Judge K. Nicole Mitchell Named the 2021 Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year

October 26, 2021

Judge K. Nicole Mitchell Named the 2021 Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year

Participants in the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association's Bench Bar Conference
Judge K. Nicole Mitchell, Center, with Dean Brad Toben and Participants in the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association's Bench Bar Conference. (L-R) Glenn Thomas, Hon. Bill Bryson, Melissa Smith, Hon. David Folsom, Hon. Royal Furgeson, Hon. Rodney Gilstrap, Hon. Nicole Mitchell, Brad Toben, Andy Tindel, Travis Underwood, Jacqueline Altman, David O’Toole.


Judge K. Nicole Mitchell (JD, '06), United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, has been named the 2021 Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year. Dean Brad Toben publicly announced Judge Mitchell's honor at the 24th Annual Eastern District of Texas Bench Bar Conference in October.

Judge Mitchell was born and raised in Victoria, Texas. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and graduated with honors from Baylor Law in 2006. During her time at Baylor Law, she served as the Senior Executive Editor of the Baylor Law Review, as Managing Editor of the Law Review's Texas Practice Edition, and was active on various intramural advocacy teams, participating in both moot court and mock trial competitions.

"I am truly honored to be recognized as Baylor Law School’s Young Lawyer of the Year. Especially in a year in which the Baylor Lawyer of the Year is none other than the wonderful Professor Gerald Powell," stated Judge Mitchell. "He and countless others at the Law School prepared me to be a trial lawyer and later a judge. But they did more than that. They showed me what it meant to be a Baylor Lawyer: to be a person of integrity and character while zealously upholding the rule of law. I will forever be grateful for my Baylor Law School education."

After graduating from Baylor Law, Judge Mitchell clerked for Chief Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas in Tyler, before securing a position in the healthcare litigation section of Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in Houston. After several years of civil litigation work, she returned to work for Chief Judge Davis as his chief staff attorney, until she was appointed to the position of U.S. Magistrate Judge in 2013. During her time on the bench, Judge Mitchell has overseen patent and general civil litigation cases. She also mediates cases pending in the Eastern District of Texas and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

"Nicole embodies the values we strive to instill in every Baylor Lawyer, and it is so appropriate that she has been named the 2021 Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year," stated Dean Brad Toben. "Her dedicated hard work, tireless preparation, and heartfelt compassion are attributes that make her an outstanding U.S. Magistrate Judge," he added.

Judge Mitchell currently serves as an adjunct faculty member and Jaworski Fellow at Baylor Law and regularly teaches at the Baylor Law Academy of the Advocate study abroad program in St Andrews, Scotland. Judge Mitchell serves as the president of the T. John Ward Inn of Courts and the president-elect of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association.

The Young Lawyer of the Year Award was created in 1995 to recognize an outstanding Baylor Lawyer under the age of 45, who has brought honor and distinction to Baylor Law and to the legal profession. Recipients of the award are selected by the Executive Committee of the Baylor Law Alumni Association.

About the Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year Award

The Baylor Young 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. The recipient must not reach age 45 before Jan. 1 of the award year. 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

2020 - Angela Cruseturner

2019 - Dillon Meek

2018 - James M. Stanton

2017 - Allison Dickson

2016 - Ryan Squires

2015 - Matthew C. Matheny

2014 - Libby King

2013 - Robert Little

2012 - Vincent Allen

2011 - Shannon Sedgwick Davis

2009 - Keith Langston

2008 - Bryan Hughes

2007 - Christopher Martin

2006 - Bryan Blevins

2005 - Greg Jackson

2004 - JoAl Cannon Sheridan

2003 - Julie Springer

2002 - Amos Mazzant

2001 - Jim Dunnam

2000 - Craig Eiland

1999 - John Meredith

1998 - Dan Malone

1997 - Bill Jones

1996 - Kirk Watson

1995 - Priscilla Owen

To Nominate a Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year:

Baylor Law School will accept nominations for the 2022 Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year through December 1, 2021. 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 2022 Young 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 University School of 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 7,600 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is 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. The Law School boasts 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, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law is also ranked in the top 50 in the magazine's 2019 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and in the top 15 "Best Law School Facilities" in the country. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law 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 the award's 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 20,000 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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu

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