One of the nation's longest tenured deans, Brad Toben joined the Baylor faculty in 1983 and was named dean of the Law School in 1991. He graduated from Baylor Law School with the J.D. degree with honors in 1977, after completing his B.A. with honors in political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received the LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 1981, and then taught at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. He has participated regularly in accreditation and membership inspections of law schools for the American Bar Association and Association of American Law Schools, and has been active in the State Bar of Texas, especially in the bankruptcy specialization certification program. He is licensed in Texas and Missouri, practiced in St. Louis, and was previously of counsel to the firm of Dawson & Sodd in Texas. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Law Institute, Master of the Bench in the Judge Abner V. McCall American Inns of Court and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation.
Most law school associate deans last only 3 to 6 years, but Leah Teague has stayed in this position for more than 25 years. She attended Baylor University and Baylor Law School, following in the footsteps of her father and brother. After earning her J.D. cum laude in 1985, she entered private practice with the Waco law firm of Naman Howell Smith & Lee, P.C., where she practiced for almost five years in the firm's business section. Her primary interest and focus was tax planning. Teague currently teaches Tax and Financial Planning for Individuals and Small Business Owners, and Leadership Development. She is a member of the American Council on Education’s Women's Network Executive Council. She serves on the executive committee of the Texas Federal Tax Institute. She is an elected member of the Texas Bar Foundation and a past president of the Waco McLennan County Bar Association and the Midway Education Foundation. She is an alumnae of the Leadership Waco, Leadership Texas and Leadership America programs. She frequently speaks on topics related to leadership, non-profit entities and taxation.
Matt Cordon serves as the director of legal research and associate director of the law library at Baylor Law School. He is heavily involved in teaching Legal Analysis, Research, and Communications and Advanced Legal Research. Along with Professor Brandon Quarles, he is the coauthor of Researching Texas Law (2d ed. 2008) and Specialized Topics in Texas Legal Research (2005), both published by William S. Hein & Co., Inc. Cordon and Quarles have also coauthored book chapters on Texas practice materials as well as historical Texas legal information. Cordon frequently contributes to a variety of other publications. He also regularly serves on editorial review and advisory boards. Baylor University recognized Cordon as an Outstanding Professor for Scholarship in the category of tenure-track faculty. He has additionally won young alumnus awards from both Central Methodist University (2006) and the College of Information, Library Science, and Technologies at the University of North Texas (2009).
Angela Cruseturner earned her B.A. from Baylor University in 1998 and her J.D. from Baylor Law School in 2002. Following graduation, she practiced with Waco firm Pakis, Giotes, Page & Burleson, P.C., until she accepted the position of Staff Attorney for Judge Bill Vance at the 10th Court of Appeals in 2005. She joined the Career Development Office in 2011 after serving for four years as the Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment. She is involved in all aspects of the services provided by the CDO, including counseling students regarding career choices and opportunities; serving as a general resource to students as they evaluate and pursue career opportunities; coordinating recruiting efforts by potential employers; and conducting career information and education programs. Cruseturner is active in numerous community and professional organizations.
Daniel Hare serves as the Director of Career Development - Employer Relations, a position he began in September of 2012. Daniel came back to Baylor Law School after a stints as Director of Athletics at NCAA Division II Western Oregon University, and before that Director of Athletic Compliance at the University of Central Oklahoma. While attending Baylor Law School, Hare spent the summer of 2007 interning at CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV, Inc.) in New York City. From 2003-2006, he served as Athletic Development Officer in the Baylor Bear Foundation. Hare got his start working in men's basketball at the University of Oklahoma (OU), his undergraduate and graduate alma maters. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from OU in 2000, and then his master's in business administration with an emphasis in sports administration in 2003. Hare earned his juris doctor from Baylor University in 2009. He is married to the former Adrienne Davis. The couple resides in Hewitt, and are the proud parents of Brooklyn ('12) and Griffin ('14).
