Houston Lawyer Named Baylor Lawyer of the YearOct. 6, 2008
Contact: Julie Carlson, Baylor Law School, (254) 710-6681
WACO, Texas - Houston Lawyer Joe Coleman, senior partner with the firm of Looper Reed & McGraw, has been named Baylor Lawyer of the Year for 2008. Coleman will be honored at a luncheon at the Houston Country Club on Nov. 11.
"Joe Coleman personifies what a lawyer should be. He sees the profession of law as one of service, whether that means service to his clients, service to his community, service to his church or service to Baylor University and Baylor Law School," said Brad Toben, dean of Baylor Law School.
A native of Freestone County, Coleman graduated from Fairfield High School. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Baylor in 1955 and a juris doctor degree from Baylor Law School in 1957. As a law student, he served on the board of editors for Baylor Law Review.
After graduation, he began a law career that has spanned more than 50 years. For 44 years, Coleman served as associate, partner and senior partner of the law firm of Fouts, Amerman & Moore, L.L.P., before that firm merged with Looper Reed & McGraw in 2001. Coleman continues to maintain a vital role as senior counsel and offers more than 50 years of knowledge and experience in real estate and oil and gas law. Since his admission to practice law, he has participated in all areas of a successful general law practice, including transactional matters and litigation.
"As is the case with all Texas lawyers, Joe's license declares him to be entitled to practice as an 'attorney and counselor at law.' Quite often the role of attorney is recognized and emphasized while the role of counselor is overlooked. However, Joe's abilities as a counselor have earned him the trust and confidence of persons in all walks of life, the well-off, the influential and the ordinary. It is in this role that he has excelled above all others," said Cary Gray, president and managing director of Looper Reed & McGraw and himself a Baylor Lawyer.
Coleman is a member of the Texas, Houston and American Bar Associations and is a life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He has served on the board of directors for Allied Bank and Fairfield State Bank. In addition, he serves as a trustee of the Ralph and Ruth McCullough Foundation and the William A. Smith and Madeline Welder Smith Foundation, and he formerly served as president and board member for the Homes of St. Mark.
Coleman served on the Baylor Board of Regents from 1998-2007, where he served as chair of several committees, including the finance and facilities committee. He also was a member of the Baylor Foundation Board of Directors. Additionally, Coleman was a member of Baylor's Sesquicentennial Council of 150 and is a current member of the Baylor Foundation, the Baylor Bear Foundation and active in development efforts on behalf of the university and the Law School. He is a life member of the Baylor Alumni Association and the Baylor Law Alumni Association.
An author and speaker on quail habitat and management, Coleman has competed in and judged most of the major bird dog field trials in the U.S. and Mexico. His English setters have won many championships, including the National Amateur Shooting Dog Championship, and he is widely known for his breeding of setters. In recognition of these many achievements, Coleman was inducted into the Texas Field Trial Hall of Fame.
Coleman and his wife, Kathryn, who also is a Baylor graduate, married in June of 1958. The couple has two adult children, John David (BA '94) and Kathryn Ann (BFA '96) and three grandchildren.
The Lawyer of the Year award is given annually to an outstanding alumnus who has brought honor and distinction to Baylor Law School and the legal profession. Past recipients include Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski, former Texas Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, former F.B.I. director William Sessions, former U.S. Rep. Jack Hightower and Gov. Price Daniel Sr., among others. The award has been presented by Baylor Law School since 1963.