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Michael Berry, Director, Career Development at Baylor Law School

( 5 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
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<<It's unlikely Michael Berry was thinking about law school when he was accepted into The University of Texas at Austin in 1972. His major then was Pharmacy. After graduating from UT with honors, he set out to build his career with a focus more towards the medical profession. And an impressive career is exactly what he built. Soon, however, the law sector beckoned.

In 1984, Berry enrolled at The University of Texas School of Law. After graduating, he immediately went to work for Thompson & Knight, LLP in Dallas. This prestigious firm is where Berry, a senior partner in the Trial Section, called home for more than two decades, until, of course, Baylor Law School came calling.

In his role as the Director of Career Development, Berry's first task was to revamp the recruiting and marketing efforts at the school. He focused on both potential employers and the counseling services of the school. While Berry didn't graduate from Baylor, his uncle did. Further, he participated in the school's summer debate workshops as a teen in high school. Keeping it in the family, Berry's nephew, Chris Berry, was on the school's baseball team coaching staff. Clearly, there is sentimentality attached, which is evident as Berry speaks of his new role, ''I have worked with Baylor lawyers throughout my career and have always been impressed by them''.

His recognitions and awards are impressive. Honored in ''The Best Lawyers in America'' in 2009 for Injury Litigation and in both 2007 and 2009, in Product Liability Litigation, as a ''Texas Super Lawyer'' four years in a row, between 2004 and 2008 and in 2005, he was honored as ''Mentor of the Year'' by his peers at his former firm, Thompson & Knight. Many may know Thompson & Knight for its own awards, including being honored for its pro bono efforts and more recently, it was honored with the 2010 Mexican - Labour and Employment Law Firm of the Year. It stands to reason Berry would be associated with such noble efforts.

Interestingly, Berry credits his recognition as Mentor of the Year as what brought him to where he is now. He says he's always taken pride in mentoring younger lawyers as they find their own ways in the legal profession. Acknowledging it can be a tough transition, especially in a difficult economy, Berry knew he needed to find a way to make it his life's work. ''My goal for this position is to be an effective and respected advocate for Baylor Law Students...''. He has certainly met his goal. He is both well liked and deeply respected both by the student body and the law firms he works with on a daily basis.

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Thompson & Knight LLP

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