Campbell University Law Dean to Speak at Baylor Law Graduation Feb. 9

Feb. 7, 2008
News Photo 4383Melissa Essary, formerly professor of law at Baylor Law School and currently dean of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University.

Contact: Julie Carlson, Baylor Law School, (254) 710-6681

Melissa Essary, formerly professor of law at Baylor Law School and currently dean of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University, will deliver the keynote address at Baylor Law School's commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Waco Hall.

Baylor President John M. Lilley also will participate in the program and will award juris doctor degrees to 31 graduates.

Essary, who was named dean at Campbell's School of Law in 2006, is a 1982 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and earned the juris doctor degree from Baylor School of Law in 1985, graduating magna cum laude. As a Baylor law student, Essary served as executive editor of the Baylor Law Review. Following graduation, she served as a trial lawyer for two Texas firms, most notably the Vinson and Elkins firm of Dallas, where she litigated complex commercial cases.

In 1990, she joined the faculty at Baylor, where she taught courses primarily in employment discrimination law and tort law. In 2001, she received Baylor's Outstanding Tenured Teacher Award. She also is actively involved in the law profession through her service as a mediator in a variety of employment cases and serving as consulting counsel in various employment-related lawsuits.

She has authored numerous articles, and in 1997, the Texas Bar Foundation awarded her the Outstanding Law Journal Article Award for a series of articles on "Privacy in the Workplace." She recently was selected by Business Leader magazine as one of 24 Triangle Impact Business Leaders of 2007/2008 for her effort to relocate Campbell Law School to downtown Raleigh, the largest state capital without a law school.

Assisting Lilley with awarding degrees will be Dean Brad Toben, The M.C. and Mattie Caston Professor of Law, and Leah W. Jackson, professor of law and associate dean.

Hooding the graduates will be David M. Guinn, who serves as The Lyndon L. Olson and William A. Olson Professor of Local Government and Constitutional Law and Master Teacher, and Jim Wren, assistant professor of law. The invocation will be given by Brian Serr, professor of law.

After the ceremony, a reception for the graduates and their guests will be hosted by the Baylor Law Alumni Association at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.

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