Students who have the opportunity to hone their skills in the nation’s premier Practice Court program at Baylor Law recognize they are earning their spurs a day at a time. To do that—under the watchful eye of some of America’s top trial lawyers—is both a challenge and a privilege.
Baylor Law’s depth of advocacy experience goes even beyond its full-time advocacy faculty. Recognizing the massive extent of advocacy experience among our Baylor Law alumni, the Baylor Law School Jaworski Fellows Program (named in honor of Watergate prosecutor and Baylor Lawyer Leon Jaworski) brings the expertise of these outstanding advocates to the students who one day will follow in their footsteps. The Jaworski Fellows program taps some of our most accomplished, seasoned trial lawyers and judges to come to Baylor to critique Practice Court advocacy exercises in the second quarter of the Practice Court program.
Each candidate for Jaworski Fellow initially commits to spend five afternoons in Practice Court exercises. After consultation with the full-time PC faculty on teaching methods and procedures, each candidate observes the regular PC faculty leading the exercises. The Jaworski Fellow then joins the rotation of Jaworski supervisory instructors, conducting advocacy exercises with students in both jury selection and jury trial exercises, and offering real-world insights, perspectives and suggestions based on years of successful trial advocacy.
For students, the rewards are obvious:"Having George Chandler serve as a Jaworski Fellow and observe our trial at Baylor Law was invaluable. Mr. Chandler's years of experience were evident in his to-the-point and instructive comments. Mr. Chandler took every opportunity to show us how to identify and fix shortcomings, move from 'good' to ‘great' and improve our storytelling skills."
"Julie Springer cut to the core of our weaknesses, addressing them frankly and giving us suggestions to overcome them. I worked hard to focus on those areas and felt more polished, professional and ready to practice during the second day of trial. Two days spent with her taught me lessons that will stay with me for a lifetime and make me a better Baylor Lawyer."
"Mr. Bice gave us excellent real-world insight into trial advocacy. He allowed us to present our case freely but followed up with helpful criticism and encouragement on how to be a Baylor Lawyer."
"It is an amazing opportunity to hear such an authoritative voice of experience in the corner of a Baylor Law courtroom coaching us, teaching us and talking with us—all coming from outside the faculty."
"When I fumbled through a charge conference, Mr. Ayres took the time to stop the exercise and help me grasp not only the proper way to make the objection but gave easy tips to ensure that I did not waive error during a charge conference again. This is just one example of the valuable insight I gained into being a trial lawyer during my Big Trial experience."
To be selected to serve as a Jaworski Fellow is a high honor, and those so recognized accept it as a great responsibility. Many travel hundreds of miles returning to the school that launched their careers, to help shape the next generation of Baylor Lawyers. Baylor Law is proud of each of them, and is grateful for their contributions.
R. Jack Ayres, Jr.
Judge A. Lee Harris
J. Mark Mann
H. Robert Powell
Harry “Gil” Gillam, Jr.
Melissa Richards Smith
Britta Erin Stanton