MAD Conference 2019

MAD Conference 2019

Making a Difference Conference: Rising Against Injustice

Making a Difference Conference
"Rising Up Against Injustice"

Using your law degree to pursue your passion and serve those in your community

Hosted by Baylor Law and LEAD Counsel

Friday, February 15, 2019, 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Baylor Law
Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom & Courtroom,
Room 127, Sheila & Walter Umphrey Law Center
1114 South University Parks Drive, Waco, TX 76706

An Open Invitation

The goal of the Making a Difference Conference is to inspire law students and lawyers to use their legal training to make meaningful contributions to their communities.

The theme of the third annual conference is Rising Up Against Injustice and aims to inspire and equip attendees to become servant leaders and to put their own passions into practice. The speakers and panels will focus upon ways in which law students and lawyers can combine their passions with their legal training – both now and in their future careers – to rise up against injustice. Areas of focus will include advocating on behalf of the vulnerable, challenging racial disparities, and defending sexual assault victims. LEAD Counsel has identified these topics as areas of interest for its diverse group of law students, as well as relevant to the current legal climate in our community.

This conference is open to the public. Any interested person is welcome to attend.

For additional information, please contact

Baylor law students will receive two dual professional and leadership development credits for attending the full conference.*

This course has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 3 credit hours of which 2 credit hours will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.

*If you are a non-Baylor law student but have a similar requirement for professional development at your institution, please email with the correct contact information at your law school. We will contact your school regarding credit for your attendance.

Schedule of Events

2:00 p.m.

Cassie Patterson, LEAD Counsel President

2:05 p.m.

Leah W. Teague
Associate Dean, Baylor Law
Founder, LEAD Mentoring Program

2:10 p.m.
A Voice for the Vulnerable

Advocating for Vulnerable Populations
Richard Muñoz
Assistant General Counsel for Buckner International

3:00 - 3:10 p.m.
Transition Period

3:10 p.m.
Justice for All

Challenging Racial Disparities
Co-Sponsored by the Baylor Law Black Law Student Association (BLSA)
Michael Heiskell
Senior Attorney, Johnson, Vaughn, & Heiskell
Mark O’Mara
Founder, O'Mara Law Group
Moderated by:
Michelle Simpson Tuegel
Partner, The Simpson Tuegel Law Firm, PLLC

4:10 - 4:30 p.m.
Break for Refreshments and Vendor Fair
Please visit the booths in the adjoining hallway regarding different ways to get involved in the Waco community.
4:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions
Honing In Your Passion

Room 120:
Does the Race of the Lawyer Matter?
by Michael Heiskell

Room 122:
Implicit Bias
by Mark O'Mara
Room 127:
#MeToo Cases & Litigating Sexual Abuse in Sports
by Michelle Simpson Tuegel

5:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks:

LEAD and BLSA Representatives

The Vendor Fair Will Continue Immediately Following Closing Remarks

Booths will continue to be set up in the adjoining hallway regarding ways to get involved in the Waco community.

About the Speakers

A Voice for the Vulnerable Speaker

Richard Muñoz

Richard Muñoz
Assistant General Counsel for Buckner International

Richard Muñoz graduated from Baylor Law in 1999. Coming out of law school, he never thought he would work at a non-profit. “If you had asked me at the beginning of my career if I would be where I am now, I would have looked at you and said ‘No, I’m going to be a trial lawyer. I’m going to be the guy on TV who wins the million-dollar cases,’” Muñoz said. After graduating from Baylor Law, Muñoz worked at the US Department of Labor for two years before moving into private practice. Then in 2007, Munoz began working for non-profit Buckner International. Buckner International is a 139-year-old organization which is the second largest provider of non-profit senior living in Texas and has international child-welfare operations in six countries. Buckner’s focus has always been helping vulnerable children and seniors. While working for Buckner, Muñoz has been active in channeling the organization’s efforts toward immigration reform. He worked with Buckner and the Baptist General Convention of Texas to create a program called the Immigration Service and Aid Center project, or ISAAC. Muñoz used his legal knowledge to help churches understand immigration law and their congregants become accredited representatives who could help undocumented immigrants attain legal residency. Generally, Muñoz helps Buckner International and its subsidiaries ("Buckner") solve complex legal problems involving corporate administration, senior health care, and child welfare programs in the United States and abroad. More specifically, he works closely with Buckner International's international presence, traveling to different countries and insuring the laws and procedures of that country are properly followed to insure Buckner's presence is sustainable and helpful.

