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King of the Courtroom Grateful for Mentoring From School of Law

Alumnus Mark Lanier: on top of his game and passionate about law, family and the future education of students.

Written by Leslie Cranford

Mark Lanier

Alumnus Mark Lanier credits mentors at the School of Law for his success.

Mark Lanier’s ninth grade career aptitude test launched him on a path to being one of the most influential attorneys in the country. On that test he topped out in law, politics and preaching.

Lanier said, “They all sounded good to me!”

Lanier, who graduated from the School of Law in 1984, is the founder of The Lanier Law Firm, where he is the lead litigation counselor and is widely recognized as one of the top trial lawyers in the United States.

Influences and Mentors

As an undergraduate at David Lipscomb University, his Greek professor helped him understand the meaning and significance of his faith. True to that ninth grade aptitude test, Lanier carries his faith forward by teaching a 300-plus-member Sunday school class at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston where he lives with his wife, Becky, and their five children.

Lanier credits two mentors for his success.

“Dean Annette Marple went out of her way to place me at the School of Law. Then professor Don Hunt helped develop my courtroom ability,” Lanier said. “Those two put me in the position for success as a lawyer.”

Calculated Risks Pay Off

Lanier recalls not only learning about law and the legal system at Texas Tech, but also "conquering the world."

“Somehow in the midst of learning the law and preparing for the bar, we set up a Risk game in the Board of Barristers office where we routinely conquered the world.”

His preparation for the bar and his Risk games served him well. He is certified as a personal injury trial specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; licensed to practice in all Texas state and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court; and licensed to practice law in New York state.

The Lanier Law Firm has offices in Houston, New York City, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif. and represents clients from all over the globe in courtrooms across the United States. Lanier is a national leader in VIOXX litigation in the wake of a stunning $253 million verdict in the nation’s first VIOXX trial and frequently instructs attorneys across the nation in trial techniques.

Lanier undoubtedly has conquered the world.

Lanier’s courtroom experiences have been featured in The American Lawyer, Texas Lawyer, New York Lawyer, The National Law Journal, The Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle and Bloomberg, among others. He is also a frequent guest on news shows such as ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” In describing his courtroom prowess, the Wall Street Journal describes his “theatrical flare… while roaming the courtroom as if it were a stage.” The New York Times describes him as “one of the top civil trial lawyers in America…”

Related

The Mark & Becky Lanier Professional Development Center at the Texas Tech University School of Law, is a $13.6 million, state-of-the-art building created to enhance the legal experience for future generations. Read More.

Awards

National Law Journal

  • 1998, 2006 – One of nation’s top 10 trial attorneys
  • 2006 – One of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America
  • The country’s 40 top attorneys under the age of 40

The American Lawyer

  • Top 45 attorneys in the nation under the age of 45

Texas Monthly

  • “Texas Super Lawyer” in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007

 Texas Lawyer

  • 2002 – One of the top 5 “Go To” personal injury plaintiff attorneys in Texas
  • 2005 – Impact Player of the Year
  • 2007 – Top personal injury lawyer in the state
Mark and Becky Lanier

Mark and Becky Lanier, both graduates of Texas Tech University, donated an initial $6 million to build the new professional development center at the School of Law.

Professional Wrestling Meets … Ballet?

What the news clips can’t measure or define is Lanier’s commitment to and passion for his clients. Often motivated by injustice and by a sense of fair play, Lanier has sought to even the score whether his client is an individual or a large corporation.

“Fighting large corporations is akin to David and Goliath,” Lanier said.

“It is also a bit like professional wrestling meets ballet. The corporations pay for wonderful ballerinas who execute kicks with great precision. We tend to go in as professional wrestlers executing the Texas Tombstone Pile driver. And wrestling beats ballet.”

In His Spare Time …

Not only has Lanier conquered the courtroom, he’s now doing battle in the cyberspace world of eBay. It has become a common practice to bid for pieces of evidence on the online trading site and Lanier is well known for his collection of asbestos items – so much so that he was featured in an article on the subject in the Los Angeles Times.

Enthusiastically involved in government and community activities outside the practice of law, Lanier serves on the Board of Trustees of the Committee for Economic Development, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that addresses ongoing critical economic and social issues facing society. He also is the founder of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a network of principled attorneys to minister to others through civic-minded endeavors.

Lanier remains active at Texas Tech by serving on the law school’s Foundation Board. He was selected as the Texas Tech University School of Law Distinguished Alumnus for 2005.

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