Michael P. Heiskell (JD ’74) Named 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year | Law

Michael P. Heiskell (JD ’74) Named 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year


Baylor Lawyer of the Year, Michael Heiskell (center), with Ambassador Ron Kirk, Baylor Law Alumni Association President Cynthia Clack, Baylor University President Linda Livingstone, and Dean Brad Toben at the Fort Worth Club on Thursday, September 15, 2022.


WACO –

The Executive Committee of the Baylor Law Alumni Association has selected Michael P. Heiskell (JD ’74) as the 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year. Cynthia Clack (JD ’78), President of the Baylor Law Alumni Association, presented Heiskell with the award during a recognition luncheon at the Fort Worth Club on Thursday, September 15th.

Michael and Anita Heiskell

“Michael exemplifies every quality of a Baylor Lawyer. He is a fierce yet compassionate advocate for his clients and has an unswerving dedication to improving the quality of our justice system while maintaining the highest ideals of the legal profession,” stated Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben. “He is an outstanding lawyer and a truly authentic person. His career and life bear testimony to his richly deserving this honor.”

“I am honored, humbled, and grateful to be the recipient of the 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year Award,” Michael said. “To be listed among the most influential and iconic Baylor Lawyers—from Leon Jaworski, to Matt Dawson, to Bob Bullock, just to name a few—is a blessing that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” he continued. “Attending Baylor Law was a dream come true for me. I left it a lot wiser in ways I never imagined. I am proud to continue to associate myself with Baylor University and its great law school.”

Heiskell, who focuses his practice on criminal defense and representing civil rights litigants, is one of the three founding partners of the Fort Worth-based firm Johnson, Vaughn & Heiskell. He now serves as the senior attorney. Before founding the firm in 1984, he served as an assistant district attorney for Galveston County from 1975 to 1980 and as an assistant United States attorney in the Northern District of Texas from 1980 to 1984.

Michael exemplifies every quality of a Baylor Lawyer. He is a fierce yet compassionate advocate for his clients and has an unswerving dedication to improving the quality of our justice system while maintaining the highest ideals of the legal profession.”

–Dean Brad Toben

Heiskell was recently sworn in as President-Elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is Past-President of the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (“TCDLA”), and the Galveston County Young Lawyers Association . He is a former Chair of the US Court Advisory Committee for the Northern District of Texas and a Trustee of the Texas Bar Foundation. He is a former President 0f the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Tarrant County Bar Association.

Baylor University President Linda Livingstone addresses the crowd at the 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year Luncheon honoring Michael Heiskell.

He received the “Lawyer of the Year Award” from the Tarrant County Black Bar Association in both 1995 and 2000. He was awarded the “Presidential Award of Excellence” by TCDLA in 1994, 1995, and 2003 and was inducted into the TCDLA’s Hall of Fame in 2015. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”). In 2020 he received the Blackstone Award from the Tarrant County Bar Association, the Bar’s highest honor. Texas Monthly Magazine has named him a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2003. He has also been recognized in “Texas Lawyer” as one of the “Extraordinary Minorities in Texas Law.”

Michael Heiskell gives remarks after being named 2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.

Heiskell is a ‘Double Bear,’ graduating from Baylor University in 1972 and was the first African American graduate of Baylor Law, receiving his Juris Doctor in 1974. He currently serves on the Baylor University Board of Regents.

Heiskell is a frequent Lecturer for the Dallas County Criminal Lawyers Association, the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the State Bar of Texas. Has spoken frequently before the Texas Center for the Judiciary and the Federal Public Defender’s Annual Federal Practice Seminar. He has also presented to the NACDL, the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyers, the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Mexican-American Bar Association, and the Tarrant County Bar Association. He is currently the Chair of the Delta Mu Boulé Educational Foundation and serves on the Board of Regents for The Oakridge School in Arlington, Texas.

Heiskell and his wife, Anita, are members of Morningside United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, and they have four children: Marin, James, Michael, Jr., and Mason.

2022 Baylor Lawyer of the Year Michael Heiskell and his extended family.


MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Nelson, Director of Marketing & Communications
EMAIL: [email protected]
PHONE: 254-710-6681


ABOUT BAYLOR LAW

Established in 1857, Baylor University School of Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,600 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decided upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, two former directors of the FBI, US ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, US News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law is also ranked in the top 50 in the magazine’s 2019 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the “Best School for Practical Training,” and in the top 15 “Best Law School Facilities” in the country. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award’s inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu

Related Posts