Baylor Law School to Hold Commencement Exercises Aug. 1

July 31, 2009
News Photo 4748Gerald Powell, Baylor Law School

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Baylor University Law School will hold its summer commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, in Jones Concert Hall at the Glennis McCrary Music Building on the Baylor campus. Law Professor Gerald Powell will serve as keynote speaker. Additionally, Angela Marie Buchanan, the highest ranking student in the graduating class, will deliver student remarks. Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben also will participate in the program and will award juris doctor degrees to the 31 graduates.

A Baylor law graduate who ranked number 1 in his class, Powell directs Baylor Law's highly acclaimed Practice Court Program. He serves as The Abner V. McCall Professor of Evidence Law and also holds Baylor's coveted Master Teacher designation, the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members.

Earning his bachelor's degree from Baylor in 1974, Powell received his law degree with honors in 1977. As a law student he was a member of the National Mock Trial and National Moot Court teams and executive editor of the Baylor Law Review. Following graduation, he joined the Dallas law firm of Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox, where he had an active trial and appellate practice with the firm and was made a partner in 1982. Four years later, Powell returned to Baylor Law School to teach, and in 1987, he was appointed to the McCall Professorship.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Powell is a coach of Baylor's award-winning mock trial teams. He also writes and speaks extensively on evidence, procedure and trial advocacy topics and has co-authored two books on Texas evidence, A Practical Guide to the Texas Rules of Civil Evidence and Texas Rules of Civil Evidence with Objections.

Powell is an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a professional association of experienced trial lawyers, and was appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas to the Court Reorganization Task Force. He has served on the Administration of Rules of Evidence Committee for the State Bar of Texas. Additionally, he regularly presents judicial training courses for the Texas Center for the Judiciary.

Assisting Toben in awarding degrees during the commencement program will be 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 Brian Serr, professor of law. Justin Schneider, who will receive his law degree during commencement, will deliver the invocation.

A reception for graduates and their guests will take place immediately after commencement at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.

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