Baylor Law Day Celebration to Honor Lawyer of the Year

March 27, 2006
News Photo 3401Noley Bice, Jr.

by Alan Hunt, (254) 710-6271

Hundreds of graduates, students, friends and supporters of Baylor Law School are expected to attend the annual Law Day dinner April 8 at the Ferrell Center when former Baylor General Counsel Noley Bice, Jr. receives the 2006 Baylor Lawyer of the Year award.

A 1961 Baylor law graduate, Bice will be the 44th Baylor attorney to receive the coveted Lawyer of the Year honor, which was first bestowed in 1963. The award recognizes achievements as an attorney and contributions to the legal profession and to Baylor Law School.

Describing him as "a lawyer of marked insight and discernment," Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben said Bice deserves the Lawyer of the Year honor not only for his service in recent years as general counsel of the University, but so much so in recognition of a career in the practice that has brought consistent reflected honor upon the Law School.

"Noley is a paradigm of the lawyer who is a living example of each of the criteria set forth for the Baylor Lawyer of the Year recognition -- accomplishment, reputation for excellence, integrity, Christian service, and having a pointed love for our Law School."

A native of Tyler and a 1961 Baylor law graduate, Bice served as general counsel at Baylor University from 1998 until his retirement on Sept. 1 last year. Former Associate General Counsel Charles Beckenhauer was appointed to succeed Bice as general counsel. Following his retirement, Bice continues to serve in the position "of counsel" to Baylor and is assisting with the trial advocacy program at Baylor Law School.

Bice joined Baylor after serving as a named partner and shareholder for many years in the Waco law firm of Fulbright, Winniford, Bice & Marable. Before coming to Baylor, he specialized in civil trial law throughout the Central Texas area and also had extensive experience in mediation and arbitration.

He served as president of the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association from 1976-77 and was president of the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association from 1966-67. He has been a director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and is former chairman of the District 8-B Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas. Bice is a member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association and the Texas Association of Mediators. He is a subscriber of the American Trial Lawyers Association, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and Master of the Bench for the Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court. He has served as a faculty member and panelist for the American Bar Association Advanced Mediation Symposium, and is active in the McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center.

The 7 p.m. Law Day dinner and program will climax a full slate of Law Day activities, including the final round of the Strasburger & Price, L.L.P. Spring Moot Court Competition. The 4 p.m. contest will be held in the Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom and Courtroom at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center. Also planned is a 5:30 p.m. Law Day Reception at the Ferrell Center.

Keynote speaker at the Law Day dinner will be Baylor President Dr. John M. Lilley, who will present the annual John William and Florence Dean Minton Endowed Law School Lecture. Unanimously elected as the 13th president of Baylor by the Board of Regents on Nov. 4, 2005, Dr. Lilley is a native of Louisiana and the son of a Baptist minister. He earned three music degrees from Baylor: a bachelor of music education degree in 1961; a bachelor of music degree in 1962, and a master of music degree in 1964. He went on to earn his doctorate in music from the University of Southern California in 1971.

Also scheduled during the Law Day dinner program is a performance by Graham Thatcher about Clarence Darrow, legendary criminal lawyer and famous defense attorney in the Scopes trial that captivated the nation in 1925. Darrow, who was born in 1857, passed away in 1938. Thatcher has taken his presentation, titled "Clarence Darrow: Crimes, Causes and the Courtroom," to audiences all over the nation.

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