus Ike Vanden Eykel Inaugurated As Dallas Bar Association's 101st President

Ike Vanden Eykel, a Baylor Law alumnus and partner at Koons, Fuller, Vanden Eykel & Robertson PC, has been inaugurated Jan. 23, as the Dallas Bar Association's 101st president. more

Baylor Law Alumna Jerry Clements Receives Flame of Honor Award from the Southwest Jewish Congress

Jerry K. Clements, a 1981 Baylor Law School graduate, board member and president elect of the Baylor Law Alumni Association, and Chair of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, LLP, recently received the Southwest Jewish Congress' Flame of Honor Award in Dallas. The Flame of Honor Award is presented annually by the SWJC to men and women whose qualities of moral courage and love of liberty and service have enriched our community and nation. more

Baylor Law Team Wins Texas Administrative Law Moot Court Competition for Fourth Year Running

A Baylor Law School team captured first place for the fourth year in a row at the annual Mack Kidd Administrative Law Moot Court Competition, held in Austin on Oct. 23-24. The team of Jennifer Salim and Wes LeRouax defeated a team from Texas Wesleyan School of Law. more

Honoring a Legend

Calling all class members in 1972-1983. Honor Matt Dawson's legacy to Baylor Law School and in the profession. Give now to the R. Matt Dawson Endowed Professorship in Trial Law.

Job Postings

Baylor Law alumni can access job postings through Symplicity.


March 16-April 10
Strasburger & Price, L.L.P., Spring Moot Court Competition

ABA Client Counseling Competition
Baylor Law School

Houston Alumni Reception
Date TBA

April 6
Student Awards Ceremony

April 12
Veteran's Assistance Training Program for Lawyers

9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Baylor Law School

April 30
Spring Quarter Ends

May 1
Spring Commencement

June 2-6
Top Gun Mock Trial Invitational
Baylor Law School

June 10-11
State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting
Fort Worth

July 31
Summer Commencement


See the latest photos from Baylor Law School events, including an alumni reception held in Texarkana. Visit our photo gallery.

connect to alumni

hire a bear

make a gift

submit a news story

Julie Carlson


254.710.6681 Direct

254.710.1911 Main

254.710.2316 Fax

If you no longer wish to receive the Rocket Docket news, please click to unsubscribe