Berkley Knas was hired as the first Alumni Relations director at Baylor Law School in February 2010. For many years, she has cultivated relationships with our Baylor Lawyers, and she is honored to call our alumni “her friends.” Her love for Baylor Law School and for our Baylor Lawyers radiates in all that she does. Knas graduated from Baylor Law School in 2010 after receiving her bachelor's degree with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin. Knas has held extensive leadership roles at the University of Texas, Baylor Law School and in the Waco community. While a student at the University of Texas, Knas was selected to serve as a voting member of the University of Texas Faculty Council. She also served on the Faculty Council’s Calendar Committee. Knas served as a Student Government Representative and College of Communication Council Member for several years at the University of Texas, and she was asked by the Dean of the College of Communication to deliver remarks at the University of Texas commencement ceremony. While a student at Baylor Law School, Knas was elected by her peers to serve as the Executive President of the Student Bar Association. Through her role as president, Knas established the first Student Awards Ceremony (formerly Law Day) for the Baylor Law School. In the Waco community, Knas has served on many boards including the Junior League of Waco, Baylor Round Table, Baylor Club Membership Council, the Greater Waco Chamber LEAD board, and Kappa Alpha Theta. She is an alumna of Leadership Waco where she was selected by her class to give the remarks at the graduation. Knas hold leadership roles in Waco Cotton Palace and the Junior League of Waco. Knas loves Baylor Law School and is honored to call Waco home.
Jenny Branson joined the Baylor Law School family in November 2012. She loves sharing all that is great about Baylor Law School, hearing applicants' stories, and helping their law-school dreams become a reality. She received her A.B. from Harvard University in 2007 and her M.B.A. and her J.D., cum laude, from Southern Methodist University in 2011. While in law school, she was active in the Christian Legal Society and the Federalist Society, was a student worker in the SMU Law Admissions Office, and was Year-in-Review editor for the International Lawyer. She worked for several small bankruptcy, construction, and real estate law firms and served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Harlin D. Hale in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. In 2011, she moved to Illinois, where she worked as Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Northern Illinois University College of Law. She is a Dallas native and loves the great state of Texas. In her free time, she enjoys being involved in church activities, volunteering, exploring Waco, and finding the perfect cup of coffee.
Brandon Quarles has served as the Director of the Law Library since February 2000. After earning his J.D. from the University of Mississippi in 1993, Quarles entered private practice in Dallas. He then returned to school and earned a Master of Library Science from the University of North Texas in 1995. Quarles teaches all of the first- and second-quarter research classes in the Legal Analysis, Research, and Communications (LARC) program. Along with Professor Matt Cordon, he is the coauthor of Researching Texas Law (3rd ed. 2012) and Specialized Topics in Texas Legal Research (2005), both published by William S. Hein & Co., Inc. In addition to his teaching responsibilities and administrative duties in the Law Library, Quarles has overseen a number of Law School projects over the years. He served on the Law Center Project Committee and coordinated the Law School's physical move to the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center in 2001. He also chaired the self-study process for the past two ABA accreditation/AALS membership reviews of the Law School (2005 and 2011).
Stephen Rispoli earned his political science degree from Baylor University in 2009 and his J.D. from Baylor Law School in 2012. Service has always been an integral part of the law school’s mission and one to which Stephen has been dedicated since starting his career at Baylor Law. As the Assistant Dean of Pro Bono Programs, Stephen is also actively involved in all other areas of pro bono service at Baylor Law School. Stephen describes pro bono work at Baylor as a great learning experience for the students and much-needed help for the Waco community. He also strives to learn more about the access to justice gap our nation is facing, and what legal education can do to help.
Another integral part of Baylor Law’s mission is to prepare all students to be competent, ethical lawyers as soon as they cross the graduation stage and pass the bar. As Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Stephen is always seeking new ways to accomplish this mission and help law students succeed academically at Baylor Law School. Stephen also assisted Professor Jeremy Counseller in developing the Baylor Academy of the Advocate, and continues to be involved as co-director of the program. The Academy brings law students from around the country to immerse themselves in the art of trial and appellate advocacy in St. Andrews, Scotland every summer.
Rick Sowell has spent more than 14 years at Baylor Law School, analyzing new technologies while keeping an ear tuned to the law school community in order to provide the most appropriate technological platforms, service and support possible. Sowell's mission is to help faculty, staff and students leverage technology in order to improve both productivity and learning.