Texas House Member Bryan Hughes to Speak at Baylor Law School's Commencement Feb. 6

Feb. 5, 2010

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Bryan Hughes, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, will deliver the keynote address at Baylor Law School's commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Waco Hall. Additionally, Amy Renee Bolline, the highest ranking student in the commencement class, will deliver remarks. Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben also will participate in the program and will award juris doctor degrees to the graduates.

Hughes, a Baylor Law alumnus, practices civil trial law in state and federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas. Primarily a plaintiffs' lawyer, he has practiced with some of the best trial lawyers anywhere, including three years with legendary Baylor lawyer Rex Houston, after whom the Practice Court classroom is named. His professional associations include the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Bar Association of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Born and raised in a blue collar family in East Texas, he worked his way through Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler, receiving his BBA in Economics in 1992. Baptist roots and strong recommendations from Baylor lawyers in the community led him to Baylor Law School, a decision which he says he appreciates more and more as he advances in his career.

After graduating from law school in 1995, Hughes clerked for United States District Judge William Steger of Tyler from 1995-97. Serving as Representative for the Fifth District of Texas, Hughes is Vice Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and serves on the Human Services Committee. He is Vice Chair of the Rural Caucus and Joint Presiding Officer of the Health & Human Services Eligibility System Legislative Oversight Committee, which supervises Texas's efforts to modernize and reform the welfare system. Hughes also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Conservative Coalition.

In 2002 in his first run for office, Hughes was elected with 52 percent of the vote. In 2004 he was reelected with 62 percent of the vote and in 2006 with 82 percent. He received 100 percent of the vote in 2008, and is unopposed for reelection in 2010.

In 2007, Tyler Junior College honored Bryan with its Valuable Young Alumnus award. And in 2008 he was chosen by Baylor Law School as the Baylor Young Lawyer of the Year.

He has received numerous awards for his work in the Legislature, including the Taxpayer Hero Award from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and the Horizon Award from Texas Right to Life, and has been recognized as a "Defender of the American Dream" from Americans for Prosperity. In 2008 and 2009 he received the Champion of Texas Children award from the National Child Care Coalition.

Hughes is a fifth generation Texan and the first member of his family to receive a bachelor's degree. He is a leader in his church, a Red Cross disaster relief volunteer, and active in civic and community organizations.

Assisting Toben with awarding degrees will be Leah W. Jackson, associate dean and professor of law. Hooding the graduates will be David M. Guinn, who serves as the Lyndon L. Olson and William A. Olson Professor of Local Government and Constitutional Law and Master Teacher, and James Wren, associate professor of law. The invocation will be given by Dillon Richard Meek, one of the members of the commencement class.

After the ceremony, a reception for the graduates and their guests will be hosted by the Baylor Law Alumni Association at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.

Contact: Jill Scoggins, 254-710-1964

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