Professor Josh Borderud (J.D. ‘09) honored by the American Inns of Court at the United States Supreme Court

March 29, 2022

Professor Josh Borderud (J.D. ‘09) honored by the American Inns of Court at the United States Supreme Court

Photo of Josh Borderud and Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz
Josh Borderud (L) Accepts the American Inns of Court Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service from Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. (R) of the Supreme Court of Delaware on Saturday, March 26, 2022


WACO -


Baylor Law faculty member and Waco City Councilman Joshua G. Borderud (J.D.’ 09) received the 2020 American Inns of Court Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, March 26th, 2022. The American Inns of Court presents the Sandra Day O’Connor Award to honor a member in the first ten years of practice for excellence in public interest or pro bono activities. After a two-year delay due to the pandemic, Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. of the Supreme Court of Delaware presented Borderud with the award in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court.

At Baylor Law, Borderud serves as the supervising attorney for the Veterans Clinic, the Trial Advocacy Clinic, and the Estate Planning Clinic.

“Professor Borderud embodies Baylor Law’s commitment to service and the values promoted by the American Inns of Court,” stated Baylor Law’s Dean Brad Toben. “As a student at Baylor Law, he was instrumental in creating the Baylor Public Interest Legal Society. In our clinics program, he selflessly serves those in need and cheerfully models and promotes a life of service to our students and others in the legal profession.”

Photo of Josh and Jennifer Borderud at SCOTUS
Josh and Jennifer Borderud at the Supreme Court of the United States on Saturday, March 26, 2022

“It is the honor of a lifetime to be recognized by the American Inns of Court. The work of mentoring law students in service to others is a joy. I am grateful to the American Inns of Court for validating the good work of our students who serve those in need through the Legal Clinics.” Borderud added, “A great deal of credit for this recognition should go to the Baylor Law administration, faculty, and staff for their enduring support of our clinical programs. I am profoundly grateful to Professor Bridget Fuselier and Professor Tom Featherston for their vision, commitment, and guidance, and to Judge Gary Coley and Judge Christopher Taylor for their ongoing partnership with our clinics. Finally, our work would not be possible without the continued support of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.”

After graduating from Baylor Law in 2009, Borderud began his legal career as a prosecutor in Milam County, Texas. As an assistant district attorney, he prosecuted criminal cases and served as legal adviser to the county judge. He later joined the Waco law firm of Pakis, Giotes, Page & Burleson, P.C. as a civil litigator. While in private practice, he was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer of McLennan County.

In 2016, thanks to a Texas Access to Justice Foundation grant, Baylor Law hired Borderud as its first full-time clinic director. Under his leadership, the Veterans Clinic has been highly successful in serving the civil legal needs of Central Texas veterans. At monthly legal advice clinics, students, law school faculty and staff, and local lawyers partner to serve McLennan County’s population of over 16,000 military veterans, offering pro bono assistance to veterans and their spouses.

In addition to supporting veterans at the monthly clinics, in 2018, Borderud was instrumental in spearheading the creation of a Veterans Treatment Court in McLennan County that focuses on meeting the behavioral health needs of veterans, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment.

In 2017, Borderud obtained a grant from the Cooper Foundation to establish the Trial Advocacy Clinic at Baylor Law. The clinic is a partnership with two local courts. Under direct supervision, law student advocates represent defendants who cannot afford counsel.

By appointment of Judge Gary Coley, Baylor Law students represent children at their initial juvenile detention hearings in the 74th District Court of McLennan County. Since the program’s inception, law students have appeared in over 400 juvenile hearings.

In Municipal Judge Christopher Taylor’s courtroom, students represent individuals charged with fine-only offenses. Utilizing their State Bar of Texas supervised practice cards under Borderud’s supervision, students perform all the tasks at trial in municipal court – from jury selection to closing argument.

Borderud is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a member of the State Bar of Texas Local Bar Services Committee, a Master of the Bench in the Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court, and serves on the board of directors of the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association.

Photo of Josh Borderud answering questions
Director of Clinical Programs, Josh Borderud (JD ‘09) answers questions about Veterans Law and legal services at the People’s Law School at Baylor Law.

In addition to his clinical work and service to the legal community, Borderud has been active in civic affairs in the City of Waco. He serves on the Waco City Council and on the board of trustees of the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network, the local mental health authority for a six-county region.

The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, fosters excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. The organization’s membership includes more than 30,000 federal, state, and local judges, lawyers, law professors, and law students in more than 360 chapters nationwide and more than 97,000 alumni members.





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ABOUT BAYLOR LAW
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. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, Baylor Law has more than 7,600 living alumni and a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School 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 ranks Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as among the best in the nation at No. 2, while the Law School is ranked in the Top 50 of the 2021 edition of “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

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
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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