On Friday, November 5th, Baylor University School of Law’s Veterans Clinic honored Waco attorneys Gavin Lane and Darren Obenoskey with its Advocate of the Year Awards. The annual awards are given to volunteer attorneys who go above and beyond in pro bono legal service to Central Texas veterans and their spouses in the past year.
Gavin Lane (JD '16), of the Zimmerman Law Firm, has been a pro bono volunteer with the legal advice clinics at the Heart of Texas Veterans One Stop for over six years, beginning when he was a law student at Baylor. "Gavin is a regular volunteer at the monthly clinics and has a heart for those who served," stated clinic director Josh Borderud. "As a civil litigator, he provides good counsel and passionate service to those veterans who need guidance navigating lawsuits."
Darren Obenoskey (JD '90), a solo practitioner who specializes in criminal defense and family law in Waco, has overseen several pro bono family law cases for veterans in recent years through the Baylor Law Veterans clinic. He has shepherded three of those clients to a final divorce decree. "Of all of our volunteer lawyers, Darren is one of the best at swiftly and effectively resolving disputes for our clients,” stated Borderud. "His proven record of serving those who served in the family law arena is inspirational."
"It is always an honor to work with the veterans who come to the legal clinic," Stated attorney Gavin Lane. "We all have gifts and skills that we can use to help each other. Our veterans have invested their lives into our country and society, so it is my pleasure to invest my time, effort, and skills into them." Fellow recipient Darren Obenoskey echoed Lane’s sentiments. Having a family member who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan made the decision to use his legal training to assist veterans an easy one. "My wife Laura and I have a son-in-law who recently retired after serving twenty years in the Army. We are familiar with the sacrifice our military members and their families have made. When Josh called and asked if I would be interested in helping with the program, it was an easy 'yes' as a way to show Steve and our other veterans I appreciate what they have given for the rest of us."
Since its founding in 2012 by Professor of Law Bridget Fuselier, the Veterans Clinic has served, for free, thousands of veterans and their spouses. Baylor Law recently announced that through the Veterans Clinic, Baylor Law students will offer free estate planning for veterans and their spouses as part of Baylor Law's 2021 Veterans Day commemorations.
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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
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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