Baylor Law School Awards Jaworski Scholarship

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Elena Cincione of Chicago has been awarded Baylor Law School's prestigious Leon Jaworski Scholarship.
Oct. 1, 2008

Contact: Julie Carlson, Baylor Law School, (254) 710-6681

Baylor Law School has awarded its prestigious Leon Jaworski Scholarship to Elena Cincione of Chicago. The full-tuition scholarship, named for the Baylor Law alumnus who served as Special Prosecutor during the Watergate crisis, is awarded to incoming law students who have outstanding records in advocacy programs, such as debate, mock trial and moot court.

Cincione, who is in her second quarter of law school, received her bachelor of arts degree with a major in history from the University of Michigan in April 2008 and began classes at Baylor two weeks later. While at Michigan, she was a member of its mock trial team for three years.

"Being on the mock trial team was one of my best experiences from my years at Michigan," Cincione said. "Our mock trial organization was totally student run, which made us close and hard working. We worked with the team about nine to 12 hours per week and went to about six tournaments a year. Because we were a small group, all of us became experienced in different aspects of mock trial. I have played all parts, from expert witness to attorney."

During summer break, Cincione worked with a high school leadership conference that met in Washington, D.C., and the University of California at Berkeley.

Cincione said she always has been interested in litigation, even though her parents are both dentists and an older sister just finished dental school. She learned about Baylor Law from some co-workers who received undergraduate degrees from Baylor. She has not been disappointed in her experience in law school, although the adjustment to Texas has been interesting.

"I like the snow, so I'm sure winter in Texas will be very different for me," she said. "But I love traveling the U.S. and learning about different parts of the country, so I am looking forward to my time here."

She also has found beginning her law school career during the summer to be a good choice.

"We are a small class, and are interacting well with each other. This is a very strong community, and I have gotten to know so many of the students who are not in my quarter. There is a lot of work, but I haven't felt any negative competition. We have definitely bonded," she said.

Next on Cincione's agenda is to try out for one of Baylor's advocacy teams. "I love public speaking and I have lots of experience as a witness, so I am hopeful of making a team," she said.

Leon Jaworski carved his place in history on Nov. 1, 1973, when he was appointed the Watergate Special Prosecutor. The talented Texas lawyer destined to play a leading part in the Watergate investigation had humble beginnings in the legal profession. Born in Waco on Sept. 19, 1905, the son of Polish and Austrian immigrant parents, he received his law degree from Baylor Law School in 1925, and at the age of 20, became the youngest lawyer ever licensed in Texas. He "cut" his legal teeth during those early days with a Waco law firm by defending bootleggers during the Prohibition era.

But Jaworski became so skilled as a courtroom lawyer that he was soon hired by a prestigious Houston law firm and later became a managing partner of Fulbright & Jaworski, one of the nation's largest law firms. Jaworski became a leader in the legal profession and held the presidencies of the American Bar Association, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the State Bar of Texas.

In addition to private practice, he served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Department during World War II and was made Chief of the War Crimes Trials Section of the U.S. Army during the late stages of the war in Europe. He personally prosecuted the first major war crimes trial in the European Theater.

Jaworski maintained close links with his alma mater and presented a number of lectures at Baylor Law School over the years, including a six-part lecture series he delivered in September 1980 on "The Lawyer in Society." Two years later, on Dec. 9, 1982, Jaworski died at the age of 77, after suffering a heart attack during a visit to his country home in Wimberly, near Austin.

He is memorialized at Baylor Law School by the Leon Jaworski Center, a major component of the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, and by the Leon Jaworski Office, a recreation of Jaworski's original Houston office, containing his desk and other furniture and personal artifacts. The items were donated to Baylor Law School by Jaworski's family and by the Fulbright & Jaworski law firm.

"Colonel Jaworski was so proud of his Baylor roots, and I know he would be very proud of our Baylor Law School today," said Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben. "The consistent successes that we have experienced in interscholastic competition have been made possible, in very significant measure, by the support of our outstanding student advocates by the Leon Jaworski Foundation through the Jaworski Scholars program. The Foundation's magnificent gifts indeed make a difference each year in our program and for these very talented students."

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