WACO, Texas -
In a unanimous decision, Baylor Lawyer and Baylor Law School Adjunct Professor Vik Deivanayagam, JD '96, was named Judge Mike Freeman's successor in McLennan County Court at Law #1.
After hearing the decision, Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben praised Judge Freeman's service, saying, "Judge Freeman has fulfilled his role with expertise, commitment, professionalism, character, and integrity." Toben also offered congratulations to Deivanayagam, remarking that: "Vik will do the same [as Judge Freeman] and I predict he will become, just as he has as a practicing lawyer, a wonderfully respected and admired steward of the Court and a servant of all who would appear before his court."
Last year, Judge Freeman announced his plans to retire mid-term on January 31, 2017. Following Judge Freeman's announcement, many lawyers applied for the vacant bench. Judge Scott Felton, of the McLennan County Court, cited Deivanayagam's experience and his popularity among his colleagues as reasons for Deivanayagam's successful bid for the seat. Deivanayagam also has previous judicial experience serving as an associate judge for the Woodway Municipal Court and the Lacy Lakeview Municipal Court.
"I am honored to have been selected by the Commissioners for this position," Deivanayagam said. "I will work hard to show that their trust in my abilities is well-founded and I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life. Thank you to all those that have supported me through this process with their encouragement and wisdom," he said.
After serving for the remaining two years of Judge Freeman's term, Deivanayagam intends to run for election for the position.
Judge Deivanayagam's investiture was held Feb. 2 at Baylor Law School.
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Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,400 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as #4 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked #55 in the magazine's 2017 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and #4 in the nation in its most recent "Best Law School Facilities" listing. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award's inception in 1984.
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