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District Judge, “Super Lawyer” Speak to Texas Tech Graduates

A record 3,328 students will recieve diplomas during five ceremonies.

Written by Cory Chandler

Royal Furgeson, senior U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Texas, will speak May 14-15 at four Texas Tech University commencement ceremonies.

Texas lawyer W. Mark Lanier will speak at 6 p.m. May 15 at the School of Law Hooding Ceremony.

A record 3,284 students will receive diplomas during the five ceremonies held at the United Spirit Arena.

Commencement exercises for the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering and the Colleges of Education, Architecture, Visual & Performing Arts and Human Sciences as well as students receiving university studies degrees begin at 4 p.m. May 14. The Graduate School ceremony follows at 7 p.m.

The Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, University College, Mass Communications, Honors College and the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business host exercises beginning at 9 a.m. May 15. A ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences follows at 1:30 p.m.

About the speakers

Furgeson was  appointed senior U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Texas in December 2008.

He is a 1964 Texas Tech graduate with a bachelor of English degree, and a 1967 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. While at Texas Tech, Furgeson lettered on the men’s basketball team and served as student body president. In 2007, he was named as a Distinguished Alumni by the Texas Tech Alumni Association and named as a West Texas Legal Legend by the Texas Tech School of Law in 2008.

He is a former shareholder of the law firm of Kemp, Smith, Duncan & Hammond, and a former U.S. District Judge in the El Paso, Midland and San Antonio Divisions. In 2009, Furgeson received the Standing Ovation Award from the State Bar of Texas CLE.

Lanier earned his law degree from the Texas Tech School of Law in 1984 and founded The Lanier Law Firm in 1990. Since then, Lanier has earned widespread recognition as one of the top trial lawyers in the United States. His work is supported by firm offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif.

The National Law Journal named Lanier one of nation’s Top 10 Trial Attorneys in 1998 and 2006, the same year the publication named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America. In 2010, The National Law Journal named Lanier as one of the most Influential Attorneys of the Decade. He has earned similar honors from other publications, including The American Lawyer and Texas Monthly.

In a statewide attorney survey published in Texas Monthly magazine, Lanier has earned selection to the Texas Super Lawyers list in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2002, Texas Lawyer named Lanier as one of the Top 5 “Go To” personal injury plaintiff attorneys in Texas. The same publication named Lanier as its 2005 “Impact Player of the Year” and later recognized him as the Top Personal Injury Lawyer in Texas in 2007.

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