East Texas Judge Selected As 2004 Baylor Lawyer Of The Year

  • News Photo 1862
    Judge T. John Ward, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, will be honored April 3 by Baylor University Law School as its 2004 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.
  • News Photo 1863
    U.S. Rep. Max A. Sandlin Jr. will deliver the Baylor Law School?s annual John William and Florence Dean Minton Endowed Lecture.
March 15, 2004

by Alan Hunt

Judge T. John Ward, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, will be honored by Baylor University Law School as its 2004 Baylor Lawyer of the Year. The award is given annually to an outstanding alumnus who has brought honor and distinction to Baylor Law School and the legal profession.

A 1967 Baylor law graduate, Judge Ward will be recognized during Baylor's annual Law Day banquet on April 3 in the Ferrell Center on campus. He will receive the recognition from Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and Steve McConnico, president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association. A reception for Ward and his wife, Elizabeth, and their family will be held earlier on the concourse of the Ferrell Center.

Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben said Ward exemplifies the criteria for the Lawyer of the Year award.

"Judge Ward is a model of the great good that can be accomplished by a wise and dedicated judge and lawyer," he said. "His being inevitably identified with Baylor Law School brings to me and the Baylor Law community very considerable satisfaction in that his superb reputation and accomplishments bring such a reflected and true glory upon our school."

Judge Ward was appointed to the federal bench on July 15, 1999, following nomination by President Bill Clinton. Previously, he was actively involved in a trial practice, appearing before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas. In Longview, Judge Ward's prior professional experiences were in the law offices of Brown McCaroll & Oaks Hartline from 1991-99, and Sharp, Ward, Price & Searcy during the previous 21 years, with an emphasis in civil trial practice.

Toben said aside from Judge Ward's many professional honors and his extensive professional career, "he has invested himself in numerous community and civic activities." These activities have included the Good Shepherd Medical Center, serving on the board of trustees from 1987-91 and 1994-99; service on the advisory board of the East Texas Literacy Council from 1987-91, as well as service on the board of directors in the Good Shepherd Foundation from 1986-88 and 1994-97.

The Baylor Lawyer of the Year presentation will climax a week of Law Day activities, and includes a keynote banquet address by U.S. Rep. Max A. Sandlin Jr. of the First Congressional District of Texas. Sandlin, who graduated from Baylor and Baylor Law School, was elected to Congress in 1996. A recipient of the Baylor Alumni Association's Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, Sandlin will deliver the Baylor Law School's annual John William and Florence Dean Minton Endowed Lecture.

The Law Day banquet will start at 7 p.m. at the Paul J. Meyer Arena in the Ferrell Center. Other Law Day events scheduled for Saturday include the final round of the Strasburger & Price Spring Moot Court Competition at 2 p.m. in the Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom and Courtroom at the Law School.

Also on tap are class reunions, hosted by the Baylor Law Alumni, for the following class years: 1943, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999. The reunion gatherings will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center. A scholarship and award reception for donors and recipients will be held at 5:45 p.m. in the Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom and Courtroom.

Information about Law Day and a schedule of events can be found here.

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