East Texas Attorney Selected As Baylor Lawyer Of The Year

Feb. 14, 2001

by Alan Hunt

Harold Nix, a popular and talented East Texas lawyer who is renowned for helping others, will be honored by Baylor University Law School as its 2001 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.

Nix, who is a 1965 Baylor law graduate, will be recognized during Baylor's annual Law Day banquet on March 31 in the Ferrell Center on campus. He will receive the recognition from Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and J. Mark Mann of Henderson, president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association. A reception for Nix and his wife, Carol Ann, will be held earlier on the concourse of the Ferrell Center.

Pro bono work is a time-honored tradition at the law firm of Nix, Patterson and Roach, L.L.P., which was founded by Nix during the 1960s in his home town of Daingerfield in East Texas. In 1998, the State Bar of Texas awarded the Nix firm its prestigious W. Frank Newton Award, which honors lawyers for outstanding contributions in providing legal services to the poor.

Nix also was a member of the five-lawyer "Dream Team" that recently recovered an historic $17.6 billion settlement for the people of Texas from the tobacco industry. He and two other Baylor lawyers of the "Dream Team," Walter Umphrey and John Eddie Williams, made major gifts to the Baylor Law School's $35 million capital and endowment campaign. The campaign is underwriting the construction of the new home for the Law School, the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, being built at a cost of $31 million on the banks of the Brazos River. Brad Toben, dean of the Law School, said the impressive new 125,000-square-foot facility will provide Baylor with one of the nation's finest law school facilities. Work on the building is expected to be completed in time for the Law School to move in the academic year beginning in the fall.

Toben said Nix exemplifies the criteria for the Lawyer of the Year award, which is given annually to an outstanding alumnus who has brought honor and distinction to Baylor Law School and the legal profession. Toben described his record of service to Texas and the people of Texas as "absolutely exceptional." Toben said Nix and the others lawyers at the Daingerfield law firm are all committed to pro bono work for such groups as the Women's Center of East Texas and Shelter

Agencies for Families in East Texas, in addition to the pro bono cases involving the numerous "walk-in" clients the firm routinely helps."The firm's readiness to help has earned the respect of countless East Texas communities," Toben said. "We are extremely proud of Harold's leadership and accomplishments as a Baylor lawyer."

The Baylor Lawyer of the Year presentation will climax a week of Law Day activities, and includes a keynote banquet address by Morris Dees, executive director and lead trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Atlanta, Ga. Dees, a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, will deliver the Baylor Law School's annual John William and Florence Dean Minton Endowed Lecture.

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