Albuquerque Attorneys Announce Major Gift To Baylor Law School

Sept. 19, 2001

by Alan Hunt

WACO, Texas -- Leading Albuquerque and New Mexico attorneys Turner W. Branch and his wife, Margaret Moses Branch, have announced a major gift totaling $1 million to Baylor University School of Law. Turner W. Branch is a 1965 Baylor law graduate.

Their gift will underwrite the construction of a courtroom at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, the law school's just completed new home on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco. The courtroom facility will be known as the Turner and Margaret Moses Branch Courtroom. The gift of the Branches also will underwrite a student scholarship program at Baylor Law School.

The Branches were the guests of honor at a recent luncheon at the Albuquerque Country Club hosted by Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr., and Brad Toben, dean of Baylor School of Law. The luncheon was emceed by Dave Bliss, former University of New Mexico and current head basketball coach at Baylor, and former Dallas Cowboy All Pro running back Don Perkins. The event featured tributes to the Branches by an array of leaders within the legal profession and by the New Mexico Congressional delegation.

The $31.3 million Umphrey Law Center provides Baylor with one of the nation's finest law school facilities. The building includes state-of-the-art classrooms, courtrooms, law library facilities, computer labs, seminar and meeting rooms, faculty and administrative offices, and common areas. Toben said it is fitting that a major practice court facility at the new law center should bear the name of Turner and Margaret Branch, two of Baylor's most enthusiastic and loyal supporters.

Toben said Turner and Margaret Branch are universally recognized in the profession as lawyers of the very highest caliber. "Their philanthropy to Baylor Law School and its students is not only remarkable in size, but also is targeted to assist our students in their trial advocacy training and to assist our students financially to allow them to reach their educational and professional objectives."

A native New Mexican, Turner W. Branch completed his undergraduate degree at the University of New Mexico where he served as president of the student body and was an accomplished athlete. At Baylor Law School, he served on the editorial board of the Baylor Law Review. A nationally known trial attorney who has won recognition for his skills in the courtroom and his legal achievements, he is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Outstanding Service Award, American Board of Trial Advocates. He and his wife founded the Branch Law Firm in Albuquerque in 1969. He currently serves as the Out-of-State Lawyer Liaison on the Board of Directors for the Texas State Bar.

Branch is a member of the New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and District of Columbia. Bars. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and as a Civil Trial Specialist by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization. He also has served on the Board of Governors for the Western Trial Lawyers Association and is a former trustee for the National College of Advocacy. He is a Diplomate in the American Board of Trial Advocates and a Diplomate of Trial Advocacy, Association of Trial Advocacy, Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

Margaret Moses Branch is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and International Women's Forum. She serves on the board of directors of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association and the board of directors of the Center for Civic Values (Interest On Legal Trust Accounts). She was chair of the Association of Trial Lawyers Women's Law Caucus, and was founding president of the New Mexico Women's Bar Association. She is a frequent lecturer on continuing legal education for attorneys, and she currently serves as vice chair of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America Tobacco Litigation Group.

Toben said Turner and Margaret Branch have consistently achieved impressive results in representing their clients in very complex litigation matters. "Everything they do in their work and in their lives they do with a passion for excellence," he said.

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