Lewis R. Sifford Named the 2019 Baylor Lawyer of the Year

May 3, 2019

Lewis R. Sifford Named the 2019 Baylor Lawyer of the Year

Lewis R. Sifford, with wife Nan Sifford pictured
Lewis R. Sifford, with wife Nan Sifford by his side, receives a standing ovation on Wednesday, May 1 after being announced the 2019 Baylor Lawyer of the Year


Lewis R. Sifford, accomplished trial lawyer and founding officer of Sifford, Anderson & Company, P.C. in Dallas has been honored by Baylor Law as its 2019 Baylor Lawyer of the Year. To honor Sifford, Baylor Law hosted a luncheon at the Belo Mansion on May 1, 2019. Sifford, a 1972 Baylor law graduate, received the recognition from Dean Brad Toben and Ike Vanden Eykel, president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association.

Professor of Law Jim Wren with Dean Stephen Rispoli

Professor of Law Jim Wren (R) and Associate Dean Stephen Rispoli (CTR) congratulate Baylor Lawyer of the Year Lewis Sifford

Sifford's professional accomplishments and service to both the legal profession and Baylor Law are extensive. He has conducted more than 300 continuing legal education presentations, trial demonstrations, and ethics seminars in 26 states and overseas. He has been a Leon Jaworski Fellow at Baylor Law since 2012, volunteering his time and expertise to help train the next generation of Baylor Law students in its award-winning Practice Court Program. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Academy of the Advocate, Baylor Law's study abroad program at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.

"Lewis speaks compellingly to the truth that as lawyers and as citizens we must pay heed to the need to preserve our sacred Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury," said Dean Toben. "As a genuine quality person and as a Baylor Lawyer, his reach into the profession and his deep understanding of human relations gives Lewis a distinctive role as a commentator on the needed directions of our profession."

Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Chelcie Charles

Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Chelcie Charles delivers the invocation at the event honoring Lewis Sifford

"I am deeply honored and humbled to be named the 2019 Baylor Lawyer of the Year," Sifford said. "When I read the names of those who have previously received this recognition, it is with great admiration for all of their wonderful professional and personal achievements in life," he added. "The great commitment Baylor Law has always offered its students and alumni is the continuous quest for professional excellence. I am most thankful for that commitment. I will be forever grateful for this incredible recognition and I will endeavor to live my life in honor of it."

Lewis speaks compellingly to the truth that as lawyers and as citizens we must pay heed to the need to preserve our sacred Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury. (Brad Toben, Baylor Law).

Sifford's practice includes complex commercial litigation and catastrophic personal injury and death cases, where he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants. He has tried more than 150 civil jury trials to verdict. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate and as a Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Sifford has served as an arbitration judge in complex securities cases and disputes involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices and is an experienced mediator.

Sifford is a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), one of the most prestigious legal associations in the country. In 1997, he was the national winner of the Masters in Trial Award presented by ABOTA. He was also named as the Texas Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2000 by the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

In 2007, he was elected to serve as the National President of ABOTA. On January 14, 2012, Sifford was awarded the highest honor that the ABOTA Foundation gives: The Mark P. Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award. On January 20, 2018, he received the highest honor that the National ABOTA gives: The National ABOTA Lifetime Achievement Award. He is only the second recipient of both awards in the more than 60-year history of the organizations.

Sifford is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and Litigation Counsel of America. He has been repeatedly named by D Magazine as one of the "Best Lawyers in Dallas" and by Texas Monthly as one of the state's "Super Lawyers". In April of 2018, Sifford received the Texas Trial Legend Award from the Dallas Bar Association.

Baylor Lawyer of the Year Lewis Sifford with Dean Toben
Baylor Lawyer of the Year Lewis Sifford and Baylor Law's Dean Brad Toben

About the Baylor Lawyer of the Year Award

The Baylor Lawyer of the Year Award is given annually to an outstanding alumnus/a who has brought honor and distinction to the Law School and to the legal profession. Recipients are selected based upon the following criteria:

    1. The nominee's legal ability and achievements as a lawyer;
    2. The nominee's contributions to the legal profession;
    3. The nominee's standing in the profession;
    4. The nominee's Christian character;
    5. The nominee's civic, religious and other attainments; and
    6. The nominee's active interest in Baylor Law.

Past Recipients

2018 - J. Rodney Gilstrap

2017 - Murray Watson Jr.

2016 - T. Albert Witcher

2015 - Jerry K. Clements

2014 - Bill Brian

2013 - David M. Guinn

2012 - Leonard E. Davis

2011 - Steve McConnico

2010 - Ed Kinkeade

2009 - George Chandler

2008 - Joe E. Coleman

2007 - Sam R. Cummings

2006 - Noley R. Bice, Jr.

2005 - Wyatt H. Heard

2004 - T. John Ward

2003 - Turner W. Branch

2002 - John Eddie Williams

2001 - Harold Nix

2000 - Louis Muldrow

1999 - Walter Umphrey

1998 - Gordon L. Hollon

1997 - James M. "Jim" Farris

1996 - Jack Hightower

1995 - John T. Boyd

1994 - Bob Bullock

1993 - Bill Logue

1992 - Rex Houston

1991 - Sam B. Hall, Jr.

1990 - Edwin P. Horner

1989 - George M. Cowden

1988 - William S. Sessions

1987 - R. Matt Dawson

1986 - Robert Maurice Campbell

1985 - Bill D. Daniel

1984 - Angus S. McSwain, Jr.

1983 - Wayne Fisher

1982 - Clarence A. Guittard

1981 - John H. Minton, Jr.

1980 - Cullen Smith

1979 - Howard F. Saunders

1978 - Connally McKay

1977 - William J. Boswell

1976 - Claude Williams

1975 - Gibson Gayle, Jr.

1974 - Jim D. Bowner

1973 - Truman E. Roberts

1972 - Charles W. Barrow

1971 - W.R. "Bob" Poage

1970 - Morris Harrell

1969 - Thomas C. Mann

1968 - Frank M. Wilson

1967 - Victor W. Bouldin

1966 - Abner V. McCall

1965 - M. Price Daniel

1964 - Leon Jaworski

1963 - A.J. Folley


Baylor Law will accept nominations for the 2020 Baylor Lawyer of the Year through December 1, 2019. The Executive Committee of the Baylor Law Alumni Association will review a resume and the first three letters received for each nominee.

To submit a nomination for the 2020 Baylor Lawyer of the Year, please send a nomination letter describing why the nominee meets the below criteria to:

Dean Brad Toben
Baylor Law
One Bear Place #97288
Waco, Texas 76798

MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Nelson, Director of Marketing & Communications
EMAIL: Ed_Nelson@Baylor.edu
PHONE: 254-710-6681


Established in 1857, Baylor Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,500 living alumni. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. Baylor Law boasts among its notable alumni two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as among the best in the nation at No. 2. Baylor Law School also is ranked No. 48 in the magazine's 2020 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training" and No. 4 in the nation in its most recent "Best Law School Facilities" listing. Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since its inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu

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