Michael Morrison

Michael Morrison
Professor of Law
Courses Taught
High Res Photo

Professor of Law

Mike Morrison thought he was destined for the life of a Marine and was attending the University of Oklahoma on a Navy scholarship. He found his plans changed after he blew out a knee while playing football.

After earning a degree in psychology with high honors from OU in 1971, he continued his education at the university. He received his law degree in 1974 and was named the Outstanding Law Student for the year by the Oklahoma Bar Association.

When Morrison joined the Baylor faculty in 1977, he was slightly older than the students he had been hired to teach.

"I had several students come up to me in those early years to thank me for being compassionate. That surprised me because I thought I was a tough professor," he said. "It's rare that I would ever walk out of a classroom without learning something from my students that I didn't know when I walked in, even after almost 40 years of teaching.

He began making his mark as an expert on redistricting and voting rights in 1978. Along with Professor David Guinn, Morrison has represented cities, counties, and school districts throughout Texas and Arkansas. In 1981, he represented the Texas Secretary of State's office during the statewide redistricting litigation, and in 1991 he served as a consultant to the Texas Legislative Council for the State of Texas redistricting process. He was hired by the Lt. Governor of Texas to serve as Legal Advisor to the Senate Jurisprudence Committee in preparing and conducting Congressional Redistricting during three special legislative sessions from July through October 2003, again in 2011 and by the Texas House Redistricting committee in 2013.

His expertise in local government has made Morrison an active member of the Waco community. He served on the Waco City Council from 1994-1996 and for two terms as Mayor of Waco from 1996-2000, during which he represented Waco nationally and internationally. In 2005, he was tapped by former Baylor interim president Bill Underwood to serve as chief of staff, a position he also held under Baylor President John M. Lilley.

In 2006, he was named the Jo Murphy Chair of International Education and director of the Center for International Education. As such, he was responsible for the global opportunities offered to students, faculty and staff and found himself traveling anywhere from 10 days to two weeks a month to countries throughout the world. In 2011, he returned to the Law School teaching full time.

Morrison is admitted to practice in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, as well as the United States Supreme Court and the federal courts of Texas and Oklahoma. He has been recognized by his peers with election as a fellow of both the Texas and the American Bar Foundations. Additionally, he was named a Baylor Outstanding Professor in 1997.

For many years, Morrison and his wife, Nancy, along with fellow Baylor Law Professor Mike Rogers, and his late wife, Diane, spent several weeks during summers sailing in the Caribbean or on the small island of Aruba. He and Nancy, who retired from the Waco firm of Naman, Howell, Smith and Lee, are both ordained Elders and members of the First Presbyterian Church of Waco.

Presentations and Publications

  • Contributing Editor on Defamation and Invasion of Privacy, Texas Association of Defense Counsel Professional Newsletters/Case Law Updates, 2005.
  • The Policy and Practice of Education Abroad: The Role of Counsel and Other Stakeholders, the National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, June 23, 2014.
  • Practicalities for the New Expedited Civil Action Process, with Wren, Baylor Law, General Practice Institute, April 25, 2014.
  • Program Co-Chair, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Spring Meeting, Washington D.C., April 9 and 10, 2014.
  • Co-author, Expedited Civil Actions in Texas and the U.S.: A survey of State Procedures and a Guide to Implementing Texas’s New Expedited Actions Process, 65 Baylor Law Review, No. 3, Pgs 824-937, 2013.
  • Expedited Civil Actions in Texas, Texas Association of Defense Counsel Magazine, Summer 2013.
  • Ethical Decision Making Related to Study Abroad Professionals with Shared Responsibilities, Forum on Education Abroad, Standards of Good Practice Institute, Annual Meeting, Chicago, April 3, 2013.
  • Drafter and Reporter for the Revised “Code of Ethics for International Education” of the Forum on Education Abroad -Expectations of Professional Schools, Baylor Summer Faculty Institute, June 30, 2011.
  • When Interests Collide: Recognizing and Resolving Conflicts, Forum on Education Abroad, 7th Annual Conference, Boston, April 6, 2011.
  • Sending Students Abroad in Dangerous Times: Due Diligence, Forum on Education Abroad, 7th Annual Conference, Boston, April 6, 2011.
  • Redistricting; Its Impact on Texas, Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, February 15, 2011.
  • Texas Redistricting, Waco Community Visioning Board, January 14, 2011.
  • "Best Practices at Work: Demystifying Education Abroad Finances" Forum on Education Abroad, Webinar, February 10, 2010.
  • A Look at the Impact of Upcoming Redistricting, Waco League of Women Voters, with Guinn, September 21, 2010.
  • "Ethics in Education Abroad: A Pedagogical Approach, Progress and Updates," Council on International Education Exchange, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, November 13 2010.
  • The Forum Code of Ethics: A Discussion of Proposed or Needed Changes; Forum on Education Abroad, 6th Annual Conference, Vision and Value in Education Abroad, March 25, 2010.
  • The Forum Code of Ethics: Practice Makes Perfect (or, at least better); Forum on Education Abroad 6th Annual Conference, Vision and Value in Education Abroad, March 25, 2010.
  • "Best Practices at Work: Demystifying Education Abroad Finances" Forum on Education Abroad, Webinar, December 16, 2009.
  • "Where Europe meets Australia and the U.S.", European Association for International Education annual meeting, September 19, 2009, Madrid, Spain.
  • "Protestantism and Research Universities: The Baylor Experience", American and Vietnamese Conference on Protestantism in America: Historic Roots and Current Relevance,  Nyack College, Washington, DC, June 1-2, 2009.
  • “The Forum's Code of Ethics: Professional, Legal and Legislative Developments,” Forum on Education Abroad annual meeting, Portland, February, 20, 2009.  
  • "Testing the Ethics: Case Studies in the Application of Forum Code of Ethics", Forum on Education Abroad annual meeting, Portland, February, 19, 2009