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Decatur attorney named Jaworski Fellow

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, October 27, 2012

HONORED FELLOW – Baylor School of Law alumnus Mike Simpson of Bridgeport was named a Jaworksi Fellow at his alma mater. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

Longtime Wise County attorney Mike Simpson has been named a Jaworski Fellow by Baylor Law School.

Simpson, a partner in the law firm of Simpson, Boyd & Powers in Decatur, graduated from Baylor Law School in 1977. As a Jaworski Fellow, Simpson will contribute his 35 years of courtroom experience to students at Baylor Law School’s top-ranked Practice Court Program.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Simpson said. “You can only imagine what I thought about having the chance to go back and pay Baylor Law School back for the education I received there.”

The Jaworski Fellows Program allows Baylor Law students to tap into the expertise of outstanding alumni who critique their Practice Court advocacy exercises.

“With more than 300 jury trials under his belt, Mike will provide our Practice Court students with invaluable insight and perspective,” said Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben. “Mike’s experience complements the fine work of our full-time Practice Court professors.”

Before becoming a Jaworski Fellow, candidates must commit to spending five afternoons during the year supervising Practice Court exercises in one of Baylor Law’s courtrooms. After consultation with the full-time Practice Court faculty on teaching methods and procedures, each candidate observes the regular faculty critiquing advocacy exercises.

Then, the candidate conducts advocacy exercises with students in both jury selection and jury trial exercises. With the completion of this requirement, the candidates are designated Jaworski Fellows and can return in subsequent years to supervise additional advocacy exercises at the law school.

Simpson fulfilled his fellowship requirements this past summer and will begin his work as a full-fledged Jaworski Fellow in December, assisting at the school three days a week for about one month. Along with his work at Baylor Law, Simpson will maintain his busy practice.

“Obviously my practice will continue to be my first priority, but the Jaworski Fellowship is something that I really want to do and felt led to do,” he said. “It makes for a long day, but it is a lot of fun. The students are brilliant, and it’s been such a neat thing to work and observe these kids. They are going to continue the tradition at Baylor Law School of being really fine trial lawyers.”

The Jaworski Fellowship is named after Col. Leon Jaworski who graduated from Baylor Law School in 1925 and went on to become Watergate special prosecutor and managing partner of the international firm of Fulbright & Jaworski.

Along with Simpson, Baylor Law School’s Jaworski Fellows include Jack Ayers, George Chandler, Kyle Dreyer, Judge Lee Harris, David Hill, J. Mark Mann, Steve McConnico, John Minton and Carol Traylor.

“Everyone in our firm is extremely proud of Mike and this accomplishment,” said Allen Williamson, another partner in the law firm. “He has served as a mentor to many of us, and now the law students at Baylor will be able to also benefit from his many years of courtroom experience.”

Simpson, who works out of the firm’s Bridgeport office, is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. His practice includes personal injury, product liability, insurance law, catastrophic injury, class actions, aviation law and wrongful death. He is board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and board certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

He graduated from earned a BBA from the University of North Texas in 1974 and his Juris Doctorate from Baylor University School of Law in 1977. Simpson has been voted a “Texas Super Lawyer” by his peers for six consecutive years.

A Marine Corps veteran, he served as Assistant County Attorney for Wise County in 1978-1979 and has been a director of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

He is a member and former officer of the Bridgeport Lions Club and the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. Simpson is also a member and volunteer on the Steering Committee for Habitat for Humanity of North Texas. Mike has remained highly involved in Bridgeport youth activities, education and sports as a mentor, sponsor and parent. He and his family are members of The First United Methodist Church of Bridgeport.

A licensed and type-rated jet pilot, Simpson enjoys flying, cattle ranching, fly-fishing and hunting. He and his wife Martine have three daughters, Michelle and Mackenzie, both attorneys, and Maryssa, a student at the University of Texas of Law.

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