Justice for All Panel

Michael Heiskell

Michael Heiskell
Senior Attorney, Johnson, Vaughn, & Heiskell

Michael Heiskell is a prime example of an attorney committed to “Rising Up Against Injustice.” He is the former Galveston County Assistant District Attorney and the Former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Heiskell has a long list of accomplishments including being a 2015 inductee into the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association Hall of Fame, achieving one of the top 50 settlements in Texas in 2017, being awarded the “Lawyer of the Year Award” for the Tarrant County Black Bar Association, and participating as a frequent speaker for all aspects of state and federal court practice. Heiskell is a coveted “Double Bear,” graduating from Baylor University in 1972 and Baylor Law in 1974. In 1970, Heiskell was one of just five black students attending Baylor. By the time he finished his undergraduate degree just two years later, that number had grown to nearly 100 — thanks in part to his own efforts. When Heiskell started at Baylor Law in 1972, he was the only black student, and when he graduated in 1974, he became the first black Baylor Law graduate — paving the way not only for future black students at Baylor University, but also at Baylor Law.

Mark O’Mara

Mark O’Mara
Founder, O'Mara Law Group

Mark O’Mara has been practicing law since 1983. O’Mara earned his J.D. from Florida State University College of Law and served as a prosecutor before becoming an Orlando defense attorney. O’Mara is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and Marital and Family Law. After gaining national recognition for leading the defense of George Zimmerman, Mark O’Mara became a legal analyst for CNN and the founder of Justice Outreach, a non-profit designed to identify and fix problems within the justice system. O’Mara is an advocate for change in state and national laws that lead to over prosecution of American citizens and O’Mara uses his voice to contribute to the national conversation about race, guns, self-defense, the media, and the criminal justice system. He has taught at the University of Central Florida, Florida State University School of Law, Duquesne School of Law, and Harvard Law School. He also served as president of the Seminole County Bar Association and as president of the Central Florida Family Law American Inn of Court.

Michelle Simpson Tuegel

Michelle Simpson Tuegel (Moderator)
Partner, The Simpson Tuegel Law Firm, PLLC

A graduate of Baylor Law in 2010, Michelle Simpson Tuegel began her legal career in Central Texas practicing primarily in the area of criminal defense. During her years in criminal practice, Tuegel developed her skills in the courtroom and tried high-profile capital murder cases, sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, and federal felony drug cases. Her extensive courtroom experience honed her skills at trial and helped Tuegel develop a unique and empathetic approach to communicating with clients in traumatic and highly stressful situations. Through her significant experience in high profile cases, Tuegel also learned to be a voice for her clients not just in the courtroom, but also through different news and media outlets.

A former world-ranked athlete in slalom water skiing, Tuegel now uses her naturally competitive drive to champion clients' cases and to relate to athletes, students, and injured people from all walks of life. After years of advocating for accused individuals in the criminal justice system, Tuegel decided to refocus her practice on representing victims and individuals who have been injured or wronged by companies and institutions in the civil court system. Specifically, she began representing victims of crime in civil lawsuits around the United States. Tuegel is one of the first attorneys to file a lawsuit connected to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Tuegel also recently represented former U.S. national team and Olympic gymnasts and college athletes who were sexually abused by the Olympic team's former doctor, Larry Nassar. Her clients are part of a multi-million dollar global settlement with Michigan State.

Tuegel was named to The National Trial Lawyers' Top Trial Lawyers list, and to the Texas SuperLawyers Rising Star list for 2015-2018. Tuegel was also included in the Texas SuperLawyers Rising Star list "Up and Coming Top 100 Lawyers" and "Up and Coming Top 50 Women Lawyers." Tuegel has been asked to speak on Title IX, criminal defense, and civil trial issues around the country and is a frequent legal voice in the media, from CNN to USA Today.