Law school assistant dean receives lawyer award

Stephen Rispoli of Baylor Law School has been named the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Young Lawyer of McLennan County Award.

The Outstanding Young Lawyer Award is presented each year by the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association to a young lawyer with qualities including, but not limited to, professional proficiency, service to the profession and service to the community.

He was presented the award by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey C. Manske.

In the fall of 2014, Rispoli proposed and developed the annual MCYLA Pro Bono Challenge. This program has led to a resurgence in pro bono activity among the bar in McLennan County, and the challenge has been met and exceeded for two consecutive years.

The program led to the McLennan County Young Lawyers Association winning statewide honors — the Award of Merit from the State Bar of Texas and the Deborah G. Hankinson Access to Justice Award from the Texas Access to Justice Commission — as well as local recognition in a Lone Star Legal Aid Pro Bono Award.

Rispoli also has been integral in the formation of Legal Mapmaker, a practice development template for young lawyers to build successful law firms, while also addressing the widening access to justice gap.

As the association’s vice president and chair of the Pro Bono Committee, Rispoli has ensured that meetings are run efficiently and that the high school mock trial runs smoothly while hosted at Baylor Law School. In addition, he serves on national and statewide pro bono committees, as well as on the city of Waco’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Rispoli’s title is Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.